Wordsmith.org
Posted By: TEd Remington Would you steak your life on it? - 09/27/02 05:07 PM
I just read a story in the newspaper about some people fleeing arrest who "T-boned" another automobile. I'd seen it before, but it got me to wondering if it's in common use. Also, how about in other parts of world where the main language is English? If I say, We T-boned them but no one was hurt" would you know what I meant?

Also, any other words out there that are nouns or adjectives that have been verbed with a pretty much entirely different meaning from the original word?

TEd

Posted By: AnnaStrophic Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 09/27/02 05:11 PM
I wouldn't bet my rump on it, but I think I can figure out the meaning from the expression. Never heard it before.
edit: I just read Faldage's response. He's right. I wouldn't have a clue what it meant without the car context.

Good general question; should generate lots of responses!
Posted By: Faldage Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 09/27/02 05:12 PM
I'd think I'd need a little more context than just, "we t-boned them, but nobody was hurt". Hard to say given I had the fuller context of the original.

Posted By: Jackie Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 09/27/02 06:27 PM
Mercy yes, I'd know--it's in very common use, here. Interesting, though, that the expression for striking another vehicle broadside does not refer to the steak of the same sobriquet (er, can that expression apply to an object?), but to the shape created by the collision.
It would be more logical, wouldn't it, for the driver to say, "I T'd the other guy"?

There's another expression for driving, called 'threading the needle': when you are in the middle lane between at least two others, and pass ahead of two vehicles, one on either side of you. Is this what is also known as slingshoting?

Posted By: Alex Williams Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 09/27/02 07:11 PM
I would recognize immediately what the speaker meant. To "T-bone" another auto is to strike it at a 90 degree angle, i.e. broadside, such as when a person runs a red light and hits a car going through the intersection. BTW this is often fatal for the person in the car that is struck if enough speed is involved, as a result of injuries to the neck and brain.







Posted By: wofahulicodoc just teasing - 09/27/02 07:51 PM
To "T-bone" another

An analogous expression from naval warfare was described in Michener's Space (and other places, I'm sure): "crossing the enemy's T." It means taking your ships in a straight line perpendicular to and in front of your foe's line of ships, so that you can fire all your guns at the same time converging on the enemy ships, while their return fire has to be spread out and thus attenuated...


Posted By: jmh Re: slingshooting - 09/27/02 08:37 PM
>when you are in the middle lane between at least two others, and pass ahead of two vehicles, one on either side of you. Is this what is also known as slingshoting?

Here it is known as illegal. We don't have freeways, the slowest traffic is in the left hand lane and the right hand lane is for overtaking only, so of course .. it just doesn't happen ...


Posted By: Wordwind Re: other expressions - 09/27/02 08:45 PM
Seems there's a racing expression: A driver is sandbagging.

I think that means that a driver in qualifying laps or maybe early in a long race doesn't show his true stuff. Then later in the race, he turns it on...shows his real power. People say he was sandbagging during qualifying or maybe during the early laps.

Please correct me if I've gotten this all wrong.

Posted By: tsuwm Re: sandbagging - 09/27/02 09:23 PM
sandbagging is widely used in sports where it may be advantageous to hide your true skills until an appropriate moment, such as when a wager has been raised -- I've heard it used in bowling and golf and billiards. the betting aspect is actually a clue to its gaming origin, which is poker:

The specific "hang back" or "slack off" sense of "sandbag" you're wondering about comes from poker, where it originally described a player who held off raising the stakes in order to lull the other players into a false sense of security. The poker sandbagger would pounce late in the game, clobbering the other players with his good hand. More generally, "sandbag" has come to mean to under perform any task in order to gain some advantage.
-The Word Detective

the reference to "clobbering" gets at the ultimate origin, which is the use of a sock filled with sand to strike someone, the object of this being to inflict pain without leaving a mark.


Posted By: tsuwm Re: slingshotting - 09/27/02 09:32 PM
slingshotting - Passing a car by first drafting to conserve power, then suddenly moving out of the slipstream and using the reserve power. [Auto Racing Glossary]


Posted By: Wordwind Re: sandbagging - 09/27/02 10:37 PM
Thanks for the explanation, tsuwm, about sandbagging.

In my usual ignorance about all things related to all sports, I had thought maybe sandbagging meant (get ready to roll your eyes) that the car in question appeared to be running slowly because sandbags had been attached to it. Then voila! Suddenly the car speeds ahead and you realize the driver was sandbagging--driving as though weighted down with sandbags.

Very nice to know the truth of the situation now.

Posted By: Wordwind Re: Car Talk: Squirrely - 09/27/02 10:39 PM
And since we're talking cars here, I always liked it when the race announcers said a car was getting squirrely--or zigzagging suddenly on the track.

Posted By: Jackie Re: slingshotting - 09/27/02 11:10 PM
Thanks, tsuwm, for the explanation about slingshotting. (I knew I should double the t, but wondered if our non-native speakers of English would know what I meant if I did.) I was thinking it was different from threading the needle. Now, Jo, I've had a good lesson in British road systems, such as, that for your-all's biggest roads, the M stands for motorway. None of your motorways have more than two lanes in one direction?

Posted By: wordminstrel in the marbles - 09/27/02 11:18 PM
since we're talking cars here
In racing, T-boning often occurs when a driver loses it "in the marbles" but, as often as not, the base of the "T" is a wall, not another vehicle.

"In the marbles" is the area of the track near the top of the high oval where bits of distressed tires, having the appearance of marbles, tend to accumulate to the peril of drivers entering this zone. As you might expect, it is hard to maintain control when you are skidding on rubber beads.
[Come to think of it, truck drivers worry about ending up "in the rhubarb" when they fall asleep at the wheel ... but that is certainly better than being T-boned.]

When we lose control of our mental faculties, people say we have "lost our marbles". Obviously, this has nothing to do with car racing. Where does this expression come from - losing one's marbles - I wonder?

Posted By: Wordwind Re: losing one's marbles - 09/27/02 11:31 PM
I googled till I felt I was losing my own marbles, and all I could find indicated that the expression came from the game of playing marbles. To lose one's marbles was a terrible thing. There was one site that traced the game of playing games of marbles to the Ice Age (when was that exactly?)...

Posted By: modestgoddess Re: slingshotting - 09/28/02 12:50 AM
M stands for motorway

Hey Jackie, hope you don't mind my answering your question (hope Jo doesn't mind either!) - but I just got back from a trip to the UK so can assure you, the motorways there are like our freeways here - double and sometimes triple lanes in each direction. But Jo is right - the outer lane (in their case, the right-most, in ours, the left-most) is used strictly for passing. (Let me tell you, I was well impressed - here in Canada, at least the bits of it I drive, people are bluddy rude about hanging about in the fast lane instead of passing and getting out of the way.)

What they (across the pond) call an "A road" is a single carriageway.

In fact, come to think of it, I'm not so sure we use the term "freeway" in Canada - just "highway." More frequently, "401" (our principal cross-country route), as in:

"I took the 401 to Brockville today."

Our major motorways all seem to start with the number 4 - makes sense that the 401 is the 401, since it's the first and longest (it's aka the trans-Canada highway). If you go on a smaller road, you generally refer to it by number or, if it doesn't have one (rare), by name:

"I prefer to take Highway 2 and then the Parkway if I'm going to Brockville. If I'm going to Ottawa, I'll take Highway 15, then the 417."

I'm sure y'all were just scintillated by this!
(bet you're wishing Jo had got in with an answer before me!)

If you can't see the bright side, polish the dull side.
Posted By: Jazzoctopus Re: slingshotting - 09/28/02 01:52 AM
I'm not so sure we use the term "freeway" in Canada - just "highway."

Though I'm familiar with both terms, I don't think I'd use either unless referring to one in the general sense. I would more specifically say "I took 71 to Columbus" or "275 (the humungous Cinci interstate loop) into Kentucky." And this marks a regional difference that I'm sure we've discussed before, I would never say the 275. Though it deserves a distinguishing article, being so big. (From what I can tell, it's the largest continuous metropolitan freeway loop in the nation.) as if you care . . .

Posted By: Faldage Re: sandbagging - 09/28/02 10:42 AM
The specific "hang back" or "slack off" sense of "sandbag" ... comes from poker

Well, OK. It comes from poker. This would be because the player hides behind a pile of sandbags whilst doing it? This would seem to be the very sort of dead giveaway that having a poker face is supposed to hide. Or is sandbagging used metaphorically to describe the act of clobbering the opponent, as though with a sandbag, when the mask of poor playing is stripped away? And if so, why isn't sandbagging used to refer to the process of playing up to capabilities in the latter phase rather than playing under them in the earlier? Inquiring nitpickers need to know.

Posted By: Jackie Re: slingshotting - 09/28/02 01:37 PM
No, modgod, I don't mind at all; thank you.
Here's a good old thread, wherein musick 'splains how he lost his marbles...
http://wordsmith.org/board/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=miscellany&Number=15668

Posted By: tsuwm Re: sandbagging - 09/28/02 01:45 PM
a nitpicker inquires/enquires: why isn't sandbagging used to refer to the process of playing up to capabilities in the latter phase rather than playing under them in the earlier?

Am I to understand that you don't play poker then? Sandbagging in poker is: not playing up to the capabilities of your hand! Let's suppose that you're playing 7-card stud, in which you receive your first three cards en masse, two face down and 1 up, and then the betting ensues. Let's further suppose that your three cards are Kings (don't want to get too carried away here). You certainly wouldn't want to lose your poker face here by showing your true excitement, but you also (usually) wouldn't want to bet your hand to its full worth by raising the limit, as everyone with Q-10-6 will immediately drop out, thus robbing you of some of your just rewards. So you sandbag, merely matching someone else's bet (there's probably an Ace showing) or making some minimal bet whilst opining, "Hey, are we here to play poker or just to drink beer?!"

Posted By: Faldage Re: sandbagging - 09/28/02 03:59 PM
not playing up to the capabilities of your hand!

Yeah, so I still don't understand what sandbags got to do with it. You're pretending that, rather than two kings in the hole those thangs are actively sandbags, beatable by a deuce high kangaroo straight?

Posted By: Capital Kiwi Re: Motorways ... - 09/28/02 04:38 PM
Actually, ModGod had it partly right.

A motorway (the M1, M5, M6, etc.) is usually three lanes (triple carriageway) although some motorways, e.g. the M11 and the northern half of the M42, are only dual carriageway (i.e., two lanes each way). Motorway rules in Britain are pretty much the same as freeway/interstate rules in the States. The speed limit isn't really enforced on most of the motorways and people tend to travel on them at between 70 and 100 mph. If you're caught doing the ton, however, it's instance loss-of-licence territory. As Jo implied, you are not supposed to travel faster than the traffic in the lane to your right, i.e. no undertaking in the left-hand lanes. Yeah, right.

Then you get the "A" roads which have motorway regulations, for instance the A1M. Confused? You betcha.

"A" roads can be single carriageway or dual carriageway and even triple carriageway in some cases. I use the A14 from Kettering to the M1 every morning, which is dual carriageway. I use the A509 to get from Wellybro to the A14 at Kettering, and it's single carriageway (and a bastard of a road due to the fact that there are a lot of people using it who believe that the speed limit is between 30 mph and 40 mph rather than 60 mph ... I do wish I had James Bond's Aston Martin sometimes, I really do.

"B" roads are everything that aren't "A" roads or motorways. Some are not bad, but some are "Z" roads in my book - really bad. Brits are pretty bad drivers on the whole and travel on narrow country lanes as if they owned the road. I don't know how many times I've had to react quickly to avoid some twat in a Jag doing 80mph on a sunken lane or hedged lane with absolutely nowhere to go.

The Brits talk about the M1 or the A14. If you said "I take A14 to M1", you'd get some pretty strange looks ...

Posted By: tsuwm Re: sandbagging - 09/28/02 08:56 PM
and the nitpicker goes on: so I still don't understand what sandbags got to do with it...

http://wordsmith.org/board/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=words&Number=82424

Posted By: Faldage Re: sandbagging - 09/28/02 09:31 PM
what sandbags got to do with it

Aha! I was right! Sandbagging should refer to the act of performing up to capabilities not the act of laying back in preparation.

Thank you for finally answering the question.

Posted By: Wordwind Re: Mr. Sandman, lyrics - 09/28/02 09:35 PM
Now, folks. Time to head to dreamland for a little station break.

Maestro?

Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream (bung, bung, bung, bung)
Make him the cutest that Iíve ever seen (bung, bung, bung, bung)
Give him two lips like roses and clover (bung, bung, bung, bung)
Then tell him that his lonesome nights are over.
Sandman, Iím so alone
Donít have nobody to call my own
Please turn on your magic beam
Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream.

(scat "bung, bung, bung, bung".)

Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream
Make him the cutest that Iíve ever seen
Give him the word that Iím not a rover
Then tell him that his lonesome nights are over.
Sandman, Iím so alone
Donít have nobody to call my own
Please turn on your magic beam
Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream.

(scat "bung, bung, bung, bung")

Mr. Sandman (male voice: "Yesss?") bring us a dream
Give him a pair of eyes with a "come-hither" gleam
Give him a lonely heart like Pagliacci
And lots of wavy hair like Liberace
Mr Sandman, someone to hold (someone to hold)
Would be so peachy before weíre too old
So please turn on your magic beam
Mr Sandman, bring us, please, please, please
Mr Sandman, bring us a dream.

(scat "bung, bung, bung, bung".)


Posted By: jmh Re: Motorways ... - 09/29/02 10:12 PM
> motorway (the M1, M5, M6, etc.) is usually three lanes (triple carriageway)

ahem ... and sometimes four lanes in each direction.. but that is the M25, more often used as a large car park for London.

Posted By: Capital Kiwi Re: Motorways ... - 09/30/02 12:07 PM
Sorry, Jo, forgot to mention the M25. Largest parking lot in Europe. It's the exception to every rule ... lots of motorways are four-lane for short distances. Only on the M25 does each lane have carspace markings for rush hour parking ...

Posted By: dxb Re: Motorways ... - 09/30/02 01:53 PM
Also on some stretches of the M25, such as Reigate Hill just clockwise of Junction 7, the practice of undertaking, which has an ominous ring to it I always think, is more common than on any other road in the UK.

Posted By: Bean Re: slingshotting - 09/30/02 02:00 PM
I feel I need to clarify some of mg's statements about the Trans Canada Highway. Having driven the 7000+ km from one end of the country to the other on the Trans Canada Highway (with a cat in the back seat for the better part of it) I feel I know a little more of it than just "the 401" (which refers to the southern-Ontario section of the highway.

The Trans Canada Highway takes many numbers/names throughout its length, first of all. From the Victoria to the Ontario border it's labelled (and known as) Highway #1. Once you get into Ontario it's Highway 17. You wouldn't drive down to Toronto if you actually wanted to get anywhere in a sensible amount of time - it's actually quite a detour to go that far south. The sensible route goes Sault Ste. Marie - Ottawa - Montreal and onward. I don't remember the designation in Quebec and the Maritimes but it has no number at all here in Newfoundland! It's just called "the TCH".

Anyway, name or no name, it's not as great as it sounds. Substantial portions of it are a single lane in each direction, no median between the lanes. The traffic is very heavy, since it is the main route across the country, and you're often trapped in heavy traffic behind semi-trailers limited to 90 km/h, waiting for the slightest opportunity to pass. Through the Rockies the driving is both scary and breathtaking at the same time. There are still about 400-500 km of undivided highway in Saskatchewan/Manitoba, and a whole bunch of the section in Ontario is undivided. Quebecers drive like maniacs on their (thankfully divided and well-maintained) portion of the highway. Portions of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are still two-lane, undivided, and the better part of the 1000 km of Newfoundland Trans-Canada highway is also two-lane, undivided. And in Newfoundland there's the added bonus of having to watch out for the island's 200,000 moose, lest one should take the roof of your car (and your head) off by wandering out onto the road at the wrong time.

You really can't appreciate the astounding size of this country unless you've driven it end-to-end. It's ridiculous.

Posted By: dxb Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 09/30/02 02:01 PM
Jackie says: Interesting, though, that the expression for striking another vehicle broadside does not refer to the steak of the same sobriquet (er, can that expression apply to an object?), but to the shape created by the collision.

So why is a T-bone steak so called then? We don't seem to have them in the UK (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) and I don't recall eating one over in the US of A either, so I don't think I have ever actually seen one.


Posted By: Faldage Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 09/30/02 02:28 PM
the expression for striking another vehicle broadside does not refer to the steak of the same sobriquet

why is a T-bone steak so called then?

I was a little baffled by that comment, too. I was reminded of the famous (although probably apochryphal) student paper statement about The Iliad not having been composed by Homer but by someone else with the same name.

A t-bone steak is so named because it has a T shaped bone in it.
http://www.mailameal.com/jpgs/kitchen5/43.jpg

Posted By: dxb Re: slingshotting - 09/30/02 02:31 PM
Thanks for the description of the TCH, Bean. It doesn't sound like a drive you would make for fun - maybe as a challenge! You used an expression I have heard before but not understood; here's my chance to find out. What is a semi-trailer, please?

dxb.

Posted By: dxb Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 09/30/02 02:34 PM
Thanks for the picture, Faldage. Big aren't they. Sort of beef chops.

Posted By: AnnaStrophic Re: T-bone steak - 09/30/02 02:36 PM
(non-meat-eaters, DON'T CLICK)

If you look carefully at this picture, dxb, you'll be able to make out the T-shaped bone (jmh knows a lot about cross-pondial beef cuts, I hope she'll chime in):

http://food.orst.edu/images/MEAT/tbone72.jpg



Posted By: AnnaStrophic Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 09/30/02 02:37 PM
I know I shouldn't dilly-dally when Faldage is on the loose. Oh, well, dxb, now you have two pictures!

Posted By: dxb Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 09/30/02 02:42 PM
Both good!!

Posted By: tsuwm Re: sandbagging - 09/30/02 02:53 PM
The specific "hang back" or "slack off" sense of "sandbag" you're wondering about comes
from poker, where it originally described a player who held off raising the stakes in order
to lull the other players into a false sense of security. The poker sandbagger would
pounce late in the game, clobbering the other players with his good hand. More
generally, "sandbag" has come to mean to under perform any task in order to gain some
advantage. -The Word Detective


the reference to "clobbering" gets at the ultimate origin, which is the use of a sock filled with sand to strike someone, the object of this being to inflict pain without leaving a mark.

>Aha! I was right! Sandbagging should refer to the act of performing up to capabilities not the act of laying back in preparation.

was anyone else as nonplussed by this sequence as I was? if not, I will consider myself sandbagged and cash in my chips.



Posted By: Faldage Re: nonplussing - 09/30/02 03:04 PM
Well, if sandbagging refers to the clobbering with a sock filled with sand, this would be analogous to the final phase of the procedure and not to the preliminary phase of allaying suspicions. In actual use I have always interpreted the phrase to mean the laying back in the early stages; the racer who barely qualifies and then blows everybody away in the race itself is said to have been sandbagging in the prelims.

I was nonplussed by the assertion that the phrase originated in poker; I was not and am still not aware of socks filled with sand being standard equipment in poker games. Perhaps I've never played with sufficiently serious players; my poker experience is not extensive.

Posted By: dxb Re: sandbagging - 09/30/02 03:13 PM
Its all too confusing. I conclude that sandbagging is hitting a racing driver with a poker after coming up on him/her from behind whilst pretending to be in front. But it would be quite a stretch from one car to another. Maybe you have to use a long poker.

Posted By: Bean Re: slingshotting - 09/30/02 03:16 PM
What is a semi-trailer, please?

dxb, it's a big truck (lorry?) used to transport big shipments of goods over long distances. Here's a pic: http://www.man.de/unternehmen/bag_nutz1_e.html. The defining quality of a semi-trailer is that the front part (the rig) can be connected to whatever sort of trailer it needs to haul whatever it is hauling. We may have broached on this before. So what do you call the thing in the picture? A USn term is "tractor trailer" I believe.

Posted By: tsuwm Re: semi-trailer - 09/30/02 03:31 PM
here is a nice planter you can get in the form of an "18-wheeler" semi truck, where you can get an idea of the four sets of four wheels under the trailer (plus two in front). you could fill this with little bags of sand and use it for an ashtray at your next poker game.

http://www.westernstatue.com/4_planters/P-58.htm

Posted By: dxb Re: slingshotting - 09/30/02 03:42 PM
I would call this an articulated lorry or more probably nowadays an articulated truck. Usually abreviated to "an artic". The term lorry I would normally use for a non-articulated truck (ie: one with a rigid chassis all the way from front to back), which would be a smaller vehicle but too large to be called a van.

So, a semi-trailer's trailer could not be rolled on its own without the tractor as it has no wheels on the front whereas a full-trailer's trailer has wheels at the front and back. Have I got that right? I don't think we differentiate between these in the UK, but I could well be wrong. Anyone know for sure?

Posted By: Faldage Re: slingshotting - 09/30/02 03:44 PM
The defining quality of a semi-trailer

Differing opinion here:

The term for the whole assemblage is tractor-trailer. The tractor is the cab/motor stuff up front that supplies the motive power. The trailer is the part that trails behind (duh!). The diference between a full up trailer and a semi-trailer is that the regler trailer has a full set of functional support wheels, fore and aft. A semi-trailer has only rear wheels, relying on the tractor for front end support during travel. There is a set of vestigal looking supports that can be used when the semi-trailer is sitting around not going anywhere waiting for a tractor but they wouldn't be much use while barreling down the highway. Sometimes the term semi is used to describe the whole thing.

Posted By: dxb Re: semi-trailer - 09/30/02 03:45 PM
you could fill this with little bags of sand and use it for an ashtray at your next poker game

Or clobber somebody with it from behind while pretending to be in front - or is it the other way round?

Posted By: dxb Re: slingshotting - 09/30/02 03:48 PM
A semi-trailer has only rear wheels, relying on the tractor for front end support during travel

Got it! Thanks for the confirmation.

Posted By: Bean Re: slingshotting - 09/30/02 05:30 PM
Sometimes the term semi is used to describe the whole thing.

Oh Nitpicker of Nitpickers, no one I know or have known calls it a tractor trailer, while that may be technically correct. For example, when it's bearing down on you on the highway, the first words that come to mind is "Watch out - there's a semi passing us!"

So I submit that there are:

(1) technical definition: the trailer only, with the little legs for resting when it's rig-less
(2) practical definition: the whole darn thing, rig/cab, trailer included, even if you find out after it's passed you on a narrow highway and scared the bejeezus out of you that it actually had all the wheels and no little legs

Posted By: Bean Re: slingshotting - 09/30/02 05:36 PM
Or, as I ponder phrasing it another way, if you were to say "Bean, you may not use the word semi-trailer to refer to the entire truck, for that is technically incorrect" I would be at a loss for another word to fill that linguistic hole in my idiolect. Everyone I know calls the whole kit-and-caboodle a semi-trailer. I would get a blank stare for articulated lorry and a very delayed reaction for tractor trailer.

Posted By: Faldage Re: semitrailering - 09/30/02 05:47 PM
I'll concede to semi being the most common term for the whole thang, but I don't believe that it's common to call the whole thang a semi-trailer, at least not for those who drive them. My votes for most common terms would be semi and rig. The semi-trailer itself would probably be called a trailer, the semi part being understood. I would think that anyone calling the semi-trailer by that name would be thought to be a little pedantic but not misunderstood. Owner-operaters are typically only going to own the tractor, whatever they might call it. The trailers are fungible.

Posted By: Bean Re: semitrailering - 09/30/02 05:57 PM
at least not for those who drive them

I'm sure that that's where the distinction lies. That's often the case for technical terms in general. It drives my husband crazy, for example, that many people call the part of the computer which houses its brains "the CPU" when he says "It's the case, or the tower, and the CPU's inside!!!!!" and then pouts in frustration. But most people are happy to refer to that whole thing as the CPU, even though there's all sorts of other junk in there.

Posted By: Faldage Re: semitrailering - 09/30/02 06:01 PM
The Mexican term for the driver, BTW, seems to be trailero. Any comments on that Connie?

Posted By: FishonaBike Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 10/01/02 09:39 AM
a T-bone steak...We don't seem to have them in the UK

We do, David, just they're not tremendously common (sirloin tends to be the cut of choice, followed by rump as the cheapo option, with fillet for very special occasions).

I had a T-bone recently in fact. Luvverly.

Had my first T-bone steak at least 15 years ago, though.

Posted By: FishonaBike Re: losing one's marbles - 10/01/02 10:25 AM
Before they could be made by machine, of course, marbles were very much more highly valued than they are nowadays. Hand-made marbles are still very collectible.

Here's a good page on valuable marbles, which also points out that the phrases "playing for keeps" and "knuckling down" originated in playing marbles:
http://www.irelandsantiques.com/articels/marbles.htm


It occurs to me that if you had a marble made out of marble, that would represent a lot of hard work by someone. To the extent that a hand-made marble was perfectly spherical that would make it especially prized.

We don't associate marbles with money, risk and gambling at all these days, but it's easy to see that once it would have been devastating to lose all your marbles.

Interesting that the USn usage of marbles phrases is slightly more wide-ranging than UK usage:
http://wordsmith.org/board/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=wordplay&Number=15594


Posted By: consuelo Re: semitrailering - 10/01/02 10:36 AM
Trailero it is, my Fab Fool. Even scarier down there than they is up here . Nothing scares me more while traveling down the freeway than a big rig doin' whatever he/she darn well pleases whether he/she speaks English, Spanish, French or whaddeva. [fount of more silver hairs-e]

Posted By: FishonaBike Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 10/01/02 11:21 AM
"We T-boned them but no one was hurt"

I'd have thought it sounded rude, and probably illegal.
If you said "Our car T-boned theirs" I'd have got the gist, but not necessarily accurately.

Not sure what the UK equivalent would be. Something boring like "we crashed into the side of their car.."

Posted By: rkay Re: slingshotting - 10/01/02 01:09 PM
Now, over here (UK), semi-trailer would get you the blank stare, artic would be completely understood and accepted as the norm and 'tractor-trailer' would have everyone thinking you were nuts as everyone knows they're what you find on the farm, do a max of about 30mph (except for the new whizzy ones that do 45) and you certainly wouldn't want to do 7000+miles of the TCH in one!

Posted By: Faldage Re: artic - 10/01/02 04:34 PM
Hereabouts, artic would be assumed to be a contraction of Arctic-Cat. The snobs would revile you for leaving out the first c and the rednecks would revile you for leaving out the cat.

Posted By: Bean Re: artic - 10/01/02 04:54 PM
artic

I bet it's not pronounced the same. Is it ar-TIC, just like ar-TIC-ulated? (As opposed to AR-tic.)

Posted By: Wordwind Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 10/01/02 04:59 PM
In reply to:

Not sure what the UK equivalent would be. Something boring like "we crashed into the side of their car.."


I think most people would say that they'd hit a car broadside.

I've never heard this T-Bone thing till this thread, but it sounds like something that's been around for a long time. I always felt that way when listening to Ross Perot speak. He used expressions I'd never heard, but they sounded like they'd been around forever.

Posted By: Capital Kiwi Re: Watch out for that ... !!!! - 10/01/02 05:51 PM
Hoooo boy. Okay, in Zild it's a semi or a rig or an artic (we're a pretty confused lot, really).

The ones in the US are bigger in every way than the ones in Britland. The ones in Britland are governed to about 60mph. That, alone, is probably responsible for half the accidents I see on the way to and from my place of employment.

But you ain't seen nuffink till you've seen an Austraaaalian road train ....

Posted By: Faldage Re: Road trains - 10/01/02 05:54 PM
I've seen them up to about three or four trailers long in the US.

Note: only the first trailer is a semi-trailer; all the rest are full trailers.

Posted By: Alex Williams Re: Road trains - 10/01/02 06:13 PM
Just my $0.02 on sandbagging...


I had always thought that to sandbag someone meant to ambush them in one way or another, and the origin was from the use of sandbags in theaters. Sandbags were (maybe still are) used as counterweights on pullies, to hold up the large backdrops and other set pieces used on stage. By cutting a rope a sandbag could be made to fall vertically onto an unsuspecting passer-by. Thus the heavy sandbag would drop upon the person with calamatous effect, and the person would never know what hit them.



Posted By: Faldage Re: Back to sandbagging - 10/01/02 06:15 PM
the origin was from the use of sandbags in theaters

It would seem to make more sense to have sandbagging trace back to sandbags rather than socks, but.

Posted By: FishonaBike Re: Back to sandbagging - 10/01/02 10:13 PM
more sense to have sandbagging trace back to sandbags rather than socks

Sock it to me straight, mate, I won't have any truck with shady sandbaggers.

There's something sneaky and surprising about sandbags - they hit a lot harder than you expect (can even knock you senseless), and don't leave a mark.

But I suspect there is something in Alex's theatre theory - if you have sandbags suspended at a great height and they fall down when you're underneath and not prepared , you'll really know about it (assuming you're not dead). In a large theatre it would take experience to know where the sandbags are and where they're going, and thus to work safely backstage.

Duck!

Posted By: Bobyoungbalt Re: Sandbagging - 10/02/02 01:26 AM
The idea of smacking someone with a heavy bag of sand is inherent in the use of the word in cards.

I've never heard it used with reference to poker, but it's common in pinochle. It means to pass [in the bidding] with a good hand. The objective is that if the dealer is well ahead in the scoring and likely to win in the next hand or two, you "stick" him with the bid. (In pinochle, the dealer bids last and if no one else bids, he must play the hand, no matter how bad; or, in some circles he can "throw in", i.e., be penalized the amount of the minimum bid without playing the hand and without the other players, including sandbaggers, being able to score meld.)

Hence, using the old rules where the dealer must play out the hand, a sandbagger not only has a good hand to assault the dealer with, but a lot of meld score as well, which is like coshing him.

Posted By: jmh Re: artic - 10/02/02 06:47 AM
>I bet it's not pronounced the same. Is it ar-TIC, just like ar-TIC-ulated? (As opposed to AR-tic.)

No AR-tic or quite often, just to confuse people - ARC-tic. I'd always wondered if people were thinking it was to do with the arctic or just adding an extra consonant because it sounds better (you know how we like those extra letters).

Never heard of semi- or whatever trailer but maybe that is what they are called technically. I don't think that our roads are straight enough for more than two linked together. Sometimes you see really huge things on the motorway with accompanying police motor bikes to warn people, especially if it is an extra wide or slow load.

Posted By: jmh Re: Would you steak your life on it? - 10/02/02 07:33 AM
> a T-bone steak...We don't seem to have them in the UK

> We do, David, just they're not tremendously common (sirloin tends to be the cut of choice, followed by rump as the cheapo option, with fillet for very special occasions).


Ah - whatever happened to the t-bone steak? I remember them well, a candle-lit dinner at the Berni Inn, the music (Demis Roussos for preference), a bottle of Mateus Rose and a t-bone with foil-wrapped baked potato and lashings of butter. Well, that would have been my father's view of heaven in the seventies. Maybe you're just too cool David?

Here's some UK seventies nostalgia for those old enough to remember:
http://tv.cream.org/thecore/adbooze.htm

I think the the t-bone simply went out of fashion with the seventies style steak house (until it was banned for a while as part of the beef-on-the bone stuff in the midst of BSE) or had too many calories (to be replaced by calorie loaded chicken tikka masala) or priced itself out of the market (although fillet steak is still on the menu). I dunno.

Here's a guide to British cuts of beef (veggies, don't look) for the more serious minded
http://www.hwatson.force9.co.uk/magazine/2000/05-2000/beef.htm

Posted By: Faldage Re: artic - 10/02/02 10:27 AM
quite often, just to confuse people - ARC-tic

Probably just hypercorrection.

really huge things on the motorway with accompanying police motor bikes

Y'all get the cops to do the accompanying? USns have an accompanying pickup with a WIDE LOAD sign and flashing yellow lights.

Posted By: of troy Re: artic-- wide load cops - 10/02/02 12:35 PM
wide loads rate cops here in NYC area... and to get into manhattan, they have to be scheduled. but last year, in a bit of morbid comic relief, i got stuck in a traffic jam just out side the toll booths for the George Washington bridge (a major portal from NJ) the traffic jam was caused by a convoy of wide load trucks (carrying massive cranes and earth moving equipement) that because of the emergency was going thro during daytime hours --only it wasn't -- the load was too wide for the toll booths, and they had move "zipper" barriers to open up the spaces...

do your artic travel down the road in convoys? tailgating each other, riding in each others slip stream? 10 or 20 in a row? I saw a convoy this summer in canada.

Posted By: jmh Re: artic-- wide load cops - 10/03/02 07:48 AM
>Do your artic travel down the road in convoys? tailgating each other, riding in each others slip stream? 10 or 20 in a row? I saw a convoy this summer in canada.

You do sometimes see them in groups but I don't think convoys are such a big deal hear. There was quite a funny rip off of the "Convoy" song years ago with names like "plastic chicken" and "rubber duck"
http://members.tripod.com/~Cybertrucker/convoygb.htm
- I suspect we're not so good at taking these things seriously.

Here's a "sad" story (Eddie Stobart is a haulage firm - there was a thing about honking your horn when you saw them a few years ago):

http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/july02/26th/stobbart.asp

Posted By: FishonaBike Re: artic-- wide load cops - 10/03/02 08:18 AM
Here's a "sad" story.. Eddie Stobart

Nothing sad about spotting and counting "Stobbies" and "Nobbies" (Norbert Dentressangle lorries, French competitors, boo hiss) on a long Motorway trip*, Jo!

It's yet another way of keeping the kids distracted, and I'm all for that.



*about 30 miles and over for us Brits

Posted By: jmh Re: artic-- wide load cops - 10/03/02 08:45 AM
> another way of keeping the kids distracted

I rest my case.

Interestingly, while looking for a suitable link, I happened across some train spotting sites - now if you think we're dull ....

Posted By: RhubarbCommando Re: artic-- wide load cops - 10/03/02 12:38 PM
sorry I missed most of this - but I must have my two-pennuth.

semi or semi-trailer It really does depend on to whom you are speaking as to whether this will be understood in UK. Certainly a lorry-driver (or truck-driver - the two terms are pretty equally used) would know what you meant, and would be quite likely to use the term frequently amongst fellow professionals.

artic understood by just about everyone - the accent on the first syllable.

governed to 60 mph You definitely have to be joking, CapK!! The Volvo F-series, fro instance, are capable of over 90 mph when unladen. So are the Scanias, and Mercs. Even the Leylands and AECs will do aaround 80.

When you are stuck behind on doing60, I'll take a small bet that they are, a) fully laden and b) either going up hill or negotiating winding roads, or have been stuck behind a slow-moving, granny-driven Nissan Micra and not managed to build up speed yet.
Try driving at a 60 in the middle lane of the M-way and find out how soon it is before your rear mirror is filled with the letters OVLOV !!

Posted By: Capital Kiwi Re: artic-- wide load cops - 10/03/02 08:02 PM
Rhube, all HGVs are governed to 60mph. And there are proposals to LOWER that to 90kph. Often they have their maximum speeds enshrined on the rear of their trailers. I have never had an HGV up my rear if I'm doing more than 60mph, and if you have then that truck was illegally ungoverned.

Suggest you read this:
http://www.roads.dft.gov.uk/consult/goodsvehicles/

and this:
http://www.newsrelease-archive.net/coi/depts/GDT/coi1225c.ok

and for a laff:
http://www.hgvweb.co.uk/news4.htm


Posted By: of troy Re: governed - 10/03/02 08:38 PM
do you mean the actual motor on the trucks are geared or have some sort of mechical governing circiut in them that limits the speed?

i think if congress tried to do that to truck (and if thought about it for cars) it would be makings of a second american revolution!

people might believe in free speach and still support some censoring of words, books and art, but give up our right to speed on a highway? them would be fight'n words on americas roadways.

i have had the experience of driving 70+ mph on road posted for 55, and then caught site of a cop car behind me... with out light or sirens, its just zipped on by, leaving me eating it's dust... speed limits are like suggested retail prices... a guide, but not one that most take seriously, except on small local streets.

Posted By: Capital Kiwi Re: governed - 10/03/02 08:44 PM
No, if I understand it correctly, the limiter is run off the speedo. When the speedometer hits the magic number, no more power can be applied.

Posted By: Faldage Re: governers - 10/03/02 11:07 PM
Way I learned it there is some sort of spinning thang that when it gets going so fast it goes out far enough it trips a switch that cuts the power.

Posted By: Bean Re: governed - 10/04/02 10:04 AM
I've been in school buses with the same restriction on speed. Something mechanical inside them was designed to stop their top speed at 90 km/h (56 mi/h). And there are lots of trucks (semis) with signs on the back informing you that their speed is limited, usually to 90 km/h. I guess the sign is there so that you don't get overly angry when stuck behind one, and ask yourself why the driver isn't going faster.

Posted By: Fiberbabe Re: governed - 10/04/02 11:47 AM
Actually, of troy... if you've ever rented a U-Haul truck (or any of their competitors, for that matter), you've driven with a governor. If I remember correctly, they're set to 60 mph, and on a cross-country move, you kind of get used to eating dust. Presumably they've incorporated the governors to maximize the life of the engines on their vehicles, so it's not a bad business decision for them.

Posted By: of troy Re: governed - 10/04/02 12:15 PM
when i drove cross country in a u haul truck with my son a few years ago, the truck had no such control, and i one of the wild open places, they high plains of wyoming or maybe Utah, i drove the fastest i have ever driven, over 90 miles per hour... i didn't keep going that fast for long, i didn't think it safe, but we did regualary go 75 mph in the the thing. so they are not consistant in use of governers.

Posted By: Fiberbabe Re: governed - 10/04/02 12:44 PM
Well, hell's bells. I musta gotten a raw deal! I may be dealing with those U-Haul people in the immediate future, so now I'll know to ask.

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