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A, in old England, there was no public school, children were taught at home. When writing, kids often confused the letters 'p' and 'q', at this moment their teacher (mom, most likely) would tell the kids: "mind your Ps and Qs".
B. in old England, and French language was very a la mode in King's palace, and all the servants needed to wear their wig (jia fa). when they met the king, they had to pay heed to their courtesey---must walk in an elegant manner and meanwhile, must bow to the king (while keep the wig not falling off), therefore they often alerted each other: "mind your Pieds (=foot in English) and Q...s (sorrry i don't remember the spelling, but=wig in English)".
C. a more modern version---to teach people (young or old) be polite---when you start a request, say 'Please', when you receive help, say 'thank YOU', this is often a kind reminder to some people :'mind your Ps and Qs'.
D, slightly different from JiAng:
in old England, taverns sold beer by pints and quarts, it is no difficult for drinkers to get drunk and hence be unable to stand (or walk, or more importantly, to pay), so u can hear bartender's advice---don't drink TOO much, this becomes "Mind your Ps and Qs".
all these which version you like? :-)＜本文发表于: 相约加拿大:枫下论坛 www.rolia.net/f ＞