Friday, February 13, 2015

Pop Quiz: Phrases

Statement Analysis seeks to learn what subjective meaning a word has to a person.  Language shifts. Language shifts with time and culture which makes contextual understanding important.
Imagine 250 years from now trying to explain to someone that "a really cool teacher in high school" did not have a lower body temperature than others?

Some of these are

What is the local and/or cultural meaning of:

1.  "She's a tomato"

2.  "That car's a lemon"

3.  "Stay away from her; she's got coal in her mouth,"

4.  "So isn't he."

5.  "Cup of joe"

6.  "He was totally stove up"

7.  "Rode hard and put away wet"

8.  "Why don't you pound sand"

9.  "wicked pissah"

10.  "take the shoe leather express"

11.  What is a "flat foot" in context?

12.  what are different meanings for the word "doll"?

13.  what are the different meanings for "buck"?

14.  What is a "basket case" in early 20th century versus today?

Can you add in a few? 


elf said...

1) attractive woman, good figure
2) bad car
5) cup of coffee
7)something sexual (giggle)
8)telling someone to go away
10) walk away
11) police man
12) someone who is cute and/or sweet, a toy
13) a male deer, a dollar, a young man
14) a mentally ill person (past) , a mother of teenagers, people who choose to shop on black Friday lol
This brings to mind a conversation my family had at dinner last night. My boyfriends daughter and her boyfriend were over last night, she's 10 weeks pregnant, and I said 'the baby should have little ear buds by now' (meaning the fetus was developing its little ears). Her boyfriend said 'the baby's not even out yet, why does it need ear buds!' I laughed and laughed :)

elf said...

Another one I can think of is the word 'fag' which in European countries means a cigarette and in America means a derogatory term for a male homosexual.

john said...

OT Update:

Did Brian Williams embed with SEAL Team 6?

Anonymous said...

Phrases 4, 6, and 9 are strongly regional but overall the list is wicked good.

A former Mainer

Peter Hyatt said...


how about 2 more from old movies:

a. "making love"

b. "gay"


These two mean significantly different things today than they did in the 30's and 40's when I was a boy.


tania cadogan said...

Where i live we have the following

3) Dirty/foul mouthed?
6) broken?
9) raining hard?

It's nuggets out there - freezing
He's a numpty -stupid dim witted.
The dogs bollocks - fabulous ( adult version)
The bee's knees - The best
pissing down - raining hard
He's bladdered - very drunk
I'll Box your ears - slap you upside your head

Anonymous said...

1) Really hot dish or attractive woman
2)The car will always be in the shop for something
3)heated words-dragon lady?
4)a hunk? gay? having an affair?
6)difficulty getting around. arthritis,etc.
7)not cared for
8)make an impression?
11)not army ready and can't go the distance
12)A toy figure or figurine in the likeness of a human/animal, etc., to make pretty, is pretty
13)money, a male deer, go against (like in traffic)
14)unable to cope with reality, mental illness. Today it's the same thing but words harder to pronounce are used and it doesn't sell meds on TV.

Yeah, fag= cig

Anonymous said...

Oh, and depending upon from whence thou hail, it could be
"raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock."

Anonymous said...

Wow- you look a lot younger than that.

REK said...

Someones attitude- piss and vinegar
someone's behavior- a hot mess
to be filthy rich
to see red
to be on cloud nine
"this isn't my first rodeo"
to have something in the bag
to get a free ride
to be fed from the silver spoon
to crack the whip, or to deal with a heavy hand
to have a heavy heart
to eat humble pie

there's one I heard once, "everything comes out in the wash" or something to that effect. It is not spoken where I live but I heard a couple different meanings attributed to it.

Anonymous said...

eat crow
I'm blue
silver lining
I'll slap a BIP (big important person) on ya!
Oh, pardon my bag
Kinda a drag
I'm down with that

Jen Ow said...

1. An attractive woman

2. A car with ongoing mechanical problems

3. ? (Maybe someone who uses bad language?)

4. ?

5. Coffee

6. Hurt, injured, messed up

7. A person who appears rough, unkempt

8. Go away, (get lost)

9. Good, awesome (other=badass/the 'sh!t')

10. Walk to a destination

11. In the south, 'flat foot' is a type of dancing. Usually set to bluegrass, folk type music. There are festivals based around it.

11a. I have also heard my dad and other coaches use 'flat foot' to describe a slow or clumsy ball carrier/run on the football field.

12. A cute baby/beautiful child, a pretty girl, a kind person (male or female), a child's toy.

13. A dollar, a male deer, a raucous/wild little boy/girl

14. A person unable to handle stress/pressure.

Jen Ow said...

That's hilarious! You need to get that baby some fetal ear buds, lol!

REK said...

It's interesting, I live in the midwest. There's plenty on the list I never hear.
1. She's a Tomato- Never hear, don't know
2. Car is a lemon- Mechanical issues
3. "coal in her mouth" Never hear, don't know
4. "so isn't he" never hear, dont know
5. cup of joe- coffee
6. stove up- never hear don't know
7. rode hard, put away wet- someone who's been through a lot, looks rough around the edges
8. pound sand- never heard, don't know
9. wicked pissah- never heard don't know
10. shoe leather express-never heard don't know
11. flat foot- never heard don't know
12. doll- the toy or a girl who doesn't something sweet
13. buck- dollar, a deer
14. basket case- someone crazy or mentally ill

GetThem said...

How about:

Subs and Grinders (hey, I want a sub).

Or the expressions:
- What a dog.
- Talk to the hand.
- I'm outty.
- Let's split
- Fly the coop
- I'm 21'ing (leaving)

Anonymous said...

#, number, pound sign, hash tag

Anonymous said...

Pinched - arrested

elf said...


Anonymous said...

I love hearing saying and words from other parts of the country. I think it's funny and interesting. :)

elf said...

Peter, to make love used to mean a more emotional bonding, not in a physical sense. Gay was originally the word for being joyful and light hearted. :) I would have guessed you to be a 70s baby, Peter. I reckon that accounts for your wisdom :)

tania cadogan said...

you're nicked -you're under arrest

Any road - Up north (where they talk funny!!) instead of saying anyway, they say "any road"! Weird huh?

Best of British - If someone says "The best of British to you" when you are visiting the UK, it simply means good luck. It is short for "best of British luck".

Blimey - Another exclamation of surprise. Also used "Gawd Blimey" or "Gor Blimey" or even "Cor Blimey". It is all a corruption of the oath God Blind Me.

Blow me - It is simply an exclamation of surprise, short for "Blow me down", meaning something like I am so surprised you could knock me over just by blowing. Similar to "Well knock me down with a feather". It is not a request for services to be performed

Bob's your uncle - This is a well used phrase. It is added to the end of sentences a bit like and that's it!

Bodge - To do a bodge job means to do a quick and dirty. Make it look good for the next day or two.

Bugger all - If something costs bugger all, it means that it costs nothing.

Chuffed - You would be chuffed to bits if you were really pleased about something.

Have a gander - It means to look around.

I'm easy - This expression means I don't care or it's all the same to me.

Knuckle sandwich - Punch to the face/mouth.

Narked - in a bad mood

Porkies - More cockney rhyming slang. Short for "porky pies", meaning "pork pies". Rhymes with lies

Shambles - If something is a shambles it is chaotic or a real mess.

Wobbler - To "throw a wobbly" or to "throw a wobbler" means to have a tantrum.

Yakking - This means talking incessantly

Yonks - "Blimey, I haven't heard from you for yonks". If you heard someone say that it would mean that they had not seen you for ages.

Zed - The last letter of the alphabet. The English hate saying zee and only relent with names such as ZZ Top (Zed Zed Top does sound a bit stupid!).

Zonked - If someone is zonked or "zonked out" it means they are totally knackered or you might say exhausted.

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...


Search yields little


FAIRMONT — “If it were my child, I’d want others to do the same for me.”

That sentiment drew out many of the more than 140 people who volunteered to help on Wednesday in the search for Sara Nicole Graham, a Fairmont 18-year-old who has been missing for eight days.

“If it was my little guy that was missing, I’d want everyone to come out too,” said Joshua Pittman, an Elizabethtown police officer who joined the search on his day off and is the father of a 10-month-old.

Some volunteers, like Pittman, know Sara or her family. Others live in the Fairmont community. Many more were strangers, worried for the safety of someone who could have been their daughter, their granddaughter, their friend.

The teenager was last seen by her family at about 6:30 a.m. on Feb. 4 before she left their home on Centerville Church Road to go to work at the Walmart in Pembroke. Sara’s father, sheriff’s Sgt. Hubert Graham, has largely stayed away from the search process, but briefly joined a group, including Pittman, using Centerville Baptist Church as a base for their search team on Wednesday afternoon.

“It makes me feel so blessed,” Graham said. “I never would have thought I’d have that much support … you can’t say thank you enough when you didn’tAlthough she can be quiet, he said, Sara stays in touch with friends and family and opens up “once you get her to talking.” She has dreams of being in the Navy or being a truck driver, he said.

He didn’t join Wednesday’s search, saying it has been tough to keep his emotions and his experience in law enforcement aside.

“This is one of the best parts of Robeson County right here. When something happens, they come together,” Hubert Graham said.

Graham just wants to know his daughter is safe. If she’s too scared to call or come home, he said, he wants her to know that whatever is going on, he won’t be mad, as long as she comes home.

“Her location is secondary only to if she’s OK,” he said. “… This would be worthwhile just to hear those words, “I’m all right.”

sidewalk super said...

What a happy doggie !

charlotte from denmark said...

Police stations in Britain in the nineteenth century, received many letters from all kinds of people regarding different crimes.

The letters that were written by mentally unstable people, were put in a certain box, to be read later.

These boxes were originally used to store nuts, and so became the phrase "nut cases" and "nuts" when referring to lunatics.

john said...

"Round The Bend"

Paul Hobson gave a closely similar story that referred to the old Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum in Melbourne, which closed in 1925. As it happens,
Several writers to mailing lists online had a different story about its origin, suggesting that mental institutions had long tree-lined driveways that curved at the end so that no one could actually see the buildings. “If you were sent to the loony bin,” one wrote, “you went around the bend in the driveway to get there.“
To counter these tales, all we have is just one entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, from Frank Bowen’s, Sea slang: a Dictionary of the Old-Timers’ Expressions and Epithets, dated 1929. He said that the phrase was “an old naval term for anybody who is mad.”.

Peter Hyatt said...

"Coal in the mouth" or "coal on her tongue" hint:


john said...

"A Face Like a Robbers Dog"

Def = Some who is not "Attractive"

Sus said...

I've always been interested in hearing how these phrases originated. I grew up hearing, "Aunt Ealy's going." meaning I have nothing better to so I'll ride along. My mom said it and my siblings and I say it.

I was stunned one day to hear a co-worker say it. Our grandmothers were sisters. Since there were six sisters I wonder how many unknown cousins are out there saying, "Aunt Ealy's going."

By the way, my mom tells me that her mom told her that Aunt Ealy was an old maid aunt who jumped in the car, invited or not. Even on the six sister's dates. She sure made an impression. Lol.

john said...

I'm from Liverpool in the UK. Here are some slang/phrases we use :)

Here is the ever-growing list of good solid Scouse words:

Abar - The correct way to pronounce the word "about"*
Arlarse (often shortened to Aarlee, Auld-arse, Owlarse or even Old Arse)
Auld - "Old" (pronounced "Arld")
Baltic - Extremely cold weather
Belter - The Scouse word for "Fantastic!".
Bevvy - Beverage, alcoholic drink
Bifter - A cigarette. Also in the phrase "Giving it the bifters", meaning "To do something really well".
Bills - Underpants
Bird - A girl. "Me bird" means "my wife". Often pronounced as "beard"
The Bizzies - The local constabulary. The 5-0.
Boss! - "Very good stuff!"
Bouncer - To perform a U-turn. Example: "Eeh-ar taxi man lad, do a bouncer ere an' pull up next to thee offey."
Bronzey - A suntan. "What do yer reckon of me bronzee then? I've just got back from a day in Sevvy Park and it was pure sunny all day!"
Ciggy - Scousers don't usually say fag when they mean cigarette
Crisp - Instead of saying a packet of crisps, some people say "a packet of crisp". (This one drives me round the twist)
Cum-ed - The correct way to pronounce the phrase "come ahead" or instead of saying "hurry up"
Devo'd - "Devestated"
Divvy - A stupid or silly person
Fillum - Instead of saying "Film", meaning movie
Flim - £5, also called a bluey (see below for more info)
Gerroff instead of "Get off me!"
Giz - The correct way to pronounce the phrase "Give us"
Gowed instead of "Go ahead"
Goz - To take a look at something. As used in the phrase "Giz a Goz"
Grace instead of 'Great'
In a bit - Goodbye
Jarg - Not fully authentic. Fake. Usually used when referring to knock-off goods from a spurious source.
Kecks - Trousers
Kidda/Kidder - Good friend
Like - Every sentence can end in this word (even though it's probably better not to like).
Meff - Trampish looking fellow
Minty - Dirty looking, off, out of date, undesirable
Mogger (ride on a bike)
Mucker - A close friend. Somebody who isn't afraid to muck in and help out. Somebody just like you, me old mucker!
Offey - Off licence. Liquor store.
Or-ice The correct way to pronounce the word "Alright"
Ozzy - The correct way to pronounce the word "Hospital"
Plazzy Scousers (anyone from the Wirral peninsular) AKA Baconheads, Plazzies, "That" lot over the water, etc
Queen - An older lady. Alright Queen!
Raar - The correct way to pronounce the word "right"
Rotter - A disreputable and dislikeable person.
Scran - Food. "I'm dying for some scran, let's go and see if me ma's made our tea yet."
Skint - To have no money - Also 'brassic", from the rhyming slang 'brassic lint'
Skrag - For one woman to pull another woman around by the hair. Fighting. Short for "Skull rag".
Slummy - Loose change (never called "Shrapnel" in Liverpool)
Two Dogs Fightin' - Huyton
Trainies AKA Trabs
Togger - A football match (see below for more football related Scouse)
Woolybacks (anyone from the east of Liverpool - Widnes or St Helens)
Yewoh? instead of 'You what?'

Peter Hyatt said...

I'm learning some new phrases, here.

Anyone with "coal in the mouth"?

First hint: German

Second hint: it is becoming, perhaps, appropriate for today.

Kellie said...

Tania, it's interesting to me that most of the sayings on your lists are ones I grew up with! I'm from NC.

Here's a few more

Takin the piss - meaning are you being a smart ass or getting an attitude with me?

knucklehead - combative or hard headed

thick as a brick - see knucklehead LOL

a honey - good looking

wouldn't work in a pie factory - lazy

catbird - an odd character

a rounder - gossip

This is fun. I'll have more later lol

GetThem said...

Yesterday I was at lunch with my husband and my youngest daughter for Valentine's Day. My oldest daughter is her church retreat. In fact, they got snowed in and are staying an extra night in NH!!!

Anyway, while at lunch, I overheard the gentleman behind me say "I don't like yellow beans, but I grow them every year and they go crazy." It made me think of this post and I knew I wanted to share with you. Mostly because I didn't even realize I was listening to someone else's conversation. It happens to me more and more lately when people speak and I hear more than what they are saying. I like it. Thank you Peter and everyone for all the good and fun insight. I prefer thinking and hearing in terms of SA than the "dulled" hearing referenced by Peter. It's nice to be learning and that the learning is ongoing.

tania cadogan said...

Where i live has a high scottish contingent ( which is a shock for all the east europeans who move here and have to learn the lingo and be fluent in scottish drunkenese)

Have a gander - to have a look
boggin - smelly, dirty
Clatty - very dirty
div - Idiot
Numpty - an endearingterm/lovable idiot

dunderheed - an idiot, a fool
fizzog - face ) i love this word)
Greet - To cry (stop yer greetin)
honkin - smelly/dirty ("Your farts are honkin by the way.")

how? - why?
how no'? - Why not?
jessie/jessy - wimp/big girl's blouse

ken - 'know' (I ken who he is)
lecky - electricity
messages - shopping
minger - dirty/smelly/horrible person

ratarsed - drunk
skelp - to smack or hit someone
skint - no money
Spondoolies Money
Wheesht/wissht be quiet
yin - one (not the number but referring to a person or object)

Isn't language wonderful and so descriptive.

Kellie said...

Tania that would explain it.
In NC there are tons of Scot-Irish or Scotch-Irish (don't know which is wrong or right and I'm not getting into the fray about it! LOL) I am Scot Irish German and probably a lot more added in, but that's my primary lineage.

Some of the words you listed I don't hear much anymore, but were very common in my grandparent's generation.