Archive for April, 2006

When people want you to keep a secret they often say, “Keep it under your hat.”

This strikes me as odd because that saying comes from years gone by when archers used to keep a spare string for their bows under their hats, where the string would, hopefully, remain dry.

I don’t see what’s secret about this. Perhaps it’s just how language is shaped by a sort of ‘Chinese Whisper’

Sometimes people say they’ll keep their lips sealed when they ‘intend to keep a secret.’ Why should we trust anybody who says that? They could always use a paper and pen for their act of betrayal.

Then we’ve got the old saying:

Cross my heart

Hope to die

Stick a needle in my eye

Frankly, if somebody we’re threatening to stick a needle in my eye I think I’d probably tell all.

But then I’m pretty selfish.

Actually, I remember telling a friend at school, Neil his name was, that I fancied a girl called Andrea, and asked him not to tell anyone.

Needless to say, the next day every pupil and teacher in school knew, including Andrea.

“I told you not to tell anyone,” I protested

“I didn’t tell anyone,” said Neil. “I only told Gaz and he isn’t anyone.”

Which is probably why I’m pedantic now.


Read Full Post »

Scud Tharriz

It's good that is.

Actually, some people say "it's mint" or "last night was mint".

It's an expression that has finally started to bug the crap out of me, but folk around here are saying it all the time. I've no idea where it comes from. Can anybody help?

What pisses me off more is when the same people describe wealthy – and I don't mean merely affluent, I mean with more money than I could earn in 20 years – folk as being "minted".

Now, I can understand that one but it's still annoying. Probably to do with coins being minted. Does it count for notes? Do notes get minted or are they just printed. Printed I think, so why minted then? If they were that loaded (and why are rich people loaded; doesn't that mean drunk?) they wouldn't go near coins, just notes. Coins are for peasants and peasants can't afford pheasants and besides that they taste like shit…the pheasants that is, or so I'm told.

So, I don't understand after all; the connection or any of it.

It's mint that one is. Mint. Oh bollocks, I said it. My marbles are well and truly lost.

Read Full Post »


Watching the first "Austin Powers" movie taught me a fantastic term for when we strain too much on the crapper.

So, Austin Powers is in a bathroom stall next to Tom Arnold (does he really play anybody other than himself? Is he still even alive?).

An assassin sent by a nefarious evil-doer known only as "No. 2" pops through a secret hole in the wall behind Mr. Powers, to strangle him. Mr. Powers turns the tables and is dunking the assassin's head in the toilet.

All the while, Mr. Powers is grunting, "Who. Does. Number 2. Work. For?!"

So, Tom Arnold tells him to take it easy, to be careful not to "blow out your O-ring" (a reference to the cause of the tragic Challenger shuttle explosion in 1986).


Here in the U.S. we have a state called Tennessee, which is the home for the University of Tennessee Volunteers. Their dominant school color is this oddly pale shade of orange.You might call it "urange," maybe.


How do these two separate pieces of information go together?

Well, it's those personalized license plates.

After a baseball game, we get into the car and parked just in front of me is a vehicle with a personalized plate.


"Big O-Ring?" I ask my wife. "Why the hell would somebody put that on their plate?"

Then, I see the tags are from Tennessee.

She can't stop laughing. "Big Orange."

Or, if the first "g" were omitted, "Boring." 

In any case, it just goes to show: Sometimes deciphering what these personalized plates means is all in the IUVDBHLDR.

Read Full Post »

Language and Psychology


Language and psychology go hand in hand, especially in marketing.

The other day I picked up the travel version of a popular board game. Let’s take a look at the the picture on the front of the box:

All nice words, nice and pleasant: cruise, train, friends, relax. There, that last one: relax. Playing this game can be anything but relaxing; fun, I’ll grant you that, but not relaxing. Arguments as to whether words exist, name calling, you get the idea.

This is a more likely scenario:

Read Full Post »

"In the event of any waterborne vehicle striking this bridge please phone…"

But if any other kind of vehicle hits it, that'll be just fine…aeroplanes, space shuttles, lorries – no problem.

"The safety of trains may be affected."

The safety of the people in the sinking waterborne vehicle isn't our concern.

Besides all that, this page isn't a bridge anyway.

Read Full Post »

A New Word

rectoplasm n.

Something that comes out of your bum which is so scary it makes you shit yourself.

It's an odd one, I'll grant you that. And there might be something contradictory going off there. But I like it.

The definition could also be: what comes out of the arse after an evening of beer and curry and makes you very frightened.

Source: Viz

Read Full Post »