cost you a arm or a leg
Historical tidbits you didn’t know you needed to know!
In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras.
One’s image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of
George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with
one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and
both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how
many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were
to be painted. Arms and legs are “limbs,”
therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the
_expression, “Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.”