Monday, April 20, 2015

popular phrases

I love words and the combination thereof. It has always been this way, even if I am not the most prolific at using them. Besides my obsessive interest in the modern usages of Latin, I also like old slang, phrases and idioms. I even have the book, Word Nerd by Barbara Ann Kipfer Which is somewhere in between a dictionary and heaven.

Slang itself has really been well documented recently by Urban Dictionary. Which makes my word nerd book dated. But, I don't care, I like using dated language. It'll all come back around.

The thing is, we use phrases all the time that are dated. The top two I can thing of are, "Hang up the phone" and "Roll down the window". These really should be, "End the call" and "Open the window". But we are, how shall I say...stuck in a rut?

See what I did there? Used a phrase that is believed to come from the idea that wagon wheels would get stuck in the ruts made by previous wagon wheels. Forcing the wagon to run on a predetermined course.

Here are some other of my favorites.

"Close, but no cigar."

This saying refers to the practice of giving cigars as prizes at carnivals in the US during the 19th century.

"See you on the flip side."

This is a very obscure comparative to flipping a record to the B side.

"Bite the bullet."

There was no time to administer anaesthesia before emergency surgery during battle. The surgeon made patients bite down on a bullet in an attempt to distract them from the pain.

"Butter someone up."

Another obscure  comparative to when ancient Indians would butter statues of God's to obtain favour.

"Go the whole nine yards."

World War II Fighter pilots received a 9-yard chain of ammunition. Therefore, when a pilot used all of his ammunition on one target, he gave it “the whole nine yards.”


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