"Something for the weekend" is a euphemism heard in barber shops, when the above phrase is used to enquire of a customer whether he would like a packet of condoms. Does anyone know how this phrase came about?

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    In which country do barbers sell condoms? – Ivo Rossi Jan 7 '11 at 13:36
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    In Britain, although I must admit it has been a few years since I've seen them hidden coyly among the Brylcreem tins. – Brian Hooper Jan 7 '11 at 14:00
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    +1 for introducing me to a delightful and amusing euphemism. – JSBձոգչ Jan 7 '11 at 14:28
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    @Ivo: I'd guess it's "Would sir…", but why it is so would be another good question for this site. :-) – ShreevatsaR Jan 7 '11 at 17:30
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    I think "would sir" is a British usage, as a sort of polite way for someone working at a store to address customers, to avoid saying "you". So "sir" is basically a pronoun here and would replace every instance of "you". – Kosmonaut Jan 7 '11 at 18:33

It seems natural to me to be discreet about this topic. Given that a lot of dating happens on weekends, and a man at a barber might be cleaning up for a date, a discreet add-on sale seems like a natural thing to occur. If the customer can infer the barber's meaning ("some.... what? combs?... for the weekend... because I'll be ... combing my hair?... OH! condoms!") then this phrase works well in tactfully promoting a product that lots of people might not want to discuss. The service industries often have many such phrases. For example, when a tailor asks if you "dress left or right".

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    Er, what does "dress left or right", mean? – ShreevatsaR Jan 7 '11 at 14:23
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    @ShreevatsaR whether the gentleman being addressed prefers to have his willy hang to the left or the right of the trouser seam. although, to be honest i've not sure i've ever heard "dressing to the left or the right" used seriously by a genuine tailor. it's more something you encounter in jest. but in my case that may be because ebay is my tailor. – hawbsl Jan 7 '11 at 14:30
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    In the early twentieth century in the US, there were few places one could buy condoms, and many would have been closed on the weekend. So if you want...er, something for the weekend, you would have to buy it during the week. Perhaps a similar situation pertained in Great Britain. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jan 7 '11 at 15:51
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    @hawbsi, thank you for that; putting my trousers on in the morning will never be the same again. – Brian Hooper Jan 7 '11 at 20:57
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    @brian: The killer retort to "does sir dress to the left or the right?" is "Either, but make sure the knees are baggy." – Tim Lymington May 11 '11 at 22:04

Dressing to the left or the right is a term used by a tailor when taking the inside leg measurements of a man and the correct professional expression is "Which side do you dress Sir?" This is used to politely ask the customer on which leg of his trousers does his willy hangs in so as to save the embarrassment of the tailor if he accidentally places his tape measure or hand on that area. After gaining that information, he would ensure that he measures the customer on the other side.

  • The term anything for the weekend was a popular term used by the barber to poilitly ask a customer if he would like to purchase a packet of condoms the correct term is " would you like something for the weekend Sir ?" It was generaly used as a curtisey reminder, as years ago the only place you could buy them was the chemist and most chemists in them days closed early on a Friday and wouldn't re-open until Monday. You can still by condoms in the barbers but it is very rare for customers to be asked if they would like to by any. – hteb78 Jan 19 '13 at 4:46

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