I often wonder where this came from or what it means, so being a bit of a fan of phrases I have been looking it up and came up with this delightful, possible origin of the phrase..
Once upon a time a stick was shaken in the process of counting great numbers of cattle. There were many in the herd, more than you could shake a stick at.
“You could wave your counting stick until your arm falls off, and you still wouldn’t finish counting the last one.”
Aha. The counting stick…