The other morning I went out to get the newspaper while it was still kind of dark and I tripped over something on the walkway. Turns out it was a “writer’s block”. Then it hit me, no not the writer’s block! That would be giving a totally inanimate object kinetic characteristics. I had been wondering why I hadn’t been able to come up with anything for this blog lately and that was it. It was sitting right on my front door step. Writer’s Block. Good thing I tripped over it and not my wife, because she would have picked it up and hit me with it! Then that started me thinking about how we give human and other tangible traits to totally lifeless or theoretical objects and concepts.
Take for instance the term which we use all the time, General Disarray (not to be confused with Professor Chaos’ sidekick on South Park), meaning mild chaos, disorder or confusion. A literal person might immediately conjure up a picture of a huge chested individual standing tall, decked out in full dress military garb, scrambled eggs on his head piece visor, with a chest full of campaign medals jutting out several feet from his waist. Or “raining cats and dogs”. But according to legend and IdiomSite.com that last one could have its origins back in the middle ages.
These are some classics that I have come up with:
DIRTY SHAME: Just what is a dirty shame? The definition of the word shame according to dictionary.com is “disgrace or something dishonorable”. Does that mean that shame goes out and plays in the mud to get filthy?
SILLY ASS: We say that he or she is acting like a “silly ass” when they are doing something absurd or ridiculous. The only silly ass that I know of is “Donkey” in the motion picture “SHREK”. Does that mean that person is acting like Eddie Murphy?
WHAT’S UP?: Now here’s one where we don’t need to go to the dictionary to get a definition. That would be acting like a silly ass! Everyone knows that up is the opposite of down or “overhead” like the ceiling. Or maybe the cost of living, the rent or the roof! DUH!!!
GENERAL ELECTRIC: Of course we know who he is. The retired army guy who worked for Thomas Edison and invented the Microwave oven. I think that he served with General Disarray in the Spanish American War.
BLOOMING IDIOT: A botanical characteristic attributed to a human condition. Just don’t go to the feed and seed store looking for seeds for “Blooming Idiot” plants because the clerk will look at you as if you were a . . . never mind!
FLYING COLORS: I believe that this one describes a violent uprising in a kindergarten classroom.
FOUR PLAY?: Aha! I know for sure what this is . . . the last part of the question beginning with “Can only three play this game or can . . . ”
LIVING DOLL: I mean, wouldn’t that be a robot?
FALL GUY: Probably this is not a man who only looks forward to September, October and November!
TIGHTWAD: Whoa! This is a good one. It usually describes someone who is really tight fisted with the moolah. But it could also mean “churl” which the online Dictionary defines as a rude ill bred person; stingy morose person. It also rhymes with:
Akkad, Arad, Ashdod, aubade, ballade, Belgrade, bipod, black cod, Black Rod,
Cape Cod, couvade, croustade, death squad, dry-shod, ephod
Now you, my beloved friends can die happy people. You are welcome!
AND NOW THE REAL REASON FOR THIS POST (Left click on the cartoon to enlarge it)
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