Where go the idiom to have an axe to grind come from? To have personal, selfish factors to do or say something.

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The metropolitan Dictionary describes it thus:


Axe to Grind

To have actually a grievance through someone, especially where one feel the have to seek damaging retribution.

The phrase most likely originates native the action of sharpening one axe with a grind wheel, v the intent (in this definition) to gain revenge on someone by maiming or killing them. ;)"Five years back that guy stole mine idea for an invention and made lots of money off it! I"ve had an axe to grind v him ever since. Mine latest innovation will placed him the end of service for sure, you"ll see! Muwahahahaha!!"

Hot Licks, I confirm the OED, which does check the idea that having actually an axe come grind, method having a covert agenda. Over there is no tip of it being the an outcome of a grievance. However, my personal impression indigenous the means the term is supplied in britain is that the Urban dictionary is right as soon as it claims that the frequently argues the satisfaction the a grievance.

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P2. To have axes come grind (orig. U.S. Polit.): to haveprivate ends to offer ;now more commonly to have an axe to grind .

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An Ax come Grind

By Benjamin Franklin (1706 come 1790)

When ns was a little boy, ns remember, one cold winter morning, ns was accosted by a smiling male with one ax top top his shoulder. "My nice boy," stated he, "has her father a grindstone?" "Yes sir," stated I. "You are a find small fellow!" stated he. "Will friend let me grind my ax on it?"

Pleased v the compliment of "fine small fellow," "Oh, Yes, sir," ns answered. "It is under in the shop." "And will you, my man," stated he, patting me ~ above the head, "get me a tiny hot water?" How could I refuse? i ran, and also soon brought a kettleful.

"How old are you-and what"s her name?" continued he, without waiting for a reply. "I"m certain you are among the ideal lads that i have ever seen. Will certainly you just turn a few minutes because that me?"

Tickled with the flattery, favor a little fool, I visited work, and also bitterly did ns rue the day. It was a new ax, and also I toiled and tugged till i was nearly tired come death. The school bell rang, and I can not obtain away. Mine hands to be blistered, and the ax was not half ground. At length, however, it was sharpened, and the man turned come me with, "Now, you little rascal, you"ve played truant! Seud come school, or you"ll rue it!" "Alas!" believed I, "it was hard sufficient to turn a grindstone this cold day, however now to be referred to as a little rascal is as well much."

It sank deep into my mind, and often have actually I assumed of the since.

EDITOR"S NOTE: The ethical behind Benjamin Franklin"s story is this, don"t be suck in by those who work-related to flatter girlfriend so to get some advantage. Such selfish intentions carry out not deserve your attention. (2002)