I've not been intending to do a post about this, but what the hell... For a few weeks now I've been running a blog where each day (Monday - Friday) I try and track down the origins of sayings/words/slang/phrases... It's actually been fairly fun, but today's one!!!
Bloody hard to track down, it took me nigh on 4-5 hours of following obscure lexical and etymological links and tantalizing references before I got (what I think is) the complete story... Satisfying to do though :-D
If you're at all interested the blog is: Daily Saying and today's post of Grouse has so far been the hardest one to track down.