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Leaning Toward Fishers or Leaning Toward Sawyers

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If you’re hanging a framed picture but it’s askew, you might say it’s leaning toward Fishers or leaning toward Sawyers or leaning toward Jesus. All of these phrases probably come from the logging industry. If workers are using a crosscut saw to fell a tree, but the tree is leaning in the wrong direction, it’s said to be leaning toward the sawyers. Outside the parlance of loggers, the word sawyers was likely misunderstood as a last name, and eventually replaced with other proper nouns, as in leaning towards Jones, leaning towards Coopers, leaning towards Perkins, and leaning towards Schoonovers, and others. Incidentally, the expression in a bind also comes from logging. If a tree doesn’t fall away in the direction the logger intends, it will trap or bind the saw blade, making it difficult to continue. A logger might say it was caught in the bind or caught in the box, and this idea is now used in a more figurative sense to indicate “being stuck” or “out of options.” This is part of a complete episode.

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