Bud in Council Bluffs, Iowa, says when he was fishing but no one was catching anything, an acquaintance observed, We must be holding our mouths wrong. There are several versions of that expression, including You must be holding your mouth wrong or That fisherman is holding his mouth wrong, It’s all in how you hold your mouth or Are you holding your mouth right? These all reference a useless additional act that may or may not help what you’re doing. The idea of holding one’s mouth correctly to accomplish a task goes back at least as far as the 1890s.

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