Carrot On A Stick

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Carrot On A Stick :

Authoritative dictionaries agree, the original expression refers to offering to reward a stubborn mule or donkey with a carrot or threatening to beat it with a stick and not to a carrot being dangled from a stick.

Further discussion.

This and other popular etymologies fit under the heading aptly called by the English “too clever by half."

Common Errors Index

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