As the other David and I work together on many projects at the office, we sometimes have a moment where one of us will invoke a colloquialism that the other David has never heard of. Sometimes this makes for some humor, and other times it causes plain old miscommunication. “What the heck does that mean”? He’ll shout when we have one of these moments.
While I was growing up in the Deep South and he was growing up split between Florida and Minnesota, we each picked up various phrases that the other one has never heard.
Me, being me, started tracking some of these moments just for the purpose of writing an article one day. Well, I finally have enough of these to write. So here we go.
We were having a discussion about what’s normal with certain carrier’s paperwork and David remarked, well, it’s the “Rule of Thumb”. I asked did he know the origin of the phrase, “Rule of Thumb”? This saying has been around since the 1400s when a law was passed that a man could not beat his wife with a stick any larger than the girth of his thumb. We had a good laugh when we realized we could not beat paperwork!
We were having a meeting with several folks where the discussion was getting a tad heated. I attempted to get the tone of the conversation calmed a bit by stating “Everyone Mind Your Ps & Qs.” This got more than a few quizzical looks, especially from some of the younger folks in the group. I had to explain by letting them know that this is another old saying that originated in the Pubs; when the bartender would yell at rowdy patrons, they would tend to spill their pints and quarts with their rowdy disruptions and sometimes fights. So, in other words …. calm down.
One morning we were at the gym, and saw a news report about a professional sporting event where there was a knockout! I made the comment, “He was hit so hard he’ll wake up and his clothes will be out of style”. This earned a small laugh. We often get extremely busy especially during the Annual Election period and work long days, 6-7 days a week. One of our staff asked if I had a minute. Since I didn’t have time to chat because I was busy, I said, “I’m busier than a one-legged cat in the litter box”.
In Arizona, like many southern states, we have very hot summers, and as we were leaving a local library in the heat of the summer, I said, “It’s so hot the trees are bribing the dogs”. David just laughed and asked, “Where do you get these things”? When answering questions, I occasionally have someone who’s having a hard time comprehending; I just ask if they want me to start over because “They’re as lost as last year’s Easter Egg”. This usually breaks the ice and we have a laugh and keep going till they get it.
In one of our meetings, when the other David was grinning, I told him, “You’re grinning so big it looks like a mule eating briars”. This one I had to explain, as it earned me another “where do you get these?”Mules will eat just about anything, including blackberry bushes that have briars. So, they will pull their tender lips back and just expose their teeth while they chomp on the plants, thus avoiding the briars. It makes for a hilarious sight, as it appears they are grinning while eating.
I’m sure there is a book somewhere that someone wrote on all these types of things and where they originated. Hope some these gave you a giggle, I know they did for me.
So, what’s your favorite saying?