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Minding Your P's and Q's

In olden days it was safer to drink beer than water. (They didn't yet know about germs and how to kill them and so water often contained disease.) This resulted in the consumption of large volumes of beer, usually drunken at a tavern. The beer was ordered in pints and quarts. Whenever a bartender thought one had too much beer to drink he would tell the client "to mind your pints and quarts". You guessed it! The phase was soon shortened "to mind you p's and q's."

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