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BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping

Allan C. 29 Sep 00 - 10:13 PM
Amos 29 Sep 00 - 10:15 PM
Hotspur 29 Sep 00 - 11:05 PM
Mbo 29 Sep 00 - 11:13 PM
Little Hawk 29 Sep 00 - 11:46 PM
rabbitrunning 30 Sep 00 - 12:19 AM
RWilhelm 30 Sep 00 - 12:39 AM
MMario 30 Sep 00 - 12:44 AM
Barbara 30 Sep 00 - 12:55 AM
paddymac 30 Sep 00 - 02:23 AM
Helen 30 Sep 00 - 03:39 AM
Quincy 30 Sep 00 - 04:49 AM
Naemanson 30 Sep 00 - 06:11 AM
rube1 30 Sep 00 - 07:03 AM
Wavestar 30 Sep 00 - 08:21 AM
Mbo 30 Sep 00 - 09:21 AM
Bud Savoie 30 Sep 00 - 09:42 AM
John Hardly 30 Sep 00 - 10:22 AM
Dharmabum 30 Sep 00 - 10:53 AM
Barbara 30 Sep 00 - 11:38 AM
Allan C. 30 Sep 00 - 12:03 PM
paddymac 30 Sep 00 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Colwyn Dane 30 Sep 00 - 01:03 PM
rabbitrunning 30 Sep 00 - 03:42 PM
Lyrical Lady 30 Sep 00 - 06:03 PM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Sep 00 - 06:12 PM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Sep 00 - 06:21 PM
sophocleese 30 Sep 00 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Greyeyes 30 Sep 00 - 06:44 PM
Noreen 30 Sep 00 - 07:33 PM
WyoWoman 30 Sep 00 - 09:03 PM
Mbo 30 Sep 00 - 09:05 PM
Bill D 30 Sep 00 - 09:40 PM
rube1 30 Sep 00 - 09:48 PM
Margaret V 30 Sep 00 - 10:09 PM
Mbo 30 Sep 00 - 10:27 PM
Caleb 30 Sep 00 - 10:47 PM
John Hardly 30 Sep 00 - 11:53 PM
John Hardly 01 Oct 00 - 12:15 AM
Amos 01 Oct 00 - 01:49 AM
Lyrical Lady 01 Oct 00 - 02:47 AM
Liz the Squeak 01 Oct 00 - 04:30 AM
rabbitrunning 01 Oct 00 - 09:28 AM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 01 Oct 00 - 12:24 PM
paddymac 01 Oct 00 - 01:02 PM
WyoWoman 01 Oct 00 - 03:32 PM
Micca 01 Oct 00 - 06:26 PM
Little Hawk 02 Oct 00 - 12:16 AM
Robby 02 Oct 00 - 11:31 AM
mousethief 02 Oct 00 - 11:55 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 02 Oct 00 - 11:59 AM
Penny S. 02 Oct 00 - 01:08 PM
Penny S. 02 Oct 00 - 01:10 PM
jeffp 02 Oct 00 - 01:22 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Oct 00 - 01:29 PM
Metchosin 02 Oct 00 - 02:02 PM
Robby 02 Oct 00 - 02:26 PM
Barbara 02 Oct 00 - 03:19 PM
Uncle_DaveO 02 Oct 00 - 05:10 PM
Uncle_DaveO 02 Oct 00 - 05:18 PM
Metchosin 02 Oct 00 - 05:21 PM
Helen 02 Oct 00 - 06:41 PM
Harold W 02 Oct 00 - 09:37 PM
Bill D 02 Oct 00 - 11:05 PM
Seamus Kennedy 02 Oct 00 - 11:07 PM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 03 Oct 00 - 03:14 AM
MsMoon 03 Oct 00 - 10:54 AM
Kim C 03 Oct 00 - 11:17 AM
Patrish(inactive) 03 Oct 00 - 12:00 PM
Mbo 03 Oct 00 - 12:08 PM
Bert 03 Oct 00 - 12:31 PM
paddymac 03 Oct 00 - 04:54 PM
mousethief 03 Oct 00 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Ian 03 Oct 00 - 05:16 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Oct 00 - 05:17 PM
Ebbie 03 Oct 00 - 07:49 PM
Naemanson 03 Oct 00 - 10:00 PM
Uncle_DaveO 03 Oct 00 - 10:18 PM
GUEST,Gord 04 Oct 00 - 12:14 AM
GUEST,Gord 04 Oct 00 - 12:20 AM
Robby 04 Oct 00 - 08:01 AM
Margaret V 04 Oct 00 - 08:07 AM
Jim Dixon 04 Oct 00 - 02:16 PM
Kim C 04 Oct 00 - 02:32 PM
Bert 04 Oct 00 - 02:36 PM
mousethief 04 Oct 00 - 02:37 PM
Naemanson 04 Oct 00 - 04:10 PM
Uncle_DaveO 04 Oct 00 - 05:12 PM
Kim C 04 Oct 00 - 05:18 PM
Harold W 05 Oct 00 - 12:26 AM
WyoWoman 05 Oct 00 - 12:47 AM
GUEST,Gochamp 05 Oct 00 - 12:57 AM
Barbara 05 Oct 00 - 12:57 AM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Oct 00 - 10:57 AM
Naemanson 05 Oct 00 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Al 05 Oct 00 - 11:35 AM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 05 Oct 00 - 11:46 AM
paddymac 05 Oct 00 - 03:25 PM
SINSULL 05 Oct 00 - 03:30 PM
Bert 05 Oct 00 - 04:18 PM

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Subject: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Allan C.
Date: 29 Sep 00 - 10:13 PM

This is a continuation of this thread.

And while I'm at it, I wonder if anyone knows how we started calling a serving of food, a "helping". (Or did I just inadvertently answer my own question?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Amos
Date: 29 Sep 00 - 10:15 PM

Just help yourself to the answer, Allan. A helping is what you'll get.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Hotspur
Date: 29 Sep 00 - 11:05 PM

We always referred to things being kitty-corner from one another. "East Podunk" and "East Elbow" are regional expressions for one-horse towns. My grandmother likes to say, when referring to someone or something she approves of: "Well, that's just the berries!" She also says "more trouble than you can shake a stick at." When encountering someone who's not intellectually gifted: "not the brightest crayon in the box now are you?" or "Not the sharpest tool in the shed." Can anyone explain the following: "God returning on a shingle." One of my history professors said it once, and it struck me...it means someone returning to great apllause and praise, but does anyone know where the heck it came from?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Mbo
Date: 29 Sep 00 - 11:13 PM

The middle of nowhere, in our family, is termed "East Jebip." Not sure where Jebip is, let alone the eastern part of it. Thanks to Jean Shepherd, when a line or traffic is long, we say "It's backed up to Terre Haute."


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Sep 00 - 11:46 PM

How about "in the middle of nowhere"? There's an odd one when you stop to think about it.

A friend of mine used this one a lot: "off like a dirty shirt" or "in there like a dirty shirt". It meant without any delay whatsoever.

My father had a whole bunch of them which he drove me nuts with when I was a kid. One was "they also serve who only stand and wait" or something like that...phooey! All of them were designed to make me feel guilty about something or pressure me in some way.

I used to work with a guy named Jim who was a real rough diamond, as they say. Very blue-collar, streetwise, and all that. Sometimes when a very well dressed, somewhat snotty woman would arrive at the gas station, Jim would nod knowingly at me as she left and say "She's a spot-counter, if ever I seen one." This puzzled me a whole lot. Finally I asked him what the hell it meant. He said (and I am altering his phraseology a bit here, so as not to seriously offend anyone out there...). "Okay," he says, "here y' are having what you think is good sex with this woman, and then y' hear her goin' "One. Two. Three..." and you ask her what she's doing, and she says "I'm counting the spots on the ceiling." That's how interested she is in what YOU'RE doing."

Don't blame me. That's Jim. He said it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 12:19 AM

When we lived in Nebraska, we used to say of a small town that "it's only tourist attraction is the traffic light." The location of the towns were usually described as the "backside of nowhere" or "smack dab in the middle of cow central."

In Boston, we call a chilly northwest wind a "Montreal Express."


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: RWilhelm
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 12:39 AM

My mother, from west Pennsylvania, would refer to somthing off-kilter as "leaning towards Fisher's fence." I've never heard anyone else use the expression but I knew what she meant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: MMario
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 12:44 AM

I believe "kitty-corner" comes from "catty-cornered" which is an obselete term.

East Podunk is right next to East Bejezus, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Barbara
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 12:55 AM

Y'all know what Jesus clips are?
They're circle clips; the kind you use to separate some part on a shaft from another and when you spread them to put them on the shaft they go *sproing* and you say, "Jesus! where did that go?"
And then there are Jesus bugs -- water striders that walk on the surface of the creek, leaving little dimples in the water as they skate along.
blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: paddymac
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 02:23 AM

Well, I was having a few jars and jiggers with a professor friend tonight, and well into the evening the chat took a turn to where it was appropriate to bring up this thread. His comments on the "peter out" thing were most interesting.

His first explanation was non-phallic. He said that it was his understandinig the the expression actually is of biblical origin. According to that version, St. Peter was hauliing ass out of Rome, just tooling along the Appian way, escaping from a wave of persecutions and lion feedings, etc, when JC appeared to him and shamed him into returning to the city. His attempted escape became abbreviated to "Peter out". There is allegedly a church/shrine there today commemorating the site of the vision.

His second observation was that the word "peter" derives from a Greek word meaning "rock, implying hard."

I know not the truth of his comments, but we toasted his erudition anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Helen
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 03:39 AM

More Oz sayings:

As useless as a pocket in a pair of underpants. (Guess what I saw advertised on tv a couple of nights ago...why, I don't know. Marketing people snorting too much coke perhaps and taking these curious expressions from the imaginary into the real?)

He/she couldn't organise a piss-up (party with lots of alcohol) in a brewery.

He/she couldn't fight his/her way out of a wet paper bag.

He/she wouldn't know a tram was up him/her until the bell rang and the people started getting out.

He/she wouldn't know the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) was up him/her until the crowd roared.

Regarding brass monkeys: I thought the explanation was that in freezing temperatures the cannon balls would fall off the pyramid-shaped stack, known as a brass monkey for some reason.

Also, I got into trouble from my Dad once for saying someone had "come a cropper". Don't really know what it means but I think it relates to falling "arse over 'ead".

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Quincy
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 04:49 AM

More.....
Sure I don't know him from Adam (don't recognise him)

Wouldn't know him if I found him in my soup (similar to previous)

In "culchie" Ireland "curious expressions" are used so often and it's common to have a few in every sentence!! It always makes me laugh....especially when we transfer the expression to the "3rd person" i.e. the intro is sometimes...."Sure, as the fella says".......then comes the phrase or cliche!!!

I also like the reply when asking how someone else is......"How's John?" "Ah, not a loss on him"

keep them coming, best wishes, Yvonne


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Naemanson
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 06:11 AM

Barbara, I have to ask where you heard the expression "slick as greased owl shit". We have a woman in our office who is originally from Tennessee. One day she came into the office after slipping on the ice and commented that it was "slick as owl's grease" outside. We all nearly died laughing and the expression still draws chuckles.

How about:
When Hell freezes over
When Satan skates to work
Hotter than the hinges of Hell
Out in the sticks
Number than a pounded thumb
His elevator don't go all the way to the top
A few sandwiches short of a picnic
His lamp ain't too bright
As good a chance as a snowball in hell


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: rube1
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 07:03 AM

Allan C, thanks for the (tear the rag off the bush)explanation. I imagined a more risque interpretation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Wavestar
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 08:21 AM

Hotspur- I think the "God on a shingle" quote would refer to the Roman tradition of bringing back the dead or wounded of an army on their shields, which were large enough to hold a body on. Because they had died for their country, they were greatly respected and honoured.

And Helen, I suspect that 'come a cropper' may be 'to BEcome a cropper', that would be, to lose your fortunes and everything else, and take a shite job. I imagine it's a little derogatory towards croppers. I could be entirely wrong on this one.

-J


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Mbo
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 09:21 AM

I heard these Australianisms in my British Lit II class:
"He's got a kangaroo loose in the top paddock."
"As usefull as a fart in a phonebooth."


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 09:42 AM

Here in coastal New England, someone eccentric "doesn't have all his oars in the water."

In the Army I heard some Southerners say, when referring to a certain detested sergeant major, "I wouldn't piss in his ass if his guts were on fire."


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: John Hardly
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 10:22 AM

I might assume, as a born-n-bred Naptowner that "backed up to Terra Haute"came about as traffic bcked up 16th st all the way out of Indy for the 500 mile race.(Terra Haute is a westernmost city in Indiana and the traffic would back up in that direction

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Dharmabum
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 10:53 AM

When I was just a small kid I remember learning two important lessons in a very short amount of time. The first was when my older brother had taught me, when asked for the time of day, answer"Half past the cats ass& a quarter past his balls". The second,I learned after repeating that phrase in front of my parents & the people that had stopped in for a visit. That I did not like the taste of Ivory soap.

HE/She had a face that looked like an ashtray at a Lucky Strike convention.

Used to call my kids Rugrats,Crumbcrunchers, & Yardapes.

Ron.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Barbara
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 11:38 AM

Naemanson, I heard a neighbor here in Oregon use that one, and he came from a small town near Sacramento, California, where his family were all "Am-mond" growers. Possibly they learned it from migrants, do you suppose? I found it fascinating that everyone except the growers calls the nuts "Ahl-monds", but he and his people always said the first sylable like "am" in "I am", and no "l" sound at all.
He also said "out in the toolies" meaning "out in the boonies, or boondocks" as that area is full of a kind of bamboo grass called tulie grass (not sure of the spelling).
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Allan C.
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 12:03 PM

Gee, Barbara, I had never thought about tule weeds. I had always equated the expression as being related somehow with Thule, Greenland, which for centuries was thought of as the northernmost end of the earth. More recently it has become one of the most remote (and generally dreaded) duty assignments a military man might be given. It was once used as a threatened punishment by superior officers in nearly every branch of the U.S. armed forces.

But the weeds might hold the more accurate meaning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: paddymac
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 12:07 PM

"A possum and a six-pack" - a seven course meal in Georgia "A brick or two shy of a full load" - not quite all there "Like a fart in Church" - a thing or act not welcomed "Like a turd in the punch bowl" - a most unwelcome surprise "Like pissing into the wind" - not too bright


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: GUEST,Colwyn Dane
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 01:03 PM

G'day,

A few more from the bottom of the barrel:

Better an empty house than a bad tenant. - after farting.

Chatty, catty and scatty. - all tongue and claws and no sense.

Have you got death adders in you pockets? - said to a mean person.

He flings his money around like a man with no arms. - another meany.

One sniff of the bartenders apron and he's away. - easily intoxicated.

It'd blow a dog off a chain. - windy weather.

He's a leader of men (pause) and a follower of women. - derogatory reponse to the admiring.

I guess you're trying to tell me something. - in reply to : "Drop dead!"

Bcnu.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 03:42 PM

Well, I almost fainted from shock when my sweet old Grandmother told us that all it took for the women in our family to get pregnant was for a man to hang his pants on the bedpost...


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 06:03 PM

I have a friend who is always "Half in the Bag"...(tipsy)

My mother always said "Expect nothing and you'll never be disappointed".

She also told my dad he was "like a bull in a china shop". My favorite is ...(to do something) "..before the road runs out of bricks".


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 06:12 PM

I ain't seen you since Hector was a pup!"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 06:21 PM

When I was a kid, if you were asked the time and didn't have a watch (of course none of us did), we'd quickly look at our left wrist, and say, "Two hairs past a freckle!"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: sophocleese
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 06:37 PM

I always thought to come a cropper meant a bad fall and came from horse-riding terminology.

My great grandmother was a well spoken women who did not let vulgarity cross her lips, but she did once describe the exact shade of someone's skirt as "shit-colour by moonlight".


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: GUEST,Greyeyes
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 06:44 PM

"They also serve who only stand and wait" is from a poem by Milton. According to the OED the l in almond is indeed silent. It is pronounced ahmond, although I don't know many people who actually do drop the l. Another interesting one is "different as chalk and cheese". It actually derives from the pastureland in my home county of Wiltshire. The north of the county being blessed with lush pasture providing excellent grazing for dairy herds, while the south, where I come from, has a few inches of topsoil with solid chalk underneath, & the grass is good only for sheep. Obscure or what?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Noreen
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 07:33 PM

I've been thinking about 'to come a cropper' -never wondered about it's derivation before, but it is used as sophocleese said about a bad fall. So here is what Brewer's Dictionary says about it:

Cropper He came a cropper: He fell head over heels. To get a cropper: To get a bad fall. "Neck and crop" means altogether, and to "come a cropper" is to come to the ground neck and crop.

This also made me think about 'he's gone for a Burton'. I remember something about it being WW2 RAF usage- anyone fill in the details please?

Noreen


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: WyoWoman
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 09:03 PM

In my home words like ass so forth were simply NOT allowed, nor was the using of the Lord's name in any permutation except respectful. This made for some creative swearwords, shur nuff. When my mother was really vexed, she's say, "Well, Glorioski!" And mom and all my aunts used to say "I'll swan ..." or, "Well, swannee..." to mean "What on earth do you know about that?"

My dad always said "Dadgumbit" and "dag-nabbed"

I can hear my mother saying, "Oh, for pity's sake, Kathryn ..."

When I was in high school a friend said this other girl was "ugly as a mud fence in a bad storm" and I thought that was wonderful.

When there was a tornado, we'd ask in school the next day if anyone had had to go to the "fraidy hole" -- the storm cellar.

ww


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Mbo
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 09:05 PM

"That man looks like a taxi cab with all it's doors open." --Howard Hughes, said about Clark Gable


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 09:40 PM

about Burton...wasn't there a very famous and tasty ale brewed there?....I go for one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: rube1
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 09:48 PM

To confuse a small child who keeps grabbing or reaching for something you have, saying "let me see it," answer as fast as you can say these words: "see with your eyes, not with your hands, no sea to it, it's all dry land." Guaranteed to put a tyke in pause mode for at least a second or two. Good for a smile when you hear them repeat it to someone else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Margaret V
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 10:09 PM

When I lived in Wisconsin, one of my colleagues used to say that an unnecessarily long answer or explanation for something was "the long way around Kelly's barn." True to Wisconsin form, this was usually applied not as an insult about someone else's speech, but rather as a self-deprecating apology for one's own long-windedness. Being prone to such things myself, I adopted the phrase, and now that I'm back in New York I find that my work colleagues have picked it up from me. Has anyone else heard this phrase?

My Dad, who is 74 and grew up in a rural area of southern New York state, still uses "Good night!"

Re: kitty-corner, there is an old children's game called "Puss in the Corner" in which the players are placed in position at the corner points of a diamond; the person who's "it" calls out "poor pussy wants a corner" and everyone has to leave his/her corner and scramble for a different corner, trying to prevent the "puss" from gaining one of the corners. I wonder if there is any relation between the game and the phrase?

And speaking of cats, someone in an earlier thread got worried about flinging cats and then comforted himself with the notion that the reference was to a cat-o-nine-tails. I would recommend Darnton's "The Great Cat Massacre" to anyone with an interest in the uses to which actual cats have been put, alas....

Finally, many years ago I was at a Shawn Colvin concert and she had just returned from Australia, where she heard many phrases of interest. One she shared with the audience which I find hilarious is "chucking a mental" to describe someone who's throwing a fit or over-reacting. Can any Australian catters verify if this was or is still wide-spread?

Margaret


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Mbo
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 10:27 PM

I read "The Great Cat Massacre" and ABSOLUTELY HATED it! I there was one book I'd love to put to a slow, horrible destruction, it would be that piece of crap. And to be FORCED to read it was even worse! Give me "Maus, Parts I & II" anyday!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Caleb
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 10:47 PM

Well, as a rank newcomer, I need to weigh in on this one, 'cause I do love the way people from all over express themselves. Sometimes you can meet someone from far away, and if the language is still in common, though different, you can get goosebumps listenining to the way they say stuff.

Which brings me to an expression which UK folks may chime in about, which is a title to a song I heard on a record of a great Northumbrian band of the Seventies/Eighties, I think called "Canny Fettle". The expression (and title) is "varry canny", and the song itself is one of those great English music hall-ish kind of songs about the ordinary which elicits the aforementioned goosebumps. Not in the DT, as far as I can tell...

It starts out with " A South Country fellow one day says to me, 'ye Newcastle folk is queer "tawkahs" (talkers)'and the respondent in the song proceeds to explain the meaning of the expression 'varry canny'; it's a delight. As a Yank, I don't know "squat" (there's one)about the song origin, but it is certainly one of the best efforts to explain by examples what an ordinary statement, which is actually very rich, can mean.

This would be a great last call song for the assembled throng at the Mudcat Tavern, right after 'Ale, Glorious Ale'. We would all do well to get through life everyday "daein'(sp?)varry canny." I'd be pleased to hear if anyone knows more about this great expression.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: John Hardly
Date: 30 Sep 00 - 11:53 PM

My Mom would always say "HK" for "Who cares". Reminds me that I've always wanted to put together a list of words to use to clearify spelling over the phone. Y'know, rather than "T as in Tom, M as in Mary", I envision a string of..." Yes, that's P as in psychotic, K as in knowledge, etc".


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: John Hardly
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 12:15 AM

oops. "clarify"


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Amos
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 01:49 AM

To come a cropper is not related to sharecroppers or crops of the plant sort.

A cropper is a heavy fall, as in when one goes over the back end of a horse, known as the crupper or croup. The French for a horse's rump was croupiere.From the AmHer dictionary:

crop•per 2 (krÄp2úr) n. 1. A heavy fall; a tumble. 2. A disastrous failure; a fiasco. [ Perhaps from the phrase neck and crop completely]


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 02:47 AM

Oh..OH..I just thought of another one! My mother would often say that Princess Anne looks just like Hortence Fungus-Face......


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 04:30 AM

Pissing in the wind - the enacting of a pointless and futile excercise that no-one will benefit from, because you just get it back in the face. Telling my daughter not to play with the sewing machine, is just like pissing in the wind.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 09:28 AM

Liz, you could always do what my neighbor's mom called, "showing her the back side of Tom Sawyer's fence." When her kids played with stuff they weren't supposed to play with, she turned around, taught them how to do something on it, and then gave them the task as a chore. Mending, I think, was the one for the sewing machine. Nothing takes the shiny off a toy like making play into work!

And speaking of barns, we always say that my mom can go "clear round Robin Hood's Barn" before she actually gets on her way. I was fifteen before I saw the first five minutes of the first feature movie at the beginning!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 12:24 PM

From the U.S. military: when you're in trouble of any kind, you're in "a World of Hurt", or Hurt City. == Johnny in OKC


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: paddymac
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 01:02 PM

Maybe Yvonne or another Irish 'catter can postulate the origin of the congratulatory phrase "Good on ye, girl".


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: WyoWoman
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 03:32 PM

"Oh my heck..."

I had never heard that until I moved to Mormon country...

ww


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Micca
Date: 01 Oct 00 - 06:26 PM

Has anyone mentioned the scouse expression "Made up" for pleased , as in "she was made up when she won 1 fiver off the bingo"


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 12:16 AM

I think it's time to introduce some Farley Mowat material here, from his quite humorous books...

For instance, a crusty old fisherman in one of them used a whole series of bizarre phrases in his own dialect such as "Lard Luvin' Jaysus!!!" and others I can't recall...gotta find the book!

Then there was his friend the publisher who sent him a garbled telegram with the phrase "don't be a frilly bustard!" in it. Farley puzzled over that for some time, because he did not feel that he resembled such a bird in any fashion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Robby
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 11:31 AM

Growing up in Scranton, PA, at the age of about 8, my parents got dressed in their good clothes to go out. As my parents almost never went anywhere, this was pretty amazing. When I asksed where they were going, I got the response: "To a corpse house to wake the dead."

Now, as I have gotten older, I have learned that the term "corpse house", meaning funeral parlor or funeral home, was a holdover from the days when the deceased was laid out in his/her own house. I have also learned was the Irish or American-Irish expression for visiting the family of deceased.

But can you imaging the mental image in an 8-year old mind. That there was a house where you could take someone who had died and wake them up.

I have not heard the term "corpse house" used outside of northeastern Pennsylvania.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 11:55 AM

I don't know how many of these are universal and how many are local. So here they all are:

More [whatever] than you can shake a stick at (a lot of something).

As clear as mud (for a particularly unclear explanation).

(Doesn't stand) a snowflake's chance in hell (for particularly long odds of some occurrence).

He could sell water to a drowning man --or-- he could sell an icebox to an eskimo)(for a very good --but not necessarily honest-- salesman).

He couldn't sell a glass of water to a man dying of thirst (For a particularly BAD salesman).

He's uglier than the southbound end of a northbound horse.

As honest as the day is long.

I wouldn't take him/her to a worm wrassle (for someone you don't want to be seen in public with).

You can dress him up, but you can't take him out (when someone does something embarassing or foolish in public).

As exciting as watching paint dry -or- watching grass grow.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 11:59 AM

Could'nt organise a piss up in a brewery, if you gave him the key and a week to plan it.. Aye


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Penny S.
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 01:08 PM

kittycorner sounds like caterways, if it means going diagonally.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Penny S.
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 01:10 PM

I'd heard the same as Micca about petering out. Any relation to hoist with his own petard?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: jeffp
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 01:22 PM

A petard was a bomb that would be placed under a castle's walls. Fuses in those days were somewhat less than reliable, so that on occasion one would go off prematurely and the sapper would be "hoist on his own petard."

jeffp, who really needs to get out more


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 01:29 PM

Some of my musician friends somehow got started using this expression for something they hate: Instead of just saying "It sucks", they say, "It sucks dead turtle d**k for six city blocks."

They also have some pet names for some of the standard tunes in their repertoire: "Si Bheag, Si Mhor" is called "She Begs for More", "The White Cockade" is called "White Viagra". Anybody have any more of these?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Metchosin
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 02:02 PM

Caleb, squat, I believe, is a term for the compression of water caused by the weight of a ship and if you don't know how to calculate for it, you are liable to run aground.

Naemanson, according to my little book, - in Chinook jargon "stick" meant anything of wood, from a ship's mast to a forest. Gradually it came to mean the bush country of the interior of B.C. To be called "from the sticks" was an insult. Coastal natives once designated their interior neighbours as "Stick Indians". I wonder if that is where the name for the Stikine River came from?

From another thread, it struck me odd that we use the terms "necking" and "petting". Strange descriptions..........I can understand "necking" as anything above that part of the anatomy, but "petting"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Robby
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 02:26 PM

Well, petting has been around since before WW II and maybe even longer. As in "The girl he met just loves to pet, and it fits you to a tee" from Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree (with anyone else but me), which, I understand, is from the Big Band era.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Barbara
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 03:19 PM

I have a friend who makes up her own colloquialisms.
Ones I can think of just off hand include "Dead Food Store" for those Canned Food outlets and others that sell remaindered food, "Peezit" for a highway rest stop, (like whoozit and whatzit), and "Boogieamos" for 'Let's go" (a hybrid of "Vamanos" and "Let's boogie"). I also learned the word 'squick' from her -- she tells me it came from the internet, and is a cross between squeamish and icky -- someone is said to be squick about something they wish to avoid.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 05:10 PM

JeffP referred to the meaning of "petard" as a bomb. It also has the meaning of what I'll rather delicately refer to as an abrupt release of intestinal gas. With that in mind, what's the picture you get from "He was hoist on his own petard"?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 05:18 PM

Catercorner, cattycorner, and as I knew it when I grew up in Minnesota, kittycorner, remind me of a great favorite of mine: slantindicular!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Metchosin
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 05:21 PM

"For 'tis the sport to have the enginer / Hoist with his owne petar" -- Shakespeare, Hamlet III iv.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Helen
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 06:41 PM

Yes, Margaret, "chucking a mental" is still a common saying.

mousethief/Alex - your "uglier" quote makes more sense than the industrial age equivalent: Like the backend of a bus. I'm not sure if it usually refers to ugliness or obesity.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Harold W
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 09:37 PM

Has anybody heard the expression, "Pee wadding?" My mother used to use this in a sense, "That is enough to scare the pee wadding out of you." I was a teenager before I thought about what it meant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 11:05 PM

yep, Harold...my mother used that one, but I never spelled it in my head, and so never saw that connotation..it was just a curious word to me.Not sure if it ever DID have the 'pee' part emphasized--my mom sure wouldn't have used it that way!

tonight, Ferrara reminded me of one of HER mother's sayings..."Ugly as homemade sin"....and I suppose that's pretty ugly..(to coin a phrase)..{and there's one...'coining a phrase'}


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 11:07 PM

Some of my father's old ones: something worthless = not worth the full of your arse of roasted snow;
missing something by a mile = not within a beagle's gowl of it;
someone ugly = a face on him like a plateful of mortal sins;
someone skinny = there's more beef on a butcher's apron;
something that upsets him = what takes me to the fair;
someone not well-coordinated = he's as awkward as pig goin' to hoke;
someone mean and dishonest = he'd steal the eye out of your head and come back and piss in the hole;
All the best
Seamus


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 03:14 AM

for ugly ... that face would make a freight train take a dirt road

for a scrawny moustache ... a Fu Manchu

== Johnny


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: MsMoon
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 10:54 AM

My Alabama-native friend says of the ill-favored: "Looks like he got beat on the head with the Ugly Stick" Or, in extreme cases, "The Ugly Tree fell on him!"

One thing that has confused me all my life is telling the difference between catch-phrases used in my own family and those used by the broader public. When my Dad came home from work with his pay envelope when I was young, he would hand my Mom her money, saying "Here's your share of the pig!" I thought this was a universal expression until I went to work in a restaurant when I was 16. I lined up asking for "my share of the pig" and got blank stares from everyone. Turns out my parents just picked up on it -- it's a phrase from the old Michael Palin movie, "A Private Function."

Another in that category: To ask if someone would be at home when you returned from a trip to the store or wherever, you said "Will you be here when John gets here?" (From an old joke - the punch line is, "If you ain't John, I'm gone." I've never heard the joke).

Other Dad expressions..."On the other hand...you have five fingers."

"You've got a point...but if you comb your hair right, you can cover it up."


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Kim C
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 11:17 AM

My mom says, "Well, I swan....."

Personally, I like sam hill, as in "What in the sam hill you yellin' for, George?"

I think that "if you ain't John" thing is from a funny haunted house story. I wish I could remember it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 12:00 PM

Hows yer belly off for spots
I used to hear this alot when I lived in Northumberland. I think it means "How are you doing"
Patrish


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Mbo
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 12:08 PM

Our of our classic Italian insult's "You're beautiful like the backside of a frying pan."


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Bert
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 12:31 PM

Patrish, I've not heard that one for years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: paddymac
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 04:54 PM

I have always considered the use of the word "squat" to be a reference to the natural defecation posture and , indirectly, the products thereof.

The notion of seaman (or anybody else) calculating the compression of water under the hull is odd, especially as water is essentially incompressible - a fundamental principle of hydraulics.

Density, as distinct from compressibility, is another matter. Sea water reaches its maximum density at about 4 degrees C. Density variations in sea water, due to differences in temperature and salinity, are a major factor in deep-ocean circulation patterns.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: mousethief
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 04:59 PM

goofing off, or working on something with no hope of accomplishing anything, is fiddle-farting (around).

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: GUEST,Ian
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 05:16 PM

You're a bit short of dialect ones. How about: "sheenin' like skitter on a ley rig" (translation supplied on request)


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 05:17 PM

I wonder if "squat" refers to the fact that a ship will sink a little deeper into the water when moving from salt water to fresh water?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 07:49 PM

What's the 'whole shebang'?

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Naemanson
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 10:00 PM

Squat, in nautical terms, is the action of the boat's stern settling deeper into the water at higher speeds. Thus you could indeed run aground in thin water at high speeds. Sailboats heel, powerboats squat. Even the words for powerboats are ugly.

The term squat as in "you don't know squat" I'm sure has been around longer than speedboats. I believe the reference to defecation was "right on the money".

There was also a discussion up above about petting and necking. Are any of you familiar with those words and the phrase "going to watch the submarine races"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 Oct 00 - 10:18 PM

"I've gone through all that, from ip to izzard."

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: GUEST,Gord
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 12:14 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: GUEST,Gord
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 12:20 AM

Way back there, someone mentioned 'cold enough to freeze the balls of the brass monkey'. A brass monkey was a brass square upon which steel cannon balls were piled in pyramid fashion. Brass has a higher co-efficient of linear expansion than steel, which simply means that it will expand or contract faster than steel as the temperature changes. If the temperature were low enough the brass would contract to the point where the balls no longer had anything to support them.

One of my fathers favourite expessions to describe something broken 'it's come from together'.

Here's one that I've never figured out: to describe someone drunk as 'three sheets to the wind'. I've heard it as 'fore-sheets to the wind' sheets being the lines that control a ships sails. If the fore-sheets (those that control the foresails) are blowing in the wind the ship would stagger along. Any comments.

Gord


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Robby
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:01 AM

Things I learned at my father's knee, and other joints:

He sure talks a good fight for--someone who can't be relied on
He couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag for--someone who was weak or ineffective
Hang a right or Hang a left for--directions for making right or left turns while driving
It's six of one and half-dozen of the other for--choices having equal value (good or bad)

But here is something I have never figured out. Why do people when taking a dring of liquor sometimes say: "Here's mud in your eye." Obviously the drink is going down the throat (I hope) and it certainly isn't mud (hope again). So where does it come from and what does it mean?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Margaret V
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:07 AM

Instead of saying "six of one, half-dozen of another," a colleague's husband says "happy to glad." She and I often have to edit documents together and when we're demuring over word choice we usually just end up saying "happy to glad" and stick with the original word. Margaret


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 02:16 PM

GUEST,Gord (and others): I've heard that theory before - about the original meaning of "brass monkey" - and I am highly skeptical. It seems to me that if the cannon balls were so delicately balanced that a change in temperature would cause them to spill, what would happen in a high sea? Also, if such a thing as a brass monkey with those characteristics ever existed, it couldn't have existed very long, because it wouldn't take very long to think of a better design. Sounds like "folk etymology" to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Kim C
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 02:32 PM

I've always wondered about "drunker than Cooter Brown." Who the sam hill is Cooter Brown?

Also, when we say that something isn't worth a s**t - just how much is a s**t actually worth?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Bert
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 02:36 PM

I always thought that the brass monkey expression was a reference to the brass statuettes of the three wise monkeys.

Here's a new computer age expression meaning everything - 'From bang to tilda'


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 02:37 PM

Who the sam hill is Sam Hill?

I suppose not being worth a sh*t means not being worth very darned much because a sh*t isn't worth very darned much -- at least I wouldn't pay much for it, although I might pay to DO it if the urge was great enough. But I digress.

Is "what in the blazes" a euphemism for what in the Hell? What about "what in the blue blazes"? Is that just another "bl" word added for alliteration, or does the "blue" have any significance?

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Naemanson
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 04:10 PM

Actually, come to think of it sh*t isn't worth much but Composted Natural Farm Products for the garden fetches a very pretty penny. Also the San Diego Zoo was selling Zoo Poo for the garden. And that stuff was expensive!

And if you think I'm kidding you should see how much money my father got for the pile behind the old dairy barn.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 05:12 PM

In the old times in Europe (and maybe even today in some areas) you could tell who was the richest farmer around: He had the biggest pile of manure! Not only an indirect reflection of how many animals he had but a wonderful resource for spreading on the fields.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Kim C
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 05:18 PM

So in some circles, s**t is worth quite a lot!

Sam Hill is supposedly a euphemism for the Devil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Harold W
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:26 AM

Has anybody heard the expression, "...blacker than Cody's goat?" And who is this Cody and why he has a black gost?


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: WyoWoman
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:47 AM

Timbrel -- I think that "If you ain't John, I'm gone ..." line came from a story by a comedian named Brother Dave Mason. My sister's boyfriend had a couple of his albums and I remember hearing that story on it. (They were old records when I heard them in the late 1960s, so he might have been a comedian in the 1950s or early 1960s.) My mother heard one of the songs "Yea, yea, nuts, hot nuts, you get 'em at the peanut stand ... " and told my sister she didn't appreciate having that trash played in our home, thank you very much.

I couldn't imagine why she got so upset about a song about peanuts ...

I think one of the best expressions comes to us courtesy of the esteemed governor of the great state of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, who tells foes he's gonna open a can of Whup-Ass on them.

Indeedy.

ww


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: GUEST,Gochamp
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:57 AM

Two Australian expressions: The first "shit and corruption", I heard from a friend in college. I have used it as an expletive ever since. The only other place I have ever seen or heard it is Tim Winton's novel "Cloudstreet". The other "ugly as a hat(or bag)full of arseholes


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Barbara
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:57 AM

Going down to the river "to watch the submarine races" was also called "getting mud for my turtle" where I went to college, and were both euphemisms for going to the woods/river to make out.
My dad says "hang a Ralph" and "hang a Louie", military?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:57 AM

In my youth those aquatic speed contests were "midnight submarine races". A small distinction, of course.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Naemanson
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:33 AM

Where on Earth did the expression "spill your guts" come from. It is used as a euphemism for "tell your story" but it seems pretty grisly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:35 AM

About 20 years ago our Union president accused management (in writing) of such incompetence that they could "f*** up a one-man parade."

We workers all got a kick out of that, but haven't had a decent contract since!


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:46 AM

I'ts FREE sheets to the wind. If the sheets are free (loose), the sail will luff and the boat goes nowhere. It's not easy to say "free sheets" when you have spliced the mainbrace (got drunk). == Johnny


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: paddymac
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 03:25 PM

In re "spill your guts" meaning to talk or tell all. In earlier times, a favored form of torture in some areas was to cut open the abdominal wall and literally "spill the guts" of the victim. I would imagine many folks would willingly tell all if they thought so doing would avoid the "procedure". That's one possible origin. It might also be a metaphor based on simple regurgitation (i.e.; barfing, etc.) Yuch! Just the thought of it is enough to send a fellow running after a pint.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: SINSULL
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 03:30 PM

Smartest kid in the ungraded class - a Dadism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Curious Expressions, Second Helping
From: Bert
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 04:18 PM

We've reached 100. go here for more.


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 1 April 11:47 AM EDT

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