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Mind one's P's and Q's be careful or particular in one's words or behaviour. The expression is recorded from the late 18th century, and may refer to the difficulty found by a child learning to write in distinguishing between the tailed letters p and q.In the early 17th century, the dramatist Thomas Dekker has ‘Now thou art in thy pee and cue’; pee here is a kind of coat, and cue means either a queue of hair, or possibly cue as a tail; it might however indicate an early currency of this expression through a punning allusion.

See also great minds think alike, little things please little minds, travel broadens the mind, year's mind.


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