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Old 09-14-2005, 11:29 PM   #1
dyffcult
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linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

Okay, a different post got me thinking about one of my personal areas of curiosity: Language.

I used the phrase "If wishes were horses, we would all ride free."

I have also heard, "If wishes were fishes, we would all eat free."

I am curious as to the common phrases people use, and interested in how they vary country to country and within various areas of a country.

So, if you learned a phrase in a particular part of a country, please include that information.

For reference, others that occur to me:

bat out of hell
hell bent for leather (friend from England stated they are two separate entities: either hell bent for something or hell for leather: i.e hell bent on fishing or he went for it hell for leather)
colder than a witch's tit
silent as a church mouse
more lives than a cat

Interested in the replies,

Brenda
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Old 09-15-2005, 12:44 AM   #2
Mashu
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

Hornier than a herd of cattle
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Old 09-15-2005, 04:42 AM   #3
djyoung
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

not enough room to swing a cat
flatter than a witch's tit
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Old 09-15-2005, 10:28 AM   #4
James Davis
 
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

My dad taught me these.

Wish in one hand and spit in the other; See which gets full first.

Does a chicken have lips? There's your answer.

If? If is a pretty powerful word. If a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump it's ass after it jumped.

Boy, I'll slap you so hard you'll starve to death before you quit bouncin'!!

My dad was born and raised in Tenesee. Yes, he was a hillbilly!
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Old 09-15-2005, 01:05 PM   #5
giriasis
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

During a sunshower my grandmother would always say, "The devil is beating his wife."
"Cold hands, warm heart. Warm hands cold heart, ain't gotta sweat heart."
"When hell freezes over and when pigs fly."

When you burp, and you say excuse me, "Excuse the pig, the hog's around the corner." Both my grandmother and grandfather would say that.

There are many other sayings my Southern Grandma used to say.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 09-15-2005, 01:29 PM   #6
aikigirl10
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

sweatin' like a whore in church lol i love that one
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Old 09-15-2005, 01:32 PM   #7
Ron Tisdale
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

Quote:
During a sunshower my grandmother would always say, "The devil is beating his wife."
"Cold hands, warm heart. Warm hands cold heart, ain't gotta sweat heart."
"When hell freezes over and when pigs fly."

When you burp, and you say excuse me, "Excuse the pig, the hog's around the corner." Both my grandmother and grandfather would say that.
Darn! My parents ARE from the south!

Ron (amazed)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 09-15-2005, 01:36 PM   #8
giriasis
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Darn! My parents ARE from the south!

Ron (amazed)
Hey, maybe we're related. My grandparents, hail from Pensacola and their families hail from Alabama.

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 09-15-2005, 01:49 PM   #9
cck
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

A Danish one:
"Der er ingen ko paa isen" - There's no cow on the ice (there's no problem)
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Old 09-15-2005, 01:52 PM   #10
cck
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

More Danish:
"Like shit from a newborn calf" (it comes easy and fast!)
Lots of cows, I guess... still a very agrarian society.
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Old 09-17-2005, 12:53 AM   #11
dyffcult
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

More than one way to skin a cat.

During light rain falls, my father would comment, "The angels must be having a spitting contest."

During thunderstorms, he would tell me "God must be bowling. Even God needs a hobby."

"Excuse the pig, the hog's around the corner." -- Growing up next to a hog farm, that one just tickles my funny bone. I will have to tell it to my old neighbor.

"Like shit from a newborn calf" I believe that I heard my father say that...though his family is from Arkansa by way of Scotland and Ireland. Interesting :-)

Any more people???

Brenda, who thinks there should be literally hundreds more...
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Old 09-17-2005, 11:22 AM   #12
Don_Modesto
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

Quote:
Brenda Allen wrote:
So, if you learned a phrase in a particular part of a country, please include that information.

For reference, others that occur to me:

bat out of hell
hell bent for leather
....
http://www.idiomsite.com/
http://www.eslcafe.com/idioms/id-list.html
etc. (Google: "idioms")

Amazon: Search: "idioms")
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/se...599359-4436930

Also, take a look at--
Amazon: Search: "monkeys fall from trees"

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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http://www.theaikidodojo.com/
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Old 09-17-2005, 05:21 PM   #13
cserrit
 
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

These came from my grandmother in the midwest...most people here in So Cal give me a funny look when I say them

1) "That rots my socks"
2) "That stinks in big cirlces"
3) "Can't swing a dead cat without hitting a(n) {insert something in large numbers here ie "Can't swing a dead cat with out hitting a sushi place in my neighborhood" }

-C
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Old 09-18-2005, 12:04 PM   #14
emma.mason15
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Talking Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

"happier than M. Jackson in a school yard"
"sweating like M. Jacskon in a court House"
drinks like a fish
strong as an ox
Like shit off a shovel ...
like a bunny in the headlights
"red sky at night shepards delight .... Red sky in the morning ... shepards warning"
"early to bed early to rise ... makes a man healthy wealthy and wise ..."
Mad as a hatter
hotter than hell
like a hole in the head
like a fish needs a bike
or my personal favourite which works with anything ...
..... than a ...... on a trip to .... land
(so ..... PINKER than a PINK thing on a trip to PINKland)
(orrrr more like dory .... than a dory on a trip to the Dojo!!!!)
have fun wiv them Brenda ...
x

Dance your cares away .... worry for another day ... let the music play .... down in fraggle rock!

when bored ... do as I do. Poke a patient!
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Old 09-18-2005, 10:56 PM   #15
dyffcult
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

I heard....Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailor take warning."

Along a similar line.... Red on black is a friend of Jack. Red on yellow will kill a fellow." Way to tell a King snake from that other kind.

No, I can't remember the other kind....

Brenda
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Old 09-19-2005, 05:56 AM   #16
dyffcult
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

btw Don,

Thanks for the websites. However, I am more interested in where (meaning countries or regions) the phrases come from than the phrases themselves.....

So while knowing there is a great repository of idioms on the web....there are a number of entries that make me wonder from which they came. That is really what I wish to know.

Brenda
(Who still wonders from whence came her mother's phrase, "to cut off your nose to spite your face"
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Old 09-19-2005, 10:56 AM   #17
James Davis
 
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

Quote:
Brenda Allen wrote:
I heard....Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailor take warning."

Along a similar line.... Red on black is a friend of Jack. Red on yellow will kill a fellow." Way to tell a King snake from that other kind.

No, I can't remember the other kind....

Brenda
Coral snake.
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Old 09-19-2005, 11:41 AM   #18
djyoung
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

I always heard "red sky in the morning, sheperds warning... red sky at night, shepherds delight... red sky in the afternoon, SHEPHERDS HUTS ON FIRE!" ... though maybe this was an Australian alteration by my parents on to the old English saying since we have so much fire here. A possible source of the saying I found at http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/myster...er-sailor.html
Quote:
Have you ever heard anyone use the proverb above?

Shakespeare did. He said something similar in his play, Venus and Adonis. "Like a red morn that ever yet betokened, Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds, Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds."

In the Bible, (Matthew XVI: 2-3,) Jesus said, "When in evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: For the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering."
As for where "dont cut off your nose to spite your face" came from... one explaination found in http://www.word-detective.com/101404.html is:
Quote:
The precise origin of "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face" is slightly fuzzy, but it seems to have first appeared around 1200 as a Latin proverb cited by Peter of Blois, a French poet of the day. The phrase then crops up a bit later in a history of France, written in the mid-17th century, attributed to a courtier who supposedly employed it to deter King Henry IV from destroying Paris to punish the occupants' low opinion of his rule. The proverb apparently didn't really become popular in English until the 19th century.
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Old 10-11-2005, 03:34 AM   #19
Taliesin
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

Well there are a few phrases. Two arising from hanging

Your feet won't touch the ground
Left twisting in the wind

From the world of Law come the phrases

'Bigwig' - given important judges wear big wigs (as well as fancy gowns), '

Thinking cap' - the little hat they wore when pronouncing a death sentence.

Signed, Sealed and delivered - old style confirmation of a contract

And another one that I can't identify an origin of

"Like a rat up a drainpipe."
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Old 10-11-2005, 03:37 AM   #20
Taliesin
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Re: linguistics, euphemisms, and idioms

PS

"Not enough room to swing a cat" is an old Royal Navy phrase (not enough room to swing a cat of 9 tails)

"son of a gun" - the recorded paternity of a child born upon ship

and

'Shake a leg' - show whether or not you are a member of the crew - or a lady who help's to entertain them.
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