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Strange phrases





Solon_Poledourus
When I talk, I tend to use alot of phrases that, if I think about them, are really strange. Some are "old sayings". some come from local dialects and I just like them. Below are a few of my that I use, and what they mean. Does anyone have any others they use and/or find interesting?
There are people on this forum from so many different parts of the world, I'd think it would be interesting to see some of the things we all say in conversation that sometimes make no sense if you think about them.

Screwing the pooch = Making a bad mistake. "John really screwed the pooch on that math test".
Buying the farm = To die. "Eric lost control of his car and bought the farm".
Shoot the breeze = To have idle chat. "Me and Bill were shooting the breeze".
Barking up the wrong tree = To pursue a wrong assumption. "If you think you can kick Bruce Lee's ass, you are barking up the wrong tree".

Those are a few, does anyone have any more that I might not have heard? Or any that just seem stupid when you think about the wording?
missdixy
"minding your "'P's and Q's."

I forgot the exact origin of it (although I did look it up once, long ago). I know that P is for pint and q for quart, but it still just makes no sense to me haha. Its's quite weird.
AftershockVibe
missdixy wrote:
"minding your "'P's and Q's."

I forgot the exact origin of it (although I did look it up once, long ago). I know that P is for pint and q for quart, but it still just makes no sense to me haha. Its's quite weird.



I always assumed that was just a bad in-joke gone global, "P for Please" and Q for "thank Q".
Triple_7
Common ones from my area,

"If it ain't one thing it's another"-----When one thing goes wrong, then another, and another, etc.

"Let sleepin dogs lie"-----Don't mess with someone in particular, don't start another argument. Or just let it go.

"Til the cows come home"-----Its going to be a quite awhile.

"Let me sleep on it"-----Think it over and get back with you at a later time.

"Screw you and the horse you rode in on"-----Tired of you, now go away in the manner of which you came.

There's a few more that I can't think of right now. Then there some that I just wont post Rolling Eyes
deanhills
I also tend to use phrases quite a bit that I have picked up in various locations through my life:
"I don't know him/her from Adam"
"I made it by the skin of my teeth" (I just made it)
"He/she is a real dodo" (not very intelligent)
"It is as clear as a bell" (I understand it well it is clear to me)
"It is as clear as mud" (I don't have the foggiest)
"Burning the midnight oil" (working late)
"Speedy Konsalis" (he is quite fast)
"Time will tell" or "In the fullness of time"
"Not shabby at all" (looks great)
"He/she is real gung-ho" (enthusiastic)
missdixy
deanhills wrote:
"Speedy Konsalis" (he is quite fast)


Hehe, I am pretty sure that's supposed to be Speedy Gonzales - the fastest mouse in Mexico!

More on Speedy Gonzales Very Happy
ted1986
You want to know some chinese phrase? 守株待兔,
Solon_Poledourus
missdixy wrote:
"minding your "'P's and Q's."

I forgot the exact origin of it (although I did look it up once, long ago). I know that P is for pint and q for quart, but it still just makes no sense to me haha. Its's quite weird.

As far as I can remember, it's a bartending phrase. When the boss comes in, you gotta mind your pints and quarts(don't give to much away for free). In other words, "be precise".
At least this is what I learned as a former bartender.
Solon_Poledourus
ted1986 wrote:
You want to know some chinese phrase? 守株待兔,

Enleighten me, I love foreign phrases. That's part of the reason I started this thread.
Futile
Some of the ones I use and one's use locally:

Nice brianchild (used when someone doesn't make the brightest choice)
One "Oh Sh*t!", F*#ks ups a thousand "Atta Boys!" (one mistake can negate all the good that you have done)
Meetings - There is no one as dumb as all of us (used at my job - taken off one of those "inspiration posters)
I am so broke that if it cost 50 cents to go around the world, I could not afford to get out of sight (pretty self explanatory)
You can't fix stupid (Comedian Ron White's catch phrase used all the time at both of my jobs)
If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. (pretty self explanatory)

Two of my favorites:
The customer is not always right. Most of the time, the customer is a clueless moron. If this sign offends you, you are this moron. (sign posted behind the counter at my second job)
If you want to play in a man's game, expect a man's foul. (My grandfather use to say that)
missdixy
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
missdixy wrote:
"minding your "'P's and Q's."

I forgot the exact origin of it (although I did look it up once, long ago). I know that P is for pint and q for quart, but it still just makes no sense to me haha. Its's quite weird.

As far as I can remember, it's a bartending phrase. When the boss comes in, you gotta mind your pints and quarts(don't give to much away for free). In other words, "be precise".
At least this is what I learned as a former bartender.


Ah yes! That was it! Haha, thanks Smile
Jaan
'Maria se fue'
(spanish, maria left.... theres a little game that goes along with it too)
spanish is really cool...
'pendejo' = stupid
'seroti' = piece of sh*t
'traniquiloooo' = calm down calm down

Very Happy
Crazy_Canuck
My mom used to have some of the BEST expressions. Some of them, I don't even know what they mean, but I know the context they were used in:

1. So ugly she could eat corn through a picket fence. (usually applied to someone with buck teeth, but could be used more generally to describe someone horse-like.)

2. "Who rattled your chain?" or "there's another country heard from" (used in similar contexts: for when someone piped up with something irrelevant or out of context, or butted in to a conversation)

3. "The things you see when you don't have a gun" (usually accompanied by a dramatic shaking of the head and a tsk-tsk frown; she would say this whenever she saw someone wearing a really tacky animal print of some sort, like a cheetah-print blouse or something godawful like that. LOL -- uhhh, btw: my mom was an incredibly peaceful, gentle person. Which is why when she said this it made me laugh so much!)

4. That gal/guy could go into the toilet and come up with a B.C. salmon (for someone with really good luck, or "dumb luck")

I'll think of more, too. I've always wanted to write them all down, this is a great thread for it!!!
guissmo
Nothing wrong with that, I think. Maybe you just like to mess around with idioms. On the other hand, I like to use annoying corny puns. I guess we all have our little quirks. Hehe.
Solon_Poledourus
I was talking to some of my friends from other countries, and I especially like the phrases that really only make sense in a certain language. I like to hear them translated to English, because they sound a bit funny, and it makes me really think about the meaning.

Here is a link to some Idioms in English. If anyone has a link, or just a few that are in another language, I would love to hear them.
PatTheGreat42
I always like pointing out the origins of some phrases, because the origin is not always innocuous. Like "son of a gun," which while something you'd say around children, really means a kid born out of wedlock, really: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/327900.html
evilgeniuself
I've always thought that "you're welcome" is an odd thing to say in response to "thank you", since there's not really anything that you're welcoming to the other person. That's why I've always said "no problem" instead. Anyways, that's just me.
kriszara
One of my oddest family phrases is:
"He's gone tits up" or alternately "tits up in a snowbank" it means someone has crashed or died.
I don't know the origin, I just know that my Dad and uncles who grew up on a farm in Minnesota use it a lot.
If anyone wants to clarify or tell us the origin please do so.
joe_042293
In the UK, if a situation goes "tits up" then it means that something has gone wrong.

"The lead actor in the play was drunk on-stage, and projectile vomited over the audience. The whole thing went tits up."

Never heard it used as a euphemism for death. Must be a case of somebody hearing it in a certain context and misinterpreting the meaning.
Vrythramax
joe_042293 wrote:
In the UK, if a situation goes "tits up" then it means that something has gone wrong.

"The lead actor in the play was drunk on-stage, and projectile vomited over the audience. The whole thing went tits up."

Never heard it used as a euphemism for death. Must be a case of somebody hearing it in a certain context and misinterpreting the meaning.


I don't about the UK, but in the US most slang phrases can be used in a lot of different contexts...some make sense, others not so much. One thing most of them have in common is that they don't exactly mean what the words themselves were originally intended for.

Some of them are actually pretty funny...I especially like reading of ones from different countries. One prime example is, and correct me please if I am mistaken, in the UK "lighting up a fag" means lighting a cigarette...it has a completely different meaning here in the US. Laughing
Solon_Poledourus
kriszara wrote:
One of my oddest family phrases is:
"He's gone tits up" or alternately "tits up in a snowbank" it means someone has crashed or died.
I don't know the origin, I just know that my Dad and uncles who grew up on a farm in Minnesota use it a lot.
If anyone wants to clarify or tell us the origin please do so.


I did a Google search, and this is what I found:
The link.
Quote:
Meaning

Inoperative; broken. The term is also used to mean fallen over (on one's back)

Origin

This is a 20th century phrase, probably of military origin. There's certainly no mention of it in print prior to WWII. It has been suggested that the term derives from the behaviour of aeroplanes' altitude indicators, which turn upside down when faulty and display an inverted 'W' resembling a pair of breasts. There's no real evidence to support this speculation and it seems more likely that the phrase is just a vulgar alternative to the earlier 'belly-up', which has the same meaning.

Gotta love those WWII soldiers, they had such a way with words...
sondosia
I always thought it was funny when a person who's oblivious, in denial, or just stupid is referred to as "having his head in his rear end." I mean, nobody's that flexible... Very Happy
Raidation
Another Chinese one: 刻舟求剑
_AVG_
Don't 'fat chance' and 'slim chance' mean the same thing?

Now that is strange.
Solon_Poledourus
_AVG_ wrote:
Don't 'fat chance' and 'slim chance' mean the same thing?

Now that is strange.
I never thought about it, but yes, that is strange.
tony
AftershockVibe wrote:
missdixy wrote:
"minding your "'P's and Q's."

I forgot the exact origin of it (although I did look it up once, long ago). I know that P is for pint and q for quart, but it still just makes no sense to me haha. Its's quite weird.



I always assumed that was just a bad in-joke gone global, "P for Please" and Q for "thank Q".


Ha! I always wondered what is the meaning. - Now I know! Or at least I know a good guess at it Smile
DoctorBeaver
The other day I heard someone say "He's a blunt speaker, comes straight to the point". Blunt & pointed at the same time? Interesting.

For someone who's way off the mark at something: "Couldn't hit a cow's ar5e with a cricket bat" or "Couldn't hit a barn door with a hand grenade"

Someone who is mad "has a screw loose"

Where did "It ain't over til the fat lady sings" come from? Is it a reference to Wagner's Ring Cycle?

Something that misleads you is a "red herring" or is "leading you up the garden path"

In a dodgy situation you can be "up a gum tree"

"Raining cats & dogs" - WTF!?
Vrythramax
"Single minded in purpose"...like you can have more than one at any time??

The others listed are called Oxymorons or Antonyms, and first one that comes to mind is "Military Intelligence", (jumbo shrimp is also another good one).

Quote:
Oxymoron: a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (as cruel kindness) ; broadly : something (as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements.
Nameless
Fair shake of the sauce bottle, mate! Wink
Dean_The_Great
evilgeniuself wrote:
I've always thought that "you're welcome" is an odd thing to say in response to "thank you", since there's not really anything that you're welcoming to the other person. That's why I've always said "no problem" instead. Anyways, that's just me.



"You're welcome" essentially means that the person is welcome to have whatever it is you gave them. For example:


"Can you tie my shoes for me? Thanks"
"You're welcome [to the assistance I can provide with your shoes]"

"May I have another M&M? Thanks"
"You're welcome [to the delicious M&M I just gave to you]"
kriszara
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
kriszara wrote:
One of my oddest family phrases is:
"He's gone tits up" or alternately "tits up in a snowbank" it means someone has crashed or died.
I don't know the origin, I just know that my Dad and uncles who grew up on a farm in Minnesota use it a lot.
If anyone wants to clarify or tell us the origin please do so.


I did a Google search, and this is what I found:
The link.
Quote:
Meaning

Inoperative; broken. The term is also used to mean fallen over (on one's back)

Origin

This is a 20th century phrase, probably of military origin. There's certainly no mention of it in print prior to WWII. It has been suggested that the term derives from the behaviour of aeroplanes' altitude indicators, which turn upside down when faulty and display an inverted 'W' resembling a pair of breasts. There's no real evidence to support this speculation and it seems more likely that the phrase is just a vulgar alternative to the earlier 'belly-up', which has the same meaning.

Gotta love those WWII soldiers, they had such a way with words...


I love the phrases that came out of WWII.
For years I thought the phrase "the whole nine yards" was a sewing reference. That a bolt of cloth had nine yards on it. Turns out it is a WWII reference to the belt fed machine guns. One belt of ammo was nine yards long, so giving someone the whole nine yards meant you fired all the ammo you had.
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