From pillar to post
To go hither and thither with great frustration and little or no success dates in the form of ‘from post to pillar’ from the 15th century. One school of thought maintains that the expression was originally from post to pillory, which meant in those days a beating or whipping at the post before being trussed up in the pillory. This is highly dubious because pillory as a word remains in use today, Why would it suddenly change to pillar? The more likely theory is that it derives from the old game of real tennis that was played indoors amongst pillars and posts, once again, back in the 15th century. Players would find themselves banging up against these pillars and posts in attempts to play the ball. The debate as to the origin continues but no one argues with the date of origin, which is c. 1420.