Two stories that legendary physicist Richard Feynman tells about himself. The first one relates to the title of his best-selling book (and the title of this node).
Feynman had attended MIT as an undergraduate, where social etiquette was not on the value scale. He went to Princeton University for his master's degree in physics. The freshmen were invited to tea at the Dean's house. Feynman was told to wear a jacket and act properly. He was worried a bit, because the Dean's wife had the reputation as being a starched-pants dragon lady.
She appeared with a tea pot in her white-gloved hands. She poured. He thanked her, thinking he had passed a test. But it was only the beginning.
"And how do you take your tea, Mr. Feynman?" she asked.
"How do I take it?," he asked, probably thinking, I'm from Far Rockaway, New York. We don't take our tea anywhere, because we never drink the stuff back home.
"Do you take your tea with milk or lemon?" she asked.
He had to think about this a moment, and answered bravely, "Both!"
The society smile froze on her face in a horrified rictus. "Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman!"
And thus the title. The second story was from his interview by an Army psychologist before being permitted to work on the Manhattan project in Los Alamos in the early 1940s. Feynman held psychology in low esteem, considering it at best a pseudo-science.
The psychologist sat across from Feynman and asked him to hold his hands out, horizontal to the floor, presumably to see if he exhibited any shaking or trembling. Feynman put his hands out, with one palm up and one palm down.
"No, the other way," said the psychologist.
Feynman flipped his hands around, so that now one palm was down and the other palm up.
"No! The OTHER way!" The psychologist, perturbed, glared at Feynman...
... who once again commenced to flip his hands around to their original state.
The psychologist, red-faced, scribbled something into his report. Feynman thought he wasn't terribly articulate with his instructions, and was glad he hadn't wasted any more of Feynman's time.
He was cleared to work at Los Alamos.
I added this node because none of the previous nodes explained the origin of the phrase. The conversations weren't exactly as they appeared in the book. I wrote this from memory of the incidents from both Feynman's book and other biographies written about him.