After weeks of colloquialism research, once again Vera has outdone herself. She made a profound comment on the original Colloquialism post. Assuming that most of you lack the time and/or boredom to review previous posts for comments, I’ve taken it under my right wings to provide you with the luxury of reading her research drunken – I mean driven - epiphanies.
Rather than finding the meaning of these, since we all know “We hear what we want to”, let’s see how they are slightly modified:
Old “All gone to Pot”
New All the pot is gone
Old “Am I my brothers keeper”
New You can keep my brother
Old “Pros and cons”
New Cons are pros
Old “Pull the wool over one’s eyes”
New Take off that sweater, there’s coffee on it
Old “Put your shoulder to the wheel”
New Push my motorcycle so I can start it
Old “Have a bone to pick with you”
New TD&H has some ribs to share with you
Old “Need to see a man about a dog”
New Vera’s got to IP
Old “Out of the pan into the fire”
New The frying pan is on fire
And one for Loreena Bobbit:
Old “Go off half cocked”
New I have half his cock!
End of Vera Says
Another addition to the Colloquialism comments came via e-mail from Jay (we really need to come up with a new name for you… Leisure Suit JW? dirXML Giant? Microphone Monkey? Others…?) Here’s what he says:
“I have a couple of colloquialisms that I'd like to add to your list for investigating.
1. Not worth a tinkers dam
2. I don't give a rat's @ss
3. I'm sicker than a dog
There is no rush to investigate these. From your blog I can tell you are very busy honing your Photoshop skills. I don't mean to be critical but your efforts to remove red eye could use some refining.”
Alright "Jay" - red eye is part of the creative process. With that said, here’s my report:
Not Worth A Tinker’s Dam
The Term “Tinker” refers to a tin smith. I was born in the 70s so any reference to a tin smith is new to me. It is my understanding that they did away with tin smiths in the 60s when a fellow by the name of Morrissey was born. He subsequently dropped the “tin” and became the “Smiths.” Anyway tin smiths made dams out of clay to pour their molten tin into so that they could work with it. After the tin had cooled to form a solid, the clay could no longer be used and was therefore worthless. Not Worth A Tinker’s Dam means that you cannot recycle whatever you say is not worth a tinker’s dam. “Thou Shalt Not Use Tinker’s Dams” should really be added to the Green Commandments as documented in post “Green.”
I Don’t Give a Rat’s @ss
Rats are pretty nasty and the @ss of the rat is even worse. We can all assume this unless of course you want proof, then you can go get your own rat’s @ss and draw your own conclusion. I’m pretty sure this term came from the Navy.
Sicker than a Dog
It’s common knowledge that dogs barf when they eat people food. Its makes sense then that when we become sick, we’d be sicker than or at least as sick as dogs because OUR food makes THEM sick. I couldn’t find a specific history on this one. I’m going to expect that this phrase originated during the bubonic plague – with the number of wild dogs running around back then, you can bet that if you were barfing, there’d be a dog barfing right there with you.