#97109. Asked by author. (Jun 29 08 4:28 PM)
In 1571 the Church of England introduced thirty-nine articles which clergymen of the church were required to accept before their ordination.
An 1872 publication of the British humour magazine Punch suggested that reading these catechisms was tedious and that their meaning could be missed: “If a man, after reading through the thirty-nine articles were to take forty winks ...” From this point on, “forty winks” has meant a brief nap.
Forty winks is an English idiomatic noun that can be used in the singular or plural and means: to take a nap for a short period of time (usually not in bed), or to take a short sleep during the day.
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