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Idioms

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'yorz
849848.  Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:34 pm Reply with quote

In the Netherlands, "Bis!" is shouted, too, after a successful performance.

 
CB27
849857.  Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:22 pm Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure that in a much older Qi episode, where the difference between cake and biscuit were discussed, the frensh use for Bis was mentioned.

suze, at least two of us know about Cheap as Chips now :)

 
'yorz
849860.  Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:30 pm Reply with quote

Three.
Am impressed, CB. How did you get hold of that newspaper clipping?

 
CB27
849890.  Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:40 pm Reply with quote

Got a few tricks up my sleeve :)

A 1913 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald shows an advert that says "Cheap as chips, but as good as Sovereigns".

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15470189/1281847?zoomLevel=3

Go to column 5, the advert that starts "GLORIOUS VIEWS FROM ALL POINTS"

This additional bit, and the fact I can see the "cheap as chips" in adverts from New Zealand and Australia before anywhere else suggests a connection to the fact that gold Sovereigns were minted in Sydney from 1855 (and other Australian cities later on).

Stick with me here, because added to that is the fact that when the colony of New South Wales found it had a lack of coins, it copied an idea first tried out on Prince Edward Island. In 1812 it took shipment of 40,000 Spanish Dollars, and punched out the centres to create two coins. The small coin was known as the Dump, and worth 15 pence, while the outer rim became known as the Holey Dollar and was worth 5 Shillings.

I wonder if some people took to calling the 15 pence pieces as chips, as they'd been chipped out of the large coins?

In the Caribbean, similar ideas were used and the small coins were often known as bits.

 
zomgmouse
849896.  Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:47 am Reply with quote

I was going to suggest wood chips, as those are, I believe, rather inexpensive. But your interpretation makes more sense.

 
mckeonj
850101.  Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:37 pm Reply with quote

Poker chips as coinage?

 
shutupandpoo
850150.  Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:45 pm Reply with quote

"Chips" is also a well-known euphemism for dung, specifically dried dung:

"A buffalo chip, also called a meadow muffin, is the name for a large, flat, dried piece of dung deposited by the American Bison from the large amount of grass that it eats. Well dried buffalo chips were among the few things that could be collected and burned on the prairie and were used by the Plains Indians, settlers and pioneers, and homesteaders as a source of cooking heat and warmth."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cow_chip

That stuff comes pretty cheap.

 
nitwit02
850217.  Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:13 pm Reply with quote

In certain circles, they are laminated and have an electric clock attached and can be seen on the wall in some kitchens.

 
bobwilson
850223.  Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:27 pm Reply with quote

When you think about it (and with hindsight) the possibility that David Dickinson had an original idea is slightly absurd isn't it?

 
CB27
850227.  Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:49 pm Reply with quote

He was the first one to think he looks good in permatan.

Oh no, sorry, he's the ONLY one to think he looks good in permatan.

 
bobwilson
850229.  Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:00 pm Reply with quote

I think you've got that backwards CB - he's the first one to realise that without the permatan he'd just look ridiculous AND wouldn't have a USP.

 
CB27
866466.  Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:59 pm Reply with quote

Ever used the expression "If you think that, you have another thing coming"?

If you have, then like me and most people*, you've not used the proper sentence.

It should really be "If you think that, you have another think coming". It basically means you should rethink, and makes more sense.

* My qualification for saying "most people" is because of having heard other people say it that way, and that when you google "you have another thing coming", you get nearly 2.5m hits, and "you have another think coming" gets less than 430k.

 
Moosh
866506.  Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:13 am Reply with quote

Surely "if you think that, you have another thought coming"? Think isn't a noun.

 
mckeonj
866527.  Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:43 am Reply with quote

Moosh wrote:
Surely "if you think that, you have another thought coming"? Think isn't a noun.

In the context of humourous sayings, 'think' for 'thought', is correct.
Here's another idiom with 'think':
Quote:
I think, I think,
I smell a stink,
From Y.O.U.!

which is quite well constructed poesy.

 
mckeonj
866528.  Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:52 am Reply with quote

Another idiom that fascinates me is 'I might have', usually used by someone during forensic examination.
---
"Did you, on the night of the 14th October, break into and enter the premises of Messrs. Goldfarb & Company?"
"I might have, your honour."
---
"Did you, or did you not, scribble crayons on the lounge wall?"
"I might have, Mummy."
---
It seems an attempt to separate the person from wilful action.

 

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