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#20552 - 02/27/01 05:52 PM strange phrases and usages
jimthedog Offline

Registered: 02/24/01
Posts: 387
Loc: Hartsville, New York.
Has anybody else thought about how strange some phrases are?"Winging it", and late, as in the late Dale Earnhart, are the ones I wonder upon most.My father and I looked up late in the dictionary, and decided definition 3(recently) explained it, although late can be used in the same context as former. Strange. I still haven't found out where winging it comes from. jimthedog

#20553 - 02/27/01 08:21 PM Re: strange phrases and usages
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
There was in the 30's a type of dancing waving both elbows as though they were wings flapping, and by extension "winging it" meant dancing that way.I think the phrase "buck and wing" was used even in the 20's.
Several languages have respectful ways of making it clear that the person mentioned is no longer living. "The late..." is the most common English one.

#20554 - 02/28/01 05:02 AM Re: strange phrases and usages
Capital Kiwi Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 3146
Loc: Northamptonshire, England
Oh dear, I AM posting a lot tonight. I shall cease and desist after this one, I promise.

I heard an expression many moons ago which I loved and use constantly (probably to the annoyance of all my acquaintance). If I'm referring to someone who's died, I usually say "so-and-so, who's dead at the moment". Watching the facial microexpressions of my interlocutors as they work that one through is priceless!

The idiot also known as Capfka ...

#20555 - 02/28/01 06:16 AM Re: strange phrases and usages
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
"dead at the moment"

I like that one, CapK. Expresses a beautiful, almost surreal faith in future technologies...!

And the base expression, jimthedog, gives rise to that lovely saying in England that "Fred'll even be late for his own funeral!"

#20556 - 02/28/01 09:54 AM Re: strange phrases and usages
rkay Offline

Registered: 12/13/00
Posts: 144
Loc: London, UK
and then there's the other old favourite...

'he'd forget his head if it wasn't screwed on'

and my personal favourite, 'running around like a headless chicken'

#20557 - 02/28/01 11:41 AM Re: strange phrases and usages
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
But it is extremely unlikely that any young person today has ever seen a hen have its head cut off, or had to do the very disagreeable job of plucking off ALL the feathers to get it ready for cooking.

#20558 - 02/28/01 01:49 PM Re: strange phrases and usages
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
But it is extremely unlikely that any young person today has ever seen a hen have its head cut off

That depends on your definition of "young". This 33 year old remembers having to the legs of poultry while his older stepbrother decapitated them, and remembers being hugely entertained by watching them even manage to fly for up to 90 seconds or so afterwards. I suspect that the hateful job of plucking was karmic revenge for having laughed at the headless birds.

#20559 - 02/28/01 02:01 PM Re: strange phrases and usages
Fiberbabe Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 771
Loc: Portland, Oregon

#20560 - 02/28/01 05:35 PM Re: strange phrases and usages
Rapunzel Offline

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 328
Loc: Eastern Pennsylvania
Well, I'm 21 and I once helped my mother and grandparents pluck chickens. I agree, wwh--it is quite disagreeable. I can't claim to have seen a hen have its head cut off, however. I just don't think I could handle the trauma.

#20561 - 02/28/01 06:07 PM Re: Chicken heads
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Could turn you into a vegetarian!

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