There are other similar phrases that came before that which may be the source. That's another old term I don't hear anymore. Kyne's novel They Also Serve includes what seems to be a straightforward polite alternative to 'piss and vinegar':. Be the first to enter it. It's hard to explain idioms because they are expressions that come about organically, as the explanation Dan's citation tried to decipher. Can anyone explain it better? After all, how many times had her father complained that she was full of more spit and vinegar than most boys?
Kyne's novel They Also Serve includes what seems to be a straightforward polite alternative to 'piss and vinegar':.
be full of piss and vinegar
It appears "piss and vinegar" itself is surprisingly recent origin; this source dates its first appearance in the corpus toin John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath. It was used by our elders when we were young and "feeling our oats". Unless someone misheard someone with a lisp say, "Piss and vinegar. Vinegar has been in the language as the name of the familiar liquid since the 12th century. Post as a guest Name.