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Puzzling/Nonsensical expressions.

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mckeonj
908885.  Sat May 12, 2012 11:06 am Reply with quote

"They say that..........."
Who are 'they', anyway?

 
Oceans Edge
908895.  Sat May 12, 2012 11:36 am Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
"They say that..........."
Who are 'they', anyway?


My mother did that to me... every time I'd come home or in a discussion and I'd use 'they say' she'd "who are they anyway?" me, and send me off to find a proper citation.

I hated it.

But she made me a far better debater for it.
Comes from being raised in a family of world class debaters, educators, and academics, and just plain BRIGHT and OPINIONATED men. (and the women could hold their own too, they were just less inclined to get into great chuffing matches over things.)

 
Bondee
909079.  Sun May 13, 2012 11:09 am Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
Who are 'they', anyway?


The lizard people.

 
mckeonj
909082.  Sun May 13, 2012 11:11 am Reply with quote

Bondee wrote:
mckeonj wrote:
Who are 'they', anyway?


The lizard people.

Are they the ones that have taken over Australia?

 
Oceans Edge
909092.  Sun May 13, 2012 11:20 am Reply with quote

I think maybe the Lizard People resent that accusation. *grins*

 
NinOfEden
930225.  Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:24 am Reply with quote

Over the last year, whilst working on checkout, I've heard ever such a lot of people calling their trolley their 'barrow'.
I'd never heard it once until then, now I hear it a couple of times a shift.
Is it a new thing, or just a common slang term that somehow no-one I know uses?

 
suze
930230.  Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:29 am Reply with quote

I think that's a Scottish usage, so I've no idea what it's doing in Doncaster!

 
NinOfEden
930233.  Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:33 am Reply with quote

Well, Doncaster is apparently part of Scotland... XD

 
NinOfEden
953120.  Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:44 am Reply with quote

This morning I wrote an LJ entry about how my central heating is 'on the blink'.
+ it occurred to me, that's an odd way of saying that an appliance is a bit broken. The only thing I can think of is, maybe when a telly isn't tuned in properly and the picture starts sliding down the screen, it could be likened to an eye blinking?

+ the other day I had cause to wonder: How right is rain? Or, indeed, ninepence?

 
Efros
953124.  Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:37 am Reply with quote

I think it comes from the very early days of electric lights, poor connections would cause the lights to flicker.

 
Efros
953126.  Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:39 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
I think that's a Scottish usage, so I've no idea what it's doing in Doncaster!


Nope trolleys are called trolleys in Scotland, Barras are hand carts usually with two large wheels at the front and wooden legs at the back. In the US shopping trolleys are carts.

 
cornixt
953165.  Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:06 am Reply with quote

And trams (sometimes light rail) are called the trolley.

 
suze
953177.  Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:19 pm Reply with quote

NinOfEden wrote:
This morning I wrote an LJ entry about how my central heating is 'on the blink'.


There are two main theories advanced for that one. Some note that "blinked milk" is milk which has gone sour; there are plenty of citation for that, mainly from Ireland and Scotland in the C19 and the Midwest of the USA in the early C20.

So if your central heating is "on the blink", it is turning sour.

Others say that "on the blink" means that a wicked witch has blinked at it, thus causing it not to work properly. Seems less likely.


"Right as rain" also has two explanations. Firstly, rain falls in straight lines - or "right lines", as they were once called. And secondly, it's alliterative.

"Right as ninepence" is a bit of a mixture of "right as rain" and the older "nice as ninepence". Alliterative again, and "nice as ninepence" was originally "nice as nine pins" - because the nine pins in old-fashioned skittles were arranged neatly in a diamond pattern. (It is claimed that ten pin bowling originated after Connectitut passed a law which banned nine pin skittles because people were betting on it. Add an extra pin, and it's a different game - which isn't banned.)

 
mckeonj
953215.  Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:00 pm Reply with quote

[quote="suze"]
NinOfEden wrote:

"Right as ninepence" is a bit of a mixture of "right as rain" and the older "nice as ninepence". Alliterative again, and "nice as ninepence" was originally "nice as nine pins" - because the nine pins in old-fashioned skittles were arranged neatly in a diamond pattern. (It is claimed that ten pin bowling originated after Connectitut passed a law which banned nine pin skittles because people were betting on it. Add an extra pin, and it's a different game - which isn't banned.)

There is a similar story about 'ice cream sundae' being invented because somebody banned the sale of ice cream on Sunday, except as a dessert.
I am old enough to remember 'Sunday Games and Toys' in England, when the Lord's Day was strictly observed. These included 'Snakes & Ladders' and Noah's Ark. Playing cards were definitely out of the question, but Happy Families and Snap were in.

 
NinOfEden
953316.  Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:57 am Reply with quote

Aah! Now we know!

 

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