Monday, January 9, 2012

Bee's Knees: What does that mean?


What does the phrase "He's the Bee's Knee's" really mean?


Sometimes when someone is important, or just thinks they are, others will say about them, "He (she, it) is really the Bee's Knee's."  But no one seems to know why Bee's Knee's are so cool or why we'd like to mistaken for them.

We here at the Institute for the Study of Life's Most Important and Obscure Questions (ISLMIOQ) had never really wondered about this so we looked it up.  Here's what we learned.

So What's the Answer:

This phrase has nothing to do with Bee's or Knee's!  We found two different answers, related to each other but none having to do with Bee's.  Some said this phrase started with Shakespeare, other with the Book of Revelations.

As we always do in the case of a tie, we consulted "Timmy" our Magic 8 ball.  Timmy said that it "Seems Likely" that the Book of Revelations answer was correct so that's the one we're going with.  Thanks Timmy.

In Revelations 1:8, Jesus is credited with saying "I am the Alpha and Omega."  Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters in the Greek Alphabet, so, what Jesus is saying is, "I am the beginning and the end."  Eventually, in English speaking countries, this became kind of a joke.  Someone who was  the do all and be all of a given topic was referred to as "The Beginning and the End" or, if you were British, you would call someone "The B's and E's" short for "Beginning" and "End."  Of course, "B's and E's."  Sounds a lot like, "Bee's Knees" so, when the American's got hold of it, that's what it became.  There you go.

The answer to the question, "What does the phrase "He's the Bee's Knee's" really mean?"  is, it's a wildly paraphrased version of the Revelations 1:8  "I am the Alpha and The Omega."

Thanks Timmy!  You're the Bee's Knee's of Magic 8 Balls!

BTW:  The other answer was exactly the same except that it had a quote from Macbeth as the origin.  Problem is Shakespeare was almost certainly paraphrasing Revelations.  So there!  Timmy was right again.

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