Sorry for the pun - it's a voluntary word-for-word
mistranslation of a German phrase said when a plan
doesn't work. But the post is on a (mis?)translation
of "set" anyway:
set (E) - Satz (D)
Now surely a "set of glasses" ist "ein Satz Gläser"
in German, but even if English is not my native
language, I strongly suspect that the "set" is
not called "set" because a "set of mates", but because
"the mates are set".
Any historical/etymologician w/r to the English and
German name in the house? Whoever the perpetrator,
he earned himself a set of warm ears. (See above :-)