None of Your Beeswax or Mind Your Beeswax – Origin & Meaning

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

We all know beeswax is an ingredient used in many products we have today, like lip balms, lotions, and candles. But the term “beeswax” somehow found its way into the English language as a colloquial expression, like the phrases “mind your own beeswax” and “none of your beeswax.”

We commonly use them to tell others to mind their own business or to show that something is just none of their concern.

But where did these quirky expressions come from? And how can we use them in a sentence? I’ve got all the answers right here.

None of Your Beeswax vs. Mind Your Beeswax

None of Your Beeswax or Mind Your Beeswax Origin Meaning

The two common phrases “none of your beeswax” and “mind your own beeswax” are variations of the same colloquial expression we use in English. You can use either one to tell someone to stop being nosy or to mind their own business. But there’s a subtle difference between them that you should make note of.

“None of your beeswax” is a more direct way of telling someone that what you’re doing or what you have is none of their concern.

Then, “mind your own beeswax” is a softer, nicer, gentler way of saying the same thing. It suggests that the other person should focus on their own stuff and not worry about what you’re doing. I say it to my kids all the time, like when they ask about a conversation I’m having with another grown-up or when they’re curious about the Romance novel I’m currently reading.

Origin of Mind Your Own Beeswax

The origin stories of these two phrases are actually kind of funny. It’s said that back in the 18th and 19th centuries, women would cover their blemishes with beeswax, kind of like the way we use foundation today. And then, when anyone would get too close and start noticing, the women would shush them away and say something to the tune of “mind your own beeswax.”

In the early 1900s, it was considered an alteration of the word business; hence the phrase mind your beeswax aka mind your business. And in 1934, it was reproduced in Henry Roth’s “Call It Sleep.”

How Do You Use Mind Your Own Beeswax in a Sentence?

Pretend you’re conversing with someone, and they start asking you personal questions you don’t want to answer. You could respond and say, “Hey, mind your own beeswax, would ya?” It’s just a somewhat nicer way of saying it’s none of their concern.

How Do You Use None of Your Beeswax in a Sentence?

None of Your Beeswax or Mind Your Beeswax Origin Meaning 1

Okay, now pretend you catch someone, maybe not a friend, eavesdropping on your private conversation and then going on to ask you a question about it. Saying something like “None of your beeswax, buddy” is a more direct way of saying, “None of your business, now get lost.”

What Else Can You Say?

If you don’t want to use “none of your beeswax” or “mind your own beeswax,” try one of these phrases.

  • None of your business
  • Stay out of my affairs
  • Stop being nosey
  • Don’t be a nosey Nelly
  • Stick to your own knitting
  • Stay in your own lane

Know Your Beeswax

That’s a wrap on this colloquial phrase. Do you have a better understanding of minding your own beeswax now? Although one is considered gentler than the other, both are commonly used by parents, kids, and coworkers to soften the blow. So, feel free to use either phrase!

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