|Bees have knees - who knew? (photo: Sanchez, creative commons 3.0)|
Not that this is where the phrase "the bee's knees" came from or anything. Nope.
The website phrases.org tells us it was just a nonsense phrase initially used in the 1900's to refer to something nonsensical. Like a snipe hunt. Or a sky hook. Or striped paint.
|Dancing the Charleston |
The same usage crops up in other places as well, such as
newspaper cartoons (Fort Wayne Sentinel, May 5, 1914)
and writer Zane Grey's 1909 short story, The Shortstop.
When it became fashionable in the 1920's to use nonsense phrases as a way to express that something was pretty cool, "bee's knees" found its way back into popular culture.
It could possibly be thanks to dancer Bee Jackson, the woman credited with introducing the Charleston to Broadway in 1924!
Phrases.org.uk, The Oxford Dictionary