Saturday, December 11, 2010
What I really meant to say ...
By the way ... if you want to share some of your favs be sure to leave your comments below.
Baker's dozen: In the 15th century, street vendors could directly buy 13 loaves of bread for the price of twelve from the bakers . By doing this, the baker regulated the middleman's profit or commission. Maybe we should float that idea to Congress.
Balls to the wall: Hah .... I betcha thought it had something to do with anatomy. Nope ... it's aviation lingo. The throttle handles are often topped with ball shaped grips. Pushing forward toward the wall of the cockpit is applying full throttle.
Bone up on: A guy named Henry Bohn produced English translations of Greek and Latin classics in the 1800s. Used by students cramming for exams , they would "Bohn" (became bone) up on their homework ... (I won't even ask what you thought it meant).
Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey: Since we've got a theme going here, this is one of my favorites. Story has it that when cannon balls were kept on the deck of ships and stacked in triangles on a brass rack called the monkey ... you guessed it ... when the temp dropped, the monkey contracted and the balls spilled out on the deck.
Cry all the way to the bank: Liberace coined the phrase after a critic mocked his talents. He sent a telegram saying, "What you said hurt me very much. I cried all the way to the bank." So did his friend, George.
Don't look a gift-horse in the mouth: As early as the 5th century, horses were desirable gifts. Of course, a young horse was more desirable than an old one. Teeth revealed age ... so it was impolite to look at the teeth when accepting a gift. Debbie always checks my teeth out (I wonder if she's trying to tell me something...)
Hair of the dog: An old belief that a burnt hair of a dog would act as an antidote to the bite of a dog if placed in the wound. Today, of course it means if you have a hangover and a dog bites you, go back to sleep or roll over (or something like that).
Hat trick: In cricket, the "dismissal" of three consecutive batters from the same bowler is a rare feat and was rewarded years ago ... by the gift of a hat from the bowlers club. Today, the hat is called a lucrative contract extension.
Lily livered: People once believed that your liver was where your passions came from. If your liver was lily (white) it was devoid of blood and devoid of passion ... a coward.
Oh oh, Debbie is screaming at me to get out of the bathroom. She said something else .... um ... "courtesy spray"? I wonder where that originated ...