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LJWorld.com weblogs Stop Me If You've Heard This One

Old Sayings And The Meanings Behind Them

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Many years ago I would sit and listen to my parents, grandparents, great aunts and uncles talk about their youth and the ways they would have good times. Stories of pulling the truck up close to the house so they could hook the house radio up to the battery to listen to gospel or hillbilly music. Or cooking supper on a piece of scrap steel over a fire outside as it was too hot to fire up the wood stove in the kitchen. They would call these the "Good Old Days", sometimes with a reverent tone in their voice. Personally those old days never sounded that good to me. Interspersed in these conversations I would hear lines of wisdom repeated again and again over the years that sounded absolutely earth shattering in their importance, even though I had hardly a clue as to their meaning....


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js22381500.jpg


"Born with a silver spoon in your mouth."

Once when a child was christened it was traditional for the godparents to give a silver spoon as a gift (if they could afford it!). However a child born in a rich family did not have to wait. He or she had it all from the start. They were 'born with a silver spoon in their mouth'. (I think this really boiled down to envy of those who had it a little better than my immediate ancestors)


s128frog.jpg

s128frog.jpg


"What is the matter, got a frog in your throat?"

Medieval physicians believed that the secretions of a frog could cure a cough if they were coated on the throat of the patient. The frog was placed in the mouth of the suffer and remained there until the physician decided that the treatment was complete.



http://worldonline.media.clients.elli... (parts to a Hawken pistol,1.flint'lock', bottom 2.stock, center 3.barrel, top.)


"Lock, stock and barrel"

  1. The three major parts of a gun.

  2. A thing in its entirety, with nothing omitted. As in "They wanted to sell the farm, lock, stock and barrel."


One of my all time favorites, one I'm sure even my old great relatives didn't know the origin of....

"Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey"


brass_monkey.jpg

brass_monkey.jpg


In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannon fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of thirty cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem -- how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with sixteen round indentations. But, if this plate was made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys." Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey!"


41769011.DSC_9847SmilingMonkeyCROP.jpg

41769011.DSC_9847SmilingMonkeyCROP.jpg


You probably remember when your older friends or relatives have come up with some zingers that made you wonder, "What the H@## is that old coot rambling on about now?"

Can you share them with us?

Comments

RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Susie! good to see you! I believe it came from this old poem... unknown where it came from...

"Fire, Fire!" said Mrs O'Dwyer. "Where, where?" said Mrs O'Hare. "Down in the town." said Mrs Brown. "Lord bless us and save us" said Mrs O' Davis.

Anybody got a better reference?

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SusieCreamcheeze 4 years, 6 months ago

My Grandmother would always say "Lord help us and save us Mrs O'Davis"...I have no idea where it came from

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Have you gotten a new computer yet?

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Good to see you, Irish. They say the story about the brass monkey has pretty much been debunked. I did find a picture (see above) showing the black iron cannon balls stacked on a brass plate!

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 6 months ago

Since I am fasinated by sailing ships, and the Aubrey/Maturin books, I liked the one about the brass monkey. We get a lot of sayings from the navy, like three sheets to the wind. The sheets were the ropes that tied down the sails and when they came untiled the sails would cease to function, there were three ropes to a sail, so you were in bad shape if you lost all three.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Well......... Marion I believe the original meaning for "shooting your wad" comes from the Civil War, when soldiers would be reloading their muzzle loaded rifles so quickly they would "forget" to place the lead ball over the wadding, tamp the wadding down onto the powder charge then "Shoot The Wad!" with little effect other than a lot of smoke and a surprised look on the shooters face!

Close?

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

Multidisciplinary (Anonymous) says… "cuz unless boosh wants to tell me who he was back then…he might not have been here"

Nope, I were'nt here I were over on the dark side.

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

Roe, doanit geter inda mood?

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure jes why the mrs watches so much wwe she cusses 'em an gets al irate like she thinks it is real or sumpin but i dint say it aint real dont be spreddin aroun i sed that see i useta watch it jes to gits the fammly stirred up boutit anymor i can taek it or leavit most times i are postin an bloggin whin she be watchin them neer nekkid yung dudes.....

.....

.....

....

....maybe i bettr strat payn mor ttentdhun what she be wachun!

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Ronda Miller 4 years, 6 months ago

Is blowin your pipes similar to tooting our own horn? ;)

Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back over that one.....

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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

Does Mrs. Roe like that Randy Orton as much as the autie daughter? Them womens sure like some of them boys. I was always more of a Rock/Stone Cold kinda guy but them boys runnoftd to maek movin picture shows.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

besides, if'in you give that pet raccoon his own beer he won't be gettin all upset an everything.....

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Oh yeah! Mrs Roe's dirty little family secret... If we are gonna be away from home monday evening Roe gets instructed to record Monday Night Raw... tuesday, ECW... friday, Friday Night Smackdown...

Oh, the shame, the embarrassment...

an for a little "under the table" cash money I'll give you a list of my democrat, liberal, left leaning friends and associates that do the same thing!

http://www.wwe.com/

(Now don't be unduly influenced when bea comes on here an says,"Roe ain't got no friends!")

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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

You watches the WWE wrastling? Old JR says somethin bout crazy as pet coon and we didnt know whatt that one mint tell we stayed over to the cuzins and they had one of them in the house and he runned all over nokcin beers down but we steel donno what that mint

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 4 years, 6 months ago

"Your as drunk as 400 rabbits" - an old Aztec saying.

From Centzon Totochtin (four-hundred rabbits), a group of deities who meet for frequent parties; they are divine rabbits, and the gods of drunkenness.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

we were just bent double laughing on there..all day. We'd go do something else, work, read elsewhere come back...all day long and just howl! Pretty sure that is the single funniest thread ever.

I wonder if I have that saved on word. I would think a lot comments are gone from disappearedings.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

who knows..I expect it will get cold again this winter. :)

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Wow multi, sorry I missed that one! Even ole bndair shoulda got in on that frozen pipe OTS. Why he coulda gone an......

......oh, uh,... nevermind......

;-)

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

one more time, cuz unless boosh wants to tell me who he was back then...he might not have been here. http://www2.ljworld.com/onthestreet/2008/dec/23/are-you-worried-about-your-pipes-freezing/

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

"To blow your pipes"

"Carney Talk" for losing your voice because of the excessive talking required to appeal to the public for hours and days on end. To deliver such an appeal is to grind.

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Newell_Post 4 years, 6 months ago

In regard to "three sheets to the wind", most people know it means to be drunk. Many people know it has something to do with sailing vessels, but they believe it means the sailors are so drunk the sails are flapping in the breeze. That is sort if true, but on sailing vessels the "sheets" are not the sails. Sheets are the lines that control the set of the sails.

"Three sheets to the wind" probably means the sailors are too drunk to tighten up the lines that control the sails.

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

"Always love blowing pipes come winter" now that can be razzed.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

last night was a good night on at the lounge. and just when you think the night is over, the west coast lights up and threads start coming on like wildfires, pardon the pun. ;)

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

Boosh...help! I see all the earmarks on LJW tonight:

that everyone's teenage daughter must have announced she was pregnant this weekend, the food stamps ran out, and the weed is down to less than 7/8ths of a gram...everyone is bitchy!

These people need to lighten up. They or their loved ones could be dead this week and at least 50% of the garbage they are frustrated about isn't worth it.

Time for me to put away the chores, put in a new DVD (I'd share but somebody would raz me) and see what's happening in the DU Lounge. Somebody's always up to mirth there.

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

Multi, heeheehee, it is safe it's the witch scene from Monty Python and The Holy Grail :)

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

here Roe..this will help out the uncle..you're on it, and you're right about why.

It seems that while "crying uncle" is today regarded as an Americanism, its origins go all the way back to the Roman Empire. Roman children, when beset by a bully, would be forced to say "Patrue, mi Patruissimo," or "Uncle, my best Uncle," in order to surrender and be freed. As to precisely "why" bullies force their victims to "cry uncle," opinions vary. It may be that the ritual is simply a way of making the victim call out for help from a grownup, thus proving his or her helplessness. Alternatively, it may have started as a way of forcing the victim to grant the bully a title of respect -- in Roman times, your father's brother was accorded nearly the same power and status as your father. The form of "uncle" used in the Latin phrase ("patrue") tends to support this theory, inasmuch as it specifically denoted your paternal uncle, as opposed to the brother of your mother ("avunculus"), who occupied a somewhat lower rung in patrilineal Roman society.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/7/messages/581.html

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

Here you go bea. When I search for 'olde' things, I've found if I type whatever I want to look for, then type uk a the end it will take me to a UK website and I usually find a much older reference than I can find on a US website,lol.

And here we go: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/a-stitch-in-time.html

A stitch in time saves nine

Meaning A timely effort will prevent more work later.

Origin This is nothing to do with rips in the fabric of the space-time continuum, as some have ingeniously suggested. The meaning of this proverb is often requested at the Phrase Finder Discussion Forum, so I'll be explicit. The question usually asked is "saves nine what"? The stitch in time is simply the sewing up of a small hole in a piece of material and so saving the need for more stitching at a later date, when the hole has become larger, Clearly, the first users of this expression were referring to saving nine stitches.

A stitch in time The Anglo Saxon work ethic is being called on here. Many English proverbs encourage immediate effort as superior to putting things off until later; for example, 'one year's seeds, seven year's weeds', 'procrastination is the thief of time' and 'the early bird catches the worm'.

The 'stitch in time' notion has been current in English for a very long time and is first recorded in Thomas Fuller's Gnomologia, Adagies and Proverbs, Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British, 1732:

"A Stitch in Time May save nine."

Fuller, who recorded a large number of the early proverbs in the language, wrote a little explanatory preamble to this one:

"Because verses are easier got by heart, and stick faster in the memory than prose; and because ordinary people use to be much taken with the clinking of syllables; many of our proverbs are so formed, and very often put into false rhymes; as, a stitch in time, may save nine; many a little will make a mickle. This little artiface, I imagine, was contrived purposely to make the sense abide the longer in the memory, by reason of its oddness and archness."

As far as is known, the first person to state unambiguously that 'a stitch in time saves nine', rather than Fuller's less confident 'may save nine', was the English astronomer Francis Baily, in his Journal, written in 1797 and published in 1856 by Augustus De Morgan:

After a little while we acquired a method of keeping her [a boat] in the middle of the stream, by watching the moment she began to vary, and thereby verifying the vulgar proverb, '"A stitch in time saves nine."

See also: the List of Proverbs.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Found this bea, might be as close as we can get it...

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-say1.htm

(From the site) The speculations are ingenious: one from American Speech in 1980 was that “Uncle in this expression is surely a folk etymology, and the Irish original of the word is anacol ... ‘act of protecting; deliverance; mercy, quarter, safety’, a verbal noun from the Old Irish verb aingid, ‘protects’ ”. If that sounds unlikely, try a theory that William and Mary Morris turned up, that it goes back to a Latin expression used by Roman youngsters who got into trouble: patrue mi patruissime “uncle, my best of uncles”. It may be rather more probable that it’s a requirement that the person should cry for his uncle in order to be let free. But why uncle?

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beatrice 4 years, 6 months ago

multi, I get the concept, I just don't understand the use of "nine". Nine what? Why not ten or twelve? Unless it goes with the idea of being "dressed to the nines," as in being well dressed. So maybe a stitch in time keeps one well dressed? Okay, nevermind, I think I figured it out myself.

Does anyone know where the saying of "crying uncle," or making someone "cry uncle" as a declaration of surrender, came from? I'm guessing it is French in origin because of the French "oncle" for "maternal uncle," just not sure in what way that connects to surrender -- other than just being French, of course. Any ideas?

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

Oh, I thought that originated back with Short Shift Willy. He never could figure out why he never got second dates.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

"easy come, easy go"

Cliché said to explain the loss of something that required only a small amount of effort to acquire in the first place.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

oh bea, I can help with that one.

(you know this, just didn't think of it, wink)

If you break a thread in a seam, or really anything that needs mending..it tends to unravel further if you don't tend to it in a timely manner. Back in the times when a person had one dress for all week, and one dress for church, if a pop was heard when putting it on, they didn't just wear it a few more times until the opening became visible then throw it away like people so often do now...they had to keep things until it was worn threadbare.

Thus, if they heard that pop, or saw where a thread had broken..it was easier to stitch over that seam..unsew it, tie threads, or darn a small area...than it was to wait until it became much bigger.

Dealing with that on a flat sheet right now. Put a tiny hew hole off because my sewing items are askew since the move, and each time I pulled it up it got worse fast...when at first it could have been done in a jif by hand, now it truly needs be done by machine to look good unless I get all-super finesse hand work on it, lol.

Oh, the mom guilt. Her hand me down sheets of course, from her house after she died. Couldn't have been one of my sets. lol. I don't even like them, and I feel the mom guilt.

back to topic..thus...the similar saying ..

"Where a rose is tended, a thistle will not grow" (my personal favorite) and then, take that to the greater level.. "A woman is a reflection of the manner in which she is treated."

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

yup the "bale fore cuzins fund" be runnin abit lo gone hafta hav a baek sale down at fore cornors toget nuff rased up to gets em al out oughta be abel to hav everbodie bak home fore tanksgivin or leaswayes chrissmass but whoo noes why thiss al starts up bout this tiem yere mus be ful mooon or sumpin

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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

And thinkin bout all the tragedy of this weekend. You know, with moonshine bust, pot bust, stoled amablances, and the big fight at the econolodge..it's been a bad weekend for cusins...Easy Come, Easy Go.

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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

and the all too familiar, "The chiefs blew it again"...damn it.

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camper 4 years, 6 months ago

Roe, good blog. Here are a couple that come to mind:

"Three sheets to the wind".....I think this is a maritime saying.

"Skeleton in the closet". Appropriate as Halloween approaches.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Many years ago I knew twin ladies who had quite different appearance although their voices sounded identical. One was very large busted while the other had a very prominent nose. They joked that you could tell which was which by what came through the door first..

8D

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beatrice 4 years, 6 months ago

knock on wood

RoeD, I'd always heard that it came from the fear of mischevous spirits who lived in the forest. If they heard you making plans, the spirits or fairies would go about spoiling your ideas. Thus you knocked on wood to drown out what you were saying and the fairies couldn't then hear your plans above the knocking.

smitty, if the king had to sign something allowing people to procreate, he would have been doing nothing but signing his name all day long. Likewise, acronyms are largely a 20th century phenomena and not something used in the 15th century. That particular word is likely from a similarity to several words in various languages, including the Swedish word meaning "to strike." The German and Norwegian words suggest "copulate" but might be too close in spelling/pronunciation to hold up against the board's censors.

hydra: "Don't get yout tit in the wringer!!"

Isn't that just common sense?

It is from the old-fashioned washing machines that had the "wringer" on the top to squeeze the water out the clothing. Get caught in one of those, and you are going to feel it! It also is a nice reminder to pay attention to what you are doing, to not loose focus on the task at hand. And it seems more immediate than "a stitch in time saves nine," a phrase that I have no clue to its meaning.

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Ronda Miller 4 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the info, Roe...

And yes, it is when I sign in to comment at the bottom of the page.

And I haven't a clue how to sign in at the top. My home page? Yeah, I know, I am hopeless and helpless.

I have to add a quick story about, "kicking the bucket". My grandfather brought home a Shetland pony for my sister and myself many years ago while we were living at the farm in NW Kansas. We had little "Blackie" - short for Black Beauty - for several years and he was a real favorite of mine. One morning before my sister and I left for school, my Grandfather came into the house and mentioned to my Grandmother that Blackie had, "kicked the bucket". I had a great time once I arrived at school running up to all the older children (one room country school house) and informing everyone that my horse had kicked the bucket. Well, that is until one of the older boys asked why I was so happy that my horse had died.......

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

smitty,

(From Urban Dictionary) "In ancient England a person could not have sex unless you had consent of the King (unless you were in the Royal Family). When anyone wanted to have a baby, they got consent of the King, the King gave them a placard that they hung on their door while they were having sex. The placard had F...*. (Fornication Under Consent of the King) on it."

I can just see myself now... (dialing 15th century phone..) ring " Yeah, uh, King uh, George, right? Well me and the Mrs, uh .........

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

not smirking..I came straight here from your email, and laughed aloud after ...bum. and before the " The rest just just icing. hahaha. Never ever thought of it that way. Now, I will probably have a distorted chuckle with oh so many movies. Thanks. :)

Ronda, signing in. I'm guessing you have this problem signing in down here in the post comment section? I've had it just give me heck down here. But, if I go up to the top left sign in option..no problems.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

"on the dole" "Receiving financial assistance from a governmental agency, such as a welfare agency, after all other unemployment benefits run out"

I have seen others complain about the logging in problem recently but haven't experienced it myself (so far). Keeping fingers crossed!

"Keep your fingers crossed"
From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman: "Hope for success. The saying derives from the superstition that bad luck may be averted by making the sign of the cross. Originated in the 1920s."

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smitty 4 years, 6 months ago

WTF?

No one has brought out the ole stand by.....

"The word" originated in the 15th Century, when a married couple needed permission from the king to procreate. Hence, Fornication Under Consent of the King. Some maintain that it's an acronym of a law term used in the 1500s that referred to rape as Forced Unnatural Carnal Knowledge."

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Ronda Miller 4 years, 6 months ago

I say blame everything on tange......and btw, tange and autie both have 'very naughty' thinking going on. I make a simple comment about a favorite old saying of my grandparents and look how 'they' chose to distort it! Shocking!

So here are a couple. "He/she is on the dole"...I know they weren't talking about Bob Dole....... (I hope I spelled the usage of that word properly) Does this refer to welfare assistance? Is that the proper spelling? (Maybe they can change it to.....she is on the McCain....)

And this one, "Last night my stomach was on the bum." (Maybe they can change it to....my stomach was on McCain........

Not one word, autie,...no two words, three tange....multi, stop smirking!

Jonathan, I am having to log in twice with my user name and password these days before I can get on. It has been the case for about a week I believe. Anyone else having this difficulty?

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

Roe,you know my catch phrase. "I have photographic memory, but I no longer have same day processing!" Just last night I could not remember a 'previous ex-niece in law's' last name for a few minutes, until I pictured it on the return address portion of the Christmas cards she would send each year, which is most of the contact I ever had with her. Bingo. I've known her for 25 years, but it just momentarily escaped me because I never use her married last name.

Boosh...posting a saying:It's cold as a witch's teat” today :) and then posting a youtube. Definitely one of the better 'user skeptical moments' ever. You've even got me holding off on that one buddy. Blame it on tange.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

In this day of digital cameras this one will soon have to be rewritten....

"Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have any film"

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 4 years, 6 months ago

Easy come, easy go. Last night, the redhead and I viewed "Angela's Ashes," a great source of Irish sayings and phrases, and...

"I was so happy, I didn’t know whether to sh|t or go blind."

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Pywacket 4 years, 6 months ago

Haha! Seriously, when she kicks off (hopefully years hence), God only knows what we'll find stashed away.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

Py...Check her closet for old mementos, photos of that Fleet Week vacation before she was married.

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Pywacket 4 years, 6 months ago

Good blog! I like your initial examples and illustrations, Roe, especially the brass monkey one. Even if it is an urban legend, it makes for a good story.

My mom had some colorful sayings that she'd come out with right in front of us kids.

About someone who talked too much: "Her mouth runs like a blackbird's a$$ in pokeberry time!"

About someone who was cloyingly sweet and nice, no matter what was going on: "She wouldn't say "sh**" if she had a mouthful of it!"

I don't know where she got those! Her very proper British mother never said anything like that and her father's family was from Wisconsin. We lived in the north. Maybe these are regional sayings (?). I don't recall hearing anyone else say them.

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Katara 4 years, 6 months ago

blindrabbit (Anonymous) says… If you like these kind of things, a great source of visual sayings is: by T.E. Breitenbach called “Proverbisms”. I have a copy of one of his posters, it graphically renders about 50 of these sayings. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I had a teacher that had us draw pictures of old sayings as part of an exercise in learning about them. It was pretty fun.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 6 months ago

"If you have three ducks, a fox, and a monkey, all you need is a pint of beer and you have yourself an army!"

Wait. . . maybe that was a dream I had.

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blindrabbit 4 years, 6 months ago

If you like these kind of things, a great source of visual sayings is: by T.E. Breitenbach called "Proverbisms". I have a copy of one of his posters, it graphically renders about 50 of these sayings.

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blindrabbit 4 years, 6 months ago

"Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater" Refers to do not discarding the good aspects of something even if (overall) it appears to be bad.

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Newell_Post 4 years, 6 months ago

"Balls out" or "balls to the wall" meaning to run at high speed:

(See the discussion / talk page.)

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 6 months ago

"Boosh (Anonymous) says…

Uh Marion 11:40 a.m."

Marion writes:

Yeppers!

Sorry!

Missed i!

:)

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 6 months ago

riverdrifter (Anonymous) says…

“Balls Out” is a railroad term. When the red balls are out, you can Hi Ball -another railroad term, which means -go! Also, “throw a leg out” which means hurry up. You can guess at this one: “Turpentine that pup.”

Marion writes:

You are on the right track but as far as "red balls" go, you are waaaayyyyy out in left field.

A "red ball", or a red lantern on the track, means "Stop!" and "Stop Right Now!"

What are the balls referenced?

And the referenced balls do indeed go "out"!

Hint:

Not testicles.

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Hydra 4 years, 6 months ago

Nobody brought up my favorite!

Don't get yout tit in the wringer!!

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

oh heavens. People used to put turpentine, like kerosene, and so many other things on humans and pets to cure all kinds of ills.

Bad bad idea. I still heard people say that when I was in the business. I knew a man down the street in N Lawrence in the 80's who said he fed his dog (really aggressive dog) gunpowder to make it that way. Very scuzzy man I might add.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

"Knock on wood"

In Celtic time’s people believed that benevolent spirits lived in trees. When in trouble people knocked on the tree and asked the spirits for help.

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riverdrifter 4 years, 6 months ago

"Balls Out" is a railroad term. When the red balls are out, you can Hi Ball -another railroad term, which means -go! Also, "throw a leg out" which means hurry up. You can guess at this one: "Turpentine that pup."

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

egads is one of my favs.

somebody find jumpin jehosifats (or whatever that is) Did that come Granny on BH?

If you dig up the scripts for Green Acres, Mr. Haney probably said every saying known to man. If he didn't, someone else did. Or Arnold did.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 4 years, 6 months ago

justbegintowrite (Ronda Miller) says… "Tange doesn't know if he is “coming or going”…I think he met himself going when he was actually coming…what a collision! Ye Gads…."

There's only one person I meet when I'm coming ( her-, BTW, not him- ) , and... EGADS!

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tumbilweed 4 years, 6 months ago

"Zooted to the Nines"

looking sharp, in the twenties

from my Grandma, way back

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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

Tange doesn't know if he is “coming or going”…

I can't believe you said that. As there was this young man from Kent, who's.....well you know the rest. I pretty much know when I'm coming or going.

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Ronda Miller 4 years, 6 months ago

Roe, "kicking the bucket" was also a saying for those people who committed suicide by hanging. Of course they were also standing on a bucket for this......

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Ronda Miller 4 years, 6 months ago

Tange doesn't know if he is "coming or going"...I think he met himself going when he was actually coming...what a collision!

Ye Gads.....

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Katara 4 years, 6 months ago

A nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat!

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

"Six-year-olds and nuclear weapons: a combination that just can't be beat."

Servo

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

you must have dated the same gal that ol whats his name did. ;)

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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

Drivin it likes we stoled it? Hell man we'd did stoled it. Like that one time my cuzin and I's was stanin out in front of the bar and watcheed my car go by...He says wernt that your car and i says yup an i didnnt dates with gal no more.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

Dem escorts, dey ain't so good. You saw how dey failed ol Cuz Roger an he had all his shine stuck waitin to be delivered when the strangers came up the holler and sum of dem hounds musta been sleepin.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

"Mind your P's and Q's."

The two best explanations for this saying are,

  1. It originated in British pubs as an abbreviation for "mind your pints and quarts." Supposedly this warned the barkeep to serve full measure, mark the customer's tab accurately, etc.
  2. The simplest explanation is that the expression refers to the difficulty kids have distinguishing lower-case p and q, mirror images of each other. Mind your 'p's and q's was thus a teacher's admonition to students.
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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Now there's a form of racin' me an all the cuzins could get into Boosh! what say autie, multi? Time to pull the Escorts outa hiding... I mean 'storage' an go racing!!!

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

"Drive it like you stole it" can't find the origin but I think it means this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTvaeW...

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RidgeRunner 4 years, 6 months ago

"Stand close, it's shorter than you think."

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RidgeRunner 4 years, 6 months ago

Roe, "or hair on your chest!"

lol... Yep! I heard them two saying countless times as a kid.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Wow, amazing how many explanations of old sayings are debunked when looked into deeper. Maybe the old folks knew more than we give them credit for, or we know less than we thought!

;-)

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

^ Credit to Multidisciplinary

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smitty 4 years, 6 months ago

My mother used excrement as an expletive quite often.

excrement
A long, long time ago, they used to ship manure (containing largely feces) on boats around the mediterranean. Well, the cargo was always on the lowest deck. The problem was, the boats back then would be fairly leaky, and water would get in. When water and manure mixed, it would produce a large amount of methane. Careless and unknowing crew members at night would carry torches, and if they went below deck with enough methane, the ship would explode. To solve this problem, they simply started shipping them above deck so any gas could go out into the atmosphere. To make sure this was done, manure-containers would be labeled with "S.H.I.T.". This of course, stands for "Ship High In Transit"

crock of excrement

"A crock of excrement " derives from an ancient Roman custom that coincidentally took place in Roman times. It referred literally to a pot into which people would excrete if they were particularly bored by whichever freelance philosopher happened to be talking rubbish at the time. The Roman empire employed crock-monitors who were each assigned to a philosopher, and it was their job to monitor the pot (or crock). Should the crock become full, it would be presented to the philosopher, who was obliged, by law, to announce that it bore a remarkable resemblance to himself, thus proclaiming he was full of crap and was, in fact, talking a crock of excrement. "I am talking a crock of excrement", Socretes 429 BC

excrement fire and save the matches

An expression of surprise or shock that is an extension of the phrase 'excrement fire' Used primarily by people in the southern and mid western U.S.

chicken excrement superfluous, unnecessary, petty, trivial, insignificant, needless, uncalled-for….

A WWII military saying.. The guys who were permanent jerks were the usual suspects -- officers with too much authority and too few brains, sergeants who had more than a touch of sadist in their characters, far too many quartermasters, some MPs. The types were many in number and widely varied in how they acted out their role, but the GIs had a single word that applied to every one of them: chickenshe-at.

some of the info is compliments of urban dictionary

Now I have been scolded by the software, in red, I will need to disguise the info. Excrement just doesn't interpret the same!

Finally a PC version of my mother's language barriers. It took several tries. Before I hit the summit button my heart is all a flutter over the possibility of whether the PC will be posted upper or lower case?

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

I decided to hit this from the British side and this came up, lol Yeah, they just used wooden box frames bolted to the sides of the ship, lol. But there's more to the phrase too, "Brass Monkey Weather" http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-bra1.htm

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 6 months ago

Cannonballs. Think about the properties involved. Weight, composition, shape, storage. Due to the weight, and the time in history they were used.. think of how they would have been 1) gotten to the port,probably on wagons by horse in wooden crates loaded by men. 2) then onto the ship. Carried on by men in boxes at some ports, or overhead various apparatus, or by smaller boats from shore. 3) Everything on a ship possible is in a box, protected from water or pitching. These I'm guessing were oiled to prevent them from rusting together? I mean..these ships went for a long time between battles and regular upkeep maintenance went on.. 4) Lots of cannons, so balls would have needed to be distributed some near by, but surely not where they could go completely unchecked I wouldn't think. I see boxes nearby and would think there would be boxes close by each, or at least every few cannons where the balls could be replenished by boys as the battle progressed.

They would have to keep some near each because they are so heavy one man could not carry that many to bring them as needed during battle, correct? And, a box to support the weight of a 'few balls' would be heavy also making the load greater to carry? Thus, I feel there would definitely be ready boxes close by, but not open stacks.

Of course if a box were hit then those would roll...

But I'm a girl, what do I know...but I'm sure Tupperware could have solved this problem for them.

I've watched Master and Commander at least 20 times...surely I've seen where they keep the dang things!

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

"Don't count your chickens before they hatch. "

Mom again

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

"Don't take any wooden nickels"

Mom

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

I know, I know spelling @ 11:40 a.m.^

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the link tangential_reasoners_anonymous

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 6 months ago

"Six-wheel equipment"; as applied to women.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 6 months ago

This one should be obvious:

"It's a doozy!"

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

"There's more than one way to skin a cat."

Wikiquote

The mental image here...shudder...

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 4 years, 6 months ago

Sure, you can quote Wiki, but that dog don't hunt.

Here's the source...

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

"Don't ever let school get in the way of your education." [Mark Twain]

Wikiquote

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

I like this one.

"A good friend is someone who will bail you out of jail, but your best friend is the one sitting next to you saying "Man, that was fun!""

A close friend will help you out of a dark situation, but your best friend will always be with you even in the darkest of days.

Wikiquote

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

"Never pick a fight with a fat guy , cause at the end of the day you'll be tired and he'll still be fat"

Wikiquote

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

"If you wait till the last minute, it'll only take a minute."

Procrastinators' credo; also credo of subordinate workers who are given a task by their boss with a deadline completely inadequate to allow for a well-researched response or product.

Wikiquote

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

R.I. "crackalackin" makes me think fried chicken. Thanks now I'm hungry.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 4 years, 6 months ago

Not sure what it means, but when Father came home from the mine he would always ask Mother "What's crackalackin?"

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

"Close only counts with horseshoes, hand grenades, and carpet bombings"

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Boosh 4 years, 6 months ago

Grandparents, Ma & Pa have been known to use, when seeing someone squeal their tires, that they are a "regular Barney Oldfield"

He were a crazy son of a gun :)

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

"Not a Chinaman's chance in Hell"

The historical context of the phrase comes from the old railroad and Goldrush days of pre-California, where many Chinese came to work as laborers for the First Transcontinental Railroad, especially the Central Pacific Railroad. In this employ, they were sought out for the demanding and dangerous jobs involving explosives, often for half the pay of the Irish workers. Yet the Chinese faced higher taxes, denials of citizenship and could not testify in court against violence against them.

(Wikipedia)

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 6 months ago

"Crazier than an outhouse rat"?

(Leave bozo out of this!)

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notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

Newell_Post (Anonymous) says…

"The brass monkey thing is an urban legend. I've read a whole bunch of history books about sailing ships, and nobody did that. The pyramid of cannonballs is purely for display on the parade ground ashore."

Very true - I don't see a whole lot of cannonballs stacked on brass plates in these:

http://www.orbitals.com/pic/misc/big/d005-179.jpg

http://www.allhandsondeck.org/image_gallery/pop_up/images/24gun_large.jpg

http://travel.webshots.com/photo/1096406932029691957feIIuX

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/images/weather-deck.jpg

http://www.cityofart.net/bship/warrior_gundeck.jpg

So where did the expression really come from? Maybe the most obvious answer really is the right one in this case.

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Newell_Post 4 years, 6 months ago

The brass monkey thing is an urban legend. I've read a whole bunch of history books about sailing ships, and nobody did that. The pyramid of cannonballs is purely for display on the parade ground ashore. On board a rolling ship, the first time anybody fired one of those big 32 pounders and the ship rolled, the balls would go everywhere all over the deck. Very dangerous.

One term that was used on ships was "powder monkey." Powder monkeys were young boys who carried powder and shot from the locker inside the ship up to the guns. For safety, most of the powder was kept deep inside the ship and only the amount needed was run up to the guns as it was needed by the "powder monkeys." No brass and no freezing involved.

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headdoctor 4 years, 6 months ago

RoeDapple (Anonymous) says… Did find this though, headdoctor.. Definitions for 'Not worth a tinker's dam' This means that something is worthless and dates back to when someone would travel around the countryside repairing things such as a kitchen pot with a hole in it. He was called a 'tinker'. His dam was used to stop the flow of soldering material being used to close the hole. Of course his 'trade' is passé, thus his dam is worth nothing.


I think that may be the one explanation that most are familiar with. There is also this.

'a tinker's curse' (or cuss), which exemplified the reputation tinkers had for habitual use of profanity. This example from John Mactaggart's The Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824, predates Knight's version in the popular language:

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Did find this though, headdoctor..

Definitions for 'Not worth a tinker's dam'

This means that something is worthless and dates back to when someone would travel around the countryside repairing things such as a kitchen pot with a hole in it. He was called a 'tinker'. His dam was used to stop the flow of soldering material being used to close the hole. Of course his 'trade' is passé, thus his dam is worth nothing.

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headdoctor 4 years, 6 months ago

Another old saying that the origin isn't clear on is "Not worth a Tinkers Damn". Spelling of Dam optional.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

"sell your soul (to the devil)"

to accept immoral behavior in order to succeed

(autie is on a roll...)

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

"A can of worms"

is a complex, troublesome situation arising when a decision or action produces considerable subsequent problems.

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headdoctor 4 years, 6 months ago

autie (Anonymous) says… the whole nine yards. Weight restrictions would not allow concrete trucks to carry a full load until the advent of the extended axle. Hence, the whole nine yards. Unless your years of hauling has another answer…this is the one I know. And blessed be, I poured a yard or two back when I was a younger man.


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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

then the old "I'll be god damned"..????? hmmmm? is that a can of worms? My poor old soul is lined up for a whole bunch of them folks. Especially when I tell them my poor old soul ain't waiting on no god damn fairy stories. I think my cousin told us we sold our souls to the devil back in 1974. But I ain't seened nobody yet.

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myvotecounts 4 years, 6 months ago

"Don't wear a groove in it" is a saying that may have become recently archaic, since it refers to playing one song on a vinyl record album over and over again.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Thought that was mighty 'nobel' of me.....

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Actually bea I was quite in awe of your 12:59 comment, but since I had already stirred the pot in another direction I chose to stay out of it!

"Stir the pot"
Someone who loves to proliferate the tension and drama between 2 or more feuding people/groups in public to get a raise of people in hopes of starting a sh@#storm of drama and uncomfortable conflict, sometimes for personal gain but oftentimes just for the thrill of confrontation.

(Otherwise known as "Trolling" and my growed up babies has told me to cut that out!)

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beatrice 4 years, 6 months ago

To be Nobeled, as in, "I was Nobeled for that job."

It describes being overlooked for an honor, promotion, or an award by someone who shows great promise but hasn't yet achieved great things. To reward someone for ability, as with a Nobel Prize.

I just made it up. Wanted to beat you conservatives to the punch.

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farfle 4 years, 6 months ago

"Square peg in a round hole." They used to build barns by drilling a hole and pounding in a square peg as a means of fastening. It made for a strong joint.

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notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

"What is the matter, got a frog in your throat?"

When I worked at a psychiatric hospital, many of our resident psychiatrists came from other countries. At a treatment team meeting one day, one such resident (whose command of the English language was somewhat limited) related that one of her patients was actively hallucinating, because he'd told her he had a frog in his throat.

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farfle 4 years, 6 months ago

"Not enough room to swing a cat." Has to do with swinging a whip, the cat-o-nine-tails.

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notajayhawk 4 years, 6 months ago

"Weight restrictions would not allow concrete trucks to carry a full load until the advent of the extended axle. Hence, the whole nine yards."

That one has a lot of debate. I've heard everything from a ship under full sail, the length of a wedding veil, the amount of cloth in a tailored suit, and any number of other explanations. About the only thing that's generally agreed on as to its origins is that it started somewhere in the 60's (at which time concrete trucks generally carried closer to 6 yards), and it might have come from the military.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Oh yeah, drove for LRM in '68, back when axle restrictions and tag limits kept us to 7 yards!

an them cuzins can creeate brannew ol sayins at the droop offa hat

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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

the whole nine yards. Weight restrictions would not allow concrete trucks to carry a full load until the advent of the extended axle. Hence, the whole nine yards. Unless your years of hauling has another answer...this is the one I know. And blessed be, I poured a yard or two back when I was a younger man.

and Raining toady frogs...well that's another long story. but something about when the rains came the toads woke up and came out of the mud...especially in Africa if you watches the Discovery Channel.

Then there is a Do-Ral...but that might be a cousin thing related to southeast Kansas....That phrase can be used as a noun, verb, adjective, and an adverb with the "ly" added at the end.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

My grandmother, born in 1889 would use this often..

"Its raining cats and dogs."

When houses used to have thatched roofs piled high with no wood underneath, the only place that the animals could get warm was of course, in the nice thick straw of the roof. So all the cats, dogs and other small animals(mice & bugs) lived in the roof. Then when it rained the straw would become slippery and the animals would slip and fall off the roof, giving the appearance to those who had the luxury of windows to look out of, "It's raining cats and dogs!"

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Kathy Getto 4 years, 6 months ago

"Katy Bar the Door"

There are several ideas on the origin of this saying I heard during my childhood. I used to think my dad made this phrase up just for me since he called me Kate or Katy. :-)

I particularly like this version:

"One suggestion is that the phrase originates with the story of Catherine Douglas and her attempt to save the Scottish King James I. He was attacked by discontented subjects in Perth in 1437. The room he was in had a door with a missing locking bar. The story goes that Catherine Douglas tries to save him by barring the door with her arm. Her her arm was broken and the mob murdered the King. The 'lass that barred the door' - Catherine Douglas, was henceforth known as Catherine Barlass. The story, although in it is the full Sir Walter Scott romantic history style, is quite well documented from contemporary records and the descendants of Catherine Douglas still use the Barlass name.

The event was commemorated in Dante Gabriel Rossetti's poem The King’s Tragedy (1881). The full poem is 173 stanzas, but this selection shows the possible links with Katy bar the door:

Then the Queen cried, "Catherine, keep the door, And I to this will suffice!" At her word I rose all dazed to my feet, And my heart was fire and ice. ... Like iron felt my arm, as through The staple I made it pass:- Alack! it was flesh and bone - no more! 570 'Twas Catherine Douglas sprang to the door, But I fell back Kate Barlass."

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/213750.html

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RoeDapple 4 years, 6 months ago

Another one I found the origin of...

"Kicking the bucket"

(French origin) When slaughtering a pig you tied its back legs to a wooden beam (in French buquet). As the animal died it kicked the buquet.

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