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Strange Sayings...

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Beki
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Strange Sayings...

#1 Postby Beki » August 19th, 2007, 6:14 pm

Every now and again I catch myself saying things which make no literal sense at all without even thinking about it. I love these sayings which have obviously had some meaning in the past, but which have been incorporated into every day use despite making no sense to me.

For example:

On leaving the table at lunch the other day

"Sorry guys - I'm going to have to shoot the craw" (WHAT? What crow and why would I shoot it?)

Or when I was asked yesterday whether I got anything for being in work a wee bit late.

"Nope - just brownie points" (I was in the Brownies, but I don't remember getting 'points' that weren't worth anything!!)

Anyone know where these come from? Or do you have anything else that you say automatically, but which doesn't make literal sense?

Makes you feel really sorry for poor foreigners trying to learn our language!

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lewist
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#2 Postby lewist » August 19th, 2007, 6:58 pm

Hi Beki!

I think 'shoot the craw' is Scots rhyming slang for 'gang awa' - in other words, leave, go, depart.

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Alan C.
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#3 Postby Alan C. » August 19th, 2007, 7:00 pm

If I'm certain something is going to happen, I use the saying "sure as eggs is eggs" no idea where it came from.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Moose
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#4 Postby Moose » August 19th, 2007, 10:05 pm

I am not sure where the saying 'brownie points' come from but a very old memory - which is possibly totally inaccurate - was stirred when I read your post, which tells me that brownies were mischievous spirits which used to do people's housework whilst they were asleep so they'd wake up and find a miraculously clean house. Which might, I would guess, be where that saying comes from - and probably where the name for the troop of girl helpers comes from too.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain
Time to die

EF

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#5 Postby Moonbeam » August 20th, 2007, 10:02 am

One saying that I've often wondered about doesn't appear to be considered strange by anyone except me.

"It's a good job (I did whatever)"


A good job? Why 'job'?

I often reply with something like "Yes, it's a marvellous job" and people find this amusing but I don't see why it should seem any funnier than saying "good job" in the first place.

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lewist
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#6 Postby lewist » August 20th, 2007, 7:11 pm

Moonbeam wrote:One saying that I've often wondered about doesn't appear to be considered strange by anyone except me.

"It's a good job (I did whatever)"


A good job? Why 'job'?

According to Dictionary.com, well down the entry for job:

Job # Informal A state of affairs: Their marriage was a bad job from the start. It's a good job that we left early to avoid the traffic.

It doesn't really answer your question though, Moonbeam.

What about the wee boy who jumped on the back of the milk float and was told by the driver

Come oan, get aff!

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Alan H
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#7 Postby Alan H » August 20th, 2007, 11:23 pm

lewist wrote:What about the wee boy who jumped on the back of the milk float and was told by the driver

Come oan, get aff!
I thought it was said by a clippie?

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#8 Postby Maria Mac » August 20th, 2007, 11:46 pm

Ho hum.




Pig's bum. (As they say).




:exit:

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lewist
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#9 Postby lewist » August 21st, 2007, 9:52 pm

Alan H wrote:
lewist wrote:What about the wee boy who jumped on the back of the milk float and was told by the driver

Come oan, get aff!
I thought it was said by a clippie?
Clippie too, Alan. It was first pointed out to me as being silly by someone (my German teacher I think) who used the milk float example.

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God
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#10 Postby God » August 21st, 2007, 10:03 pm

Clippie's easy. He clips your ticket. I suppose a milkman who drives a milk float could a' bin called a "floatie", but I never heard that!

What about "harping on". I said somewhere about people always "harping on" about something. Harping? Why harping?

Donkeys years - that's a corruption of donkey's ears (very long).

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#11 Postby Fred » August 22nd, 2007, 8:52 am

"fell swoop" has always puzzled me - the adjective fell is never used with any other noun.

One that I've inherited from my father and passed on to my kids is the phrase for exasperation when they're being slow or dim about something...

"You're like a fart in a bottle painted green"
Fred

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lewist
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#12 Postby lewist » August 22nd, 2007, 10:33 am

Fred wrote:"fell swoop" has always puzzled me - the adjective fell is never used with any other noun.

One that I've inherited from my father and passed on to my kids is the phrase for exasperation when they're being slow or dim about something...

"You're like a fart in a bottle painted green"

Fell means evil and menacing. Tolkien used the word quite a lot in The Lord of the Rings. I have always taken one fell swoop to liken some act to the swoop of a bird upon its prey.

The fart in a bottle I had not heard but in Fife we have an abusive little epithet as thick as sh** in a bottle which is similar.

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Nick
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#13 Postby Nick » August 22nd, 2007, 10:41 am

You're as useful as a fart in a lift"

or

"You're as useful as a chocolate fire-guard"

kbell
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#14 Postby kbell » August 22nd, 2007, 11:51 am

Anyone know where the expression 'break a leg' comes from?

It's always seemed weird to me. Once I tried to use it but got muddled and said 'shake a leg' instead?

The response came, 'Why? I haven't peed down it!'

:redface:

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Nick
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#15 Postby Nick » August 22nd, 2007, 12:23 pm

Does it not come from the theatrical superstition that it's bad luck too wish someone 'good luck' before a performance. They therefore convey their empathy and best wishes in code. Breaking a leg is a fairly blatant calamity, so seems more a more obvious parady than, say, "I hope your headache gets worse and worse all the way through the performance".

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whitecraw
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#16 Postby whitecraw » August 22nd, 2007, 1:15 pm

My music teacher once told me that my singing was 'as flat as a duck's shit in a thunderstorm.' - my one and only review!

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lewist
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#17 Postby lewist » August 22nd, 2007, 1:22 pm

Autumn wrote:Anyone know where the expression 'break a leg' comes from?

It's always seemed weird to me. Once I tried to use it but got muddled and said 'shake a leg' instead?

The response came, 'Why? I haven't peed down it!'

:redface:

But shake a leg is an interesting nautical expression. It came from the times when ships would be in port and the sailors on shore leave might bring back persons of the opposite sex to warm their hammocks.

In the morning the officer in charge of getting up the next watch needed evidence of which of the sleeping people were crew and which were visiting. He therefore encouraged all to show a leg from under the covers so he could see the hairy masculine ones and the smooth feminine ones. Owners of the former would be made to rise and shine; owners of the latter would be allowed to stay whre they were.

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Beki
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#18 Postby Beki » August 22nd, 2007, 1:25 pm

What about "harping on". I said somewhere about people always "harping on" about something. Harping? Why harping?


It wouldn't be anything to do with the Harpies of Greek Mythology would it? Did they not chase someone (Oedipus?) around, screaming in his ear for the rest of his life, following his liaison with Mommy?

Maybe? :shrug:

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lewist
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#19 Postby lewist » August 22nd, 2007, 4:34 pm

Nick wrote:You're as useful as a fart in a lift"

or

"You're as useful as a chocolate fire-guard"

Thanks a lot, Nick!

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Nick
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#20 Postby Nick » August 22nd, 2007, 4:46 pm

Oops! :laughter: Just being personal, Lewist :laughter:

btw I always thought it was "show a leg" but perhaps it's interchangeable


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