Archive for June, 2008

A Modern Liberty

“Give ’em an inch and they’ll take a mile.” You might say that they will take the liberty.

It’s not uncommon for somebody to describe such liberty-taking as “taking the biscuit.” Why it’s a biscuit we take, and where it’s being taken to, I don’t know. But when we do take the biscuit, don’t we at least leave some crumbs behind?

Where might the expression “taking the biscuit” come from?


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“I’ve just had a right good shit,” a friend who is known for giving unnecessary information said.

So, a good shit was not enough, it was a right good shit. Does that mean a good shit which is correct?  Can a good shit be incorrect for that matter.

“I’m right pleased with my new job.” – Can we be left pleased, or wrong pleased?

“He’s a right bastard, he is” – I’m sorry, but bastards are anything but right; they are most definitely always wrong.  And when we’re discussing bastards here, we’re not talking about illegitimate folks (who are merely unfortunate…unless they happen to be a badass as well), just unpleasant ones, as the new definition dictates.

Anyway, I’m right done with this usage of right.

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The Top Really Isn’t

The word top doesn’t mean to some people what it does to others. Is it a question of perspective?

“I’m on top of the world.” I suppose we all are in some sense, what with the world being a sphere, spinning through space. But if we take it to mean at the North Pole, as some people do, I’m not so sure that would be a great place to be at all. And the same could be said of Everest’s summit, unless you’re a climbing enthusiast.

“Bill is the top man for the job.” I doubt that he is. He could well be the top man for the job within that company, but he’s definitely not the top man. And besides, people at the top are apt to be…toppled.

So, maybe the top is really in the middle.

Topspin. In sports terminology, a ball is said to have topspin when it rotates forward in the direction that it is traveling, causing it to descend.

The question is, where is the top and when does the top cease being the top on a ball? Once it begins rotating, doesn’t the top cease to be the top? Or is the top a fixed place figured at the point of release, like the branding on a baseball where you put your index fingers to throw a curve?

In any case, the opposite of topspin — backspin, wherein a ball rotates the opposite direction it’s traveling — seems to be a more-appropriate directional explanation to describe the action.

Forward spin? Downspin?


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What was that noise?

It was just Paul getting rumbled.

He was sat in the barber’s shop, mid hair cut, when his phone rang.  Apologising to the barber, he took the call as it was his boss’s number.

“Where are you?” the boss said.

“I’m just up at the Gorsey job, finishing the panel wiring,” Paul said.

“You’re a fucking liar, Paul,” said the boss. “Because I’m looking at you through the fucking barber shop window.”

And so Paul had been rumbled, caught in the act of lying.  Rumbled has many definitions, but that one is my favourite.

Paul later claimed he’d told the boss that since his hair grew in work’s time, he’d have it cut in work’s time.  Knowing him, I reckon he would have said it, too.

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Changing Tools

“It’s time to get tooled up,” the man said.

Taken out of context, the observer or eavesdropper might get the wrong idea about that bit of speech. At one time, “getting tooled up” meant tidying away one’s tools after the end of a day’s work. Nowadays it often refers to, as I’m sure you already know, carrying a weapon.

But then, I suppose a weapon is indeed a tool, a tool that does its own kind of tidying, a tidying some might say was messy – if that makes any sense.

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