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Author Topic: Sayings and their meanings.  (Read 17229 times)

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Offline conan

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #48 on: January 16, 2016, 23:55:11 »
Thanks :) Here's anoiher.

When someone does something frequently and needing little persuasion, why do we say they do it “at the drop of a hat”?

There seems to be few ideas about this one

http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/32474/at-the-drop-of-a-hat
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline peterchall

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #47 on: January 16, 2016, 22:38:00 »
Thanks :) Here's anoiher.

When someone does something frequently and needing little persuasion, why do we say they do it “at the drop of a hat”?
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline Longpockets

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2016, 19:19:14 »
"Tell that to the marines"

Believed to derive from the first British marines who were formed from soldiers around 1664. It was thought the army recruits were considered green and not on a par with hardened sailors, hence the implication that marines were naive enough to believe ridiculous tales, but that sailors weren't.


Offline Bilgerat

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2016, 18:01:33 »
Back to 'Three Sheets to the Wind', I found this on a website dedicated to the Aubrey Maturin novels of Patrick O'Brien:

While one might assume that the word “sheet” represents the sail of the ship, it actually refers to the line used to control the sail. When several sheets were loose, a ship’s sail would flail wildly about, often causing the ship to appear to be staggering uncontrollably, as if in a drunken state. The expression was used to refer to drunkenness even during the age of sail and was often part of a sliding scale. When a sailor was just a wee bit tipsy, he was one sheet to the wind. Two sheets to the wind described a sailor who was well-oiled, while three sheets to the wind represented a sailor who was a stumbling, slurring mess.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline peterchall

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2016, 17:34:49 »
Thanks conan. Unsually for KHF, there's many unanswered questions in this thread :)

Why do we say "Tell that to the Marines" when we hear an implausible story? Were the Marines particularly gullible?
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline conan

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2016, 14:22:21 »
From where did we get 'spondulicks' for money?

The word seems to go back  a fair way

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spondulix
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline peterchall

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2016, 08:17:42 »
From where did we get 'spondulicks' for money?
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline Paolo

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2016, 21:11:44 »
perhaps from Irish & Scottish Gaelic "tuig" =  understand

Offline peterchall

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2016, 21:02:23 »
Why do we 'twig' something when we understand it?
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline davpott

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2016, 22:15:27 »
Seven sheets to the wind, meaning being drunk.  Must be a Naval or orther sailing term.

It would be naval. A sheet is the rope at the clew of a sail(The bottom corners of a square sail or back end on the trianglular sails ). A windward or lazy sheet is not working and left  loose so flaps around a little in the breeze.

Offline Ajemp

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2016, 21:48:52 »
I'll split on you. Meaning to tell on you. "Split" - why and what is the connection?

Offline Sad Git

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2016, 14:10:53 »
My second pet hate (train station being the first) is the greeting 'Hi-ya'. Any ideas where in the hell this verbal atrocity came from? I used to hear it a lot in Aylesham in the 1980's and almost no where else, however it seems to be the mainstream greeting these days. Anyone who greets me with this phrase does not get it returned, I still use the English Standard 'Good ........... ' or if feeling really obtuse the standard Welsh 'Bore Da' (Morning), 'Prynhawn Da' (Afternoon) or 'Nos Da' (Good Night)......

S4.

Hiya might well have American origins, as peterchall suggests, but it's an everyday greeting up north and has been throughout my lifetime. (And long may it continue. My little granddaughter's vocabulary consists of just two words... doggy and hiya!:) I've always taken it as a condensed version of 'how are you?'


Offline peterchall

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2016, 12:56:51 »
Now that’s a saying whose meaning, while generally understood, is not obvious from its words. What is the origin of “it stands to reason"?  Why not just say “it’s obvious”?
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2016, 09:47:54 »
Stands to reason Peterchall.

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Sayings and their meanings.
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2016, 08:48:47 »
Is that related to “One over the eight” – as a kid I thought that implied that a real man should be able to drink 8 pints of beer without ill-effect!

To SentinelS4, I think “Hiya” is an Americanism, probably introduced by US troops in WW2. I vaguely remember it being all the rage, often expanded into “Hiya buddy”.
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

 

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