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Semanticist
357875.  Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:05 pm Reply with quote

xxvii wrote:
Frances wrote:
'In the buff' always did, in my experience, mean naked. It refers to the colour and smooth, shiny surface of raw lungs, or 'buff', which are, or used to be, sold to be cooked as cat and dog food.


That could be one origin of "In the buff," but I found that the phrase comes from a "buff-coat" which was a skin-coloured light leather tunic worn by pre-17th century English soldiers. The first recorded use of "in the buff" to mean naked comes from Thomas Dekker, in his work 'Satiro-mastix or the untrussing of the humorous poet,' in 1602.

Hmmm, getting a bit "Call My Buff" eh? (sorry)


Hm. Wrong thread, really, but ŕ propos "buff", what is the origin of the phrase "Steady the buffs (Buffs?)"?


*Ooh! I found that scrupulous punctuation quite exciting!*

 
96aelw
357914.  Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:50 pm Reply with quote

The Buffs were the Royal East Kent Regiment (and before that just the plain old East Kent Regiment, and before that the 3rd Regiment of Foot). "Steady the Buffs", then, must be some kind of exhortation to these good fellows to stand firm, and seems to have been popularized by Kipling (and I myself always find that there is no more efficient way to popularize a phrase than to Kiple). The origin is reckoned by wiki to be a shout of encouragement given to his men on the parade ground by an adjutant, keen not to be let down by his men because another regiment was about and watching, with which other regiment he had previously served. It cites no source for this, but roughly the same story is given here, where it is said to have been gleaned from the regimental historian.

 
Sadurian Mike
357962.  Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:59 pm Reply with quote

The Wiki take on it is very similar to 96aelw's:

Quote:
This famous cry has been rumoured by many to have been uttered on the field of battle, but it was actually born on the parade grounds of a garrison.

It comes from when the 2nd Battalion was stationed at Malta in 1858 and were quartered with the 21st Royal (North British) Fusiliers. Adjutant Cotter of The Buffs, a Scot who had formerly served in the Royal Fusiliers as a Sergeant Major, would not brook any disarray on the parade ground from his raw recruits, shouting "Steady, The Buffs! The Fusiliers are watching you!"

This greatly amused the Fusiliers and they called out “Steady The Buffs!” on the slightest provocation, first in Malta and later whenever the two regiments met from then on. The phrase caught on and was soon shouted whenever The Buffs marched by. It then passed into common usage, even appearing in Rudyard Kipling's novel Soldiers Three (1888) and his play Pity Poor Mama.

 
risby
398335.  Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:51 am Reply with quote

risby wrote:
Why does everybody younger than me start virtually every sentence with "yairno"?


Although nearly a year has passed since I first started this thread I thought you might still be quite interested to know that this language oddity has actually been studied academically

 
The Phantarch
406576.  Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:00 pm Reply with quote

^Is it really that commonplace?

What I'd really like to know is where on earth hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia comes from. I know what it means, it's the fear of long words. Whoever thought that one up was clearly intending to scare the shit out of anyone with this phobia. I want to find out who the sick and warped people who thought this one up are. :)

 
bobwilson
406583.  Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:07 pm Reply with quote

Why is abbreviate such a long word?

 
suze
406588.  Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:09 pm Reply with quote

Obviously "hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia" was dreamt up as a joke, but by whom is less clear.

The first known print citation for it is an uncredited article in The Scotsman of 9 April 2002, so a staff writer there got it from somewhere. (And spelled it wrong - etymologically, that double p ought to be single.)

 
The Phantarch
406600.  Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:19 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Obviously "hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia" was dreamt up as a joke, but by whom is less clear.

The first known print citation for it is an uncredited article in The Scotsman of 9 April 2002, so a staff writer there got it from somewhere. (And spelled it wrong - etymologically, that double p ought to be single.)


Thanks. I knew about the 'double P error' due to another word I learned a while back 'sesquipedalian'. That was again intended for comical effect, to describe someone keen on using long/ unusual words.

I did not know about it's first known print citation so thanks for that. I half assumed it was a sick joke, I just hope there aren't many people who suffer from it.

 
jakamneziak
406648.  Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:23 am Reply with quote

OI NOI. is a greeting in australia and new zealand that really pisses on my chips. Say oh no with a high pitch at the end. I agree totally with Stephen Fry on this one it is ridiculously preposterous.

 
gerontius grumpus
414002.  Sat Sep 27, 2008 6:47 pm Reply with quote

'OI MOI' is an expression of despair in classical Greek, so number one daughter tells me.

 
Hanhan
420524.  Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:56 pm Reply with quote

As a teenager, I can assure you that book will only confuse the naive parent.

I've never used those words in my life, and I never will. Nor does anyone I know use those words.

The only slang me and my friend use, we make up. My favourite has to be 'Augfgesting' - A word for digesting aubergines.

 
Bondee
421056.  Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:12 am Reply with quote

More an old word rediscovered, but my new favourite is unbepissed, meaning "not having been urinated on".

Many more to be found on this page on the BBC website.

 

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