Strange English sayings

137 posts in this topic

I always wondered about these and the origins are sometimes unclear:

 

To throw one's hat in the ring

 

To talk through one's hat

 

At the drop of a hat

 

Hat trick

 

To go to the land of Nod.

 

Dead Ringer

 

Fitzroy Yank

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

'The exception proves the rule' -

 

I remember our science teaching telling us that to every rule there is always an exception - therefore finding the exception proves the rule.

 

maybe it was a load of crap but he was a teacher and teachers are always right, yes? -> or was he was the exception that proves the rule!!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not English, as in the country, but english(ish) language...

 

An American saying that I don't really understand - '...waiting for the other shoe to drop'

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where has this fucking irritating "Save The Date" suddenly come from?! Is it from our colonial cousins?! Bah...

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Where has this fucking irritating "Save The Date" suddenly come from?!

 

Just a thought, maybe it's because everyone has computers/mobile phones nowadays and are incapable of actually remembering anything themselves (be honest, how many phone numbers do you have in your head as opposed to let's say 15 years ago) and instead of marking important dates in calendars/personal organisers etc, they all get "saved" onto phones/email reminders etc...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Not English, as in the country, but english(ish) language...

 

An American saying that I don't really understand - '...waiting for the other shoe to drop'

 

American? I don't know about that. Makes a lot of sense to me though.

 

Long before I'd ever heard it used as an expression, (around 1957/8 when I was about 4 years old), I was very familiar with it's meaning. My paternal grandparents, vintage 1882/90 lived in Ayr in a typical south west Scottish block of flats. You'd enter through a close, or arched walkway, in to a paved square about the size of a tennis court where kids could play and washing be hung out to dry. It was surrounded by 4 x 4 storey blocks each with a central stairwell and open balcony-like walkways to reach all the flats.

 

Whenever we visited Ayr, before the grandfolks died, we kids would sleep there and our parents at one of our many uncles homes. My grandad was of the generation that only wore boots, never shoes, albeit they were polished like glass. Working men of that era always did wear boots out of doors and most of them were leather soled. To save on the wear and tear they would usually have rows of steel studs driven in to the soles and steel plates on the heels. "Tackety boots."

 

On the floor above our grandparents, in the flat directly overhead, there lived another chap who I don't remember ever seeing, but who never failed to wake me up each night. He would go to the pub every night until closing time and, after stopping in for his fish supper at the chippie, stroll home around 11:20. As soon as he started up the stairwell you'd hear clirrick, clirrick, clirrick, clirrick, until he got up to his floor then click, click, click, click to his front door. (Considering there were probably 40 odd flats exposed to this noise and no-one complained I assume in retrospect that he was known to be an agressive drunk.) However once he got indoors no-one, other than those below him, could hear him.

 

He would walk through the hall and take a pee, flush, and then it would go very quiet. I guess he'd be dealing with things like false teeth, moustache maintainence and suchlike. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Anyway, just as I'd begun to drift back to sleep, his boots would sound directly over head followed by a kind of wheeze-thud as his arse hit the bedside.

Then the quiet ritual of "releasing the feet from the high topped boots" began in earnest. zzzzzzzzz zzzzzz...

After about 3-4 minutes one almighty crash as number one tackety hit the linoleum...

zzzzzzzzz....

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

(what now?) zzzzzz....

(get on with it, FFS!) zzzzzzzzzzz...

(I'll bet he's fallen over sideways from the effort again) zzzzzz...

:rolleyes: (go on you bastard! FFS drop it, you swine!) zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ...

 

CRASH!

 

(WTF???!!!)

 

I'm still haunted by the ingrained memory of 'waiting for the other shoe to drop' 54 years on!

 

The saying was a routine family joke too, as everyone who had ever been in the flat in the late evening had been through it.

 

2B

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hat trick

 

The internet says Hat Trick "came into use after HH Stephenson took three wickets in three balls for the all-England eleven against the twenty-two of Hallam at the Hyde Park ground, Sheffield in 1858. A collection was held for Stephenson (as was customary for outstanding feats by professionals) and he was presented with a cap or hat bought with the proceeds.""

 

But that first sentence isn't in English so I can't really understand it.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

HH Stephenson took three wickets in three balls for the all-England eleven against the twenty-two of Hallam at the Hyde Park ground, Sheffield in 1858.

 

But that first sentence isn't in English so I can't really understand it.

 

Let's make criscket easier to understand... :)

 

There are two sides, one out in the field the other one in. Each man

that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the

next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out

comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming

in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

 

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and

when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There

are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when

the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men

have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have

been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Let's make criscket easier to understand...

 

There are two sides, one out in the field the other one in. Each man

that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the

next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out

comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming

in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

 

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and

when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There

are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when

the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men

have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have

been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.

 

Ah Keefy! You forgot to mention the Night Watchman in the cricket. For the benefit of - well, I suppose mostly Americans but chuck in the odd Canadian and all the Germans on here! - it´s when a bad player comes on to play instead of a good player in case the good player gets out! :D And they jump up and down a lot and get hit on the head sometimes.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Throw the hat into the ring: In the US at election time at party meetups in the old days, a ring would be drawn on the ground, and anyone willing to run for office would signify so by throwing his hat in this ring.

 

Waiting for the other shoe to drop: My concept of this is of the cuckolded spouse, hiding at home, waiting for the sound of a second shoe dropping, which would mean that the erring spouse was then in flagranto. So it signifies waiting for a possible occurrence which would lead to a serious event.

 

Cat's out of the bag: In the Master and Commander series, the cat o' nine tails (punishment whip) is depicted as being normally contained in a bag held by the Captain. When it comes out... This sounds to me to be the best explanation.

 

Go to the land of Nod: The land of Nod is in the Bible. But not in 21st century English, as is "nodding off", which means to fall asleep.

 

I won't swear to these, except the first one.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The internet says Hat Trick "came into use after HH Stephenson took three wickets in three balls for the all-England eleven against the twenty-two of Hallam at the Hyde Park ground, Sheffield in 1858. A collection was held for Stephenson (as was customary for outstanding feats by professionals) and he was presented with a cap or hat bought with the proceeds.""But that first sentence isn't in English so I can't really understand it.

 

Merriam-Webster's ask the editor series didn't go into the detail you did, but to put it in English: Ask the Editor - Hat Trick

 

Ask the Editor is a fun series of 1 - 3 minute videos that address our wonderful and problematic language.

 

I have been helping a friend learn English, and she was confused by "to go bananas". I explained the meaning fine (I hope!)and after thinking about it assumed it came from some observation of apes going wild/mad/silly over bananas. According to the Etymology site linked earlier it initially meant "sexually perverted" I'm not sure if I buy that. Any thoughts?

 

P.S. I hope the video can be viewed outside of the US. My apologies if it is blocked.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Just a thought, maybe it's because everyone has computers/mobile phones nowadays and are incapable of actually remembering anything themselves (be honest, how many phone numbers do you have in your head as opposed to let's say 15 years ago) and instead of marking important dates in calendars/personal organisers etc, they all get "saved" onto phones/email reminders etc...

 

Is that why? Only yesterday I was stood outside at our grill and decided I needed a piece of rope. Off I go to walk to my werkstadt. (about 20 meters). I get there notice the compressor is still plugged in - I unplug it - then I stood -> what am I doing here? -> I came to get something -> what was it?

 

I could not remember to save my life -> off back to the grill.

 

I got there - saw what I was doing -> oh - a piece of rope -> back the the workshop. Along the way I was thinking how this is happening to me more and more. Got to the workshop -> "what did I come for?"

 

The 3rd time I went to the werkstadt I remembered!

 

Would an iphone help

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, chris999.

 

You need Steve Jobs latest secret project.

 

I hear it's called the erm....

 

erm....

 

erm...

 

the...

 

iphorgot! :P

 

2B

 

PS: When you finally did get the rope were you able to remember what you needed it for? :lol:

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scottish ones - or rather sayings I hear here quite often - no idea where they originated

 

ganna nae dae that

back in nineteen canteen

speaking jibberish/gobbledeegook

I'm not buttoned up at the back

teach your granny to suck eggs

I'll take ma hand aff yer face

Between you, me and the bed-post

peely-wally

blether

scunnered

Bampot

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

PS: When you finally did get the rope were you able to remember what you needed it for?

 

Which rope?

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

teach your granny to suck eggs

 

This refers to younger people who have just discovered something new to them, which they then think they are the only ones who know it and proceed to impart their new found wisdom on everybody else, without considering that those others may already know. A bit like a young newbie coming on to Toytown and start telling everybody how things are in Germany. Like this guy. :rolleyes:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lost his bottle? Could that be like spitting the dummy?

 

An alternative for the cat in the bag I've heard is the trick with passing a cat in a bag off as a pig in a bag.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now