Old sayings, which make no sense?

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Trenchfriend, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    "Beans" was a common term for an insignificant amount of money in the twenties, along with "berries" and "bones." Either of those would also fit in that phrase.
     
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  2. STEVIEBOY1

    STEVIEBOY1 Practically Family

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    I think it refers to the Cat O'Nine tales whip, originally used in the Army & Navy on seaman / soldiers who had been found guilty of various offences. The Cat O'Nine tales was traditionally kept in a green baize bag, until it was required, so I understand.
     
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  3. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

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    Loose cannon

    Not sure what the source of the phrase is but I could imagine it referring to muzzle loading and insufficiently tamped powder. I could be all wrong to. Anybody?
     
  4. KILO NOVEMBER

    KILO NOVEMBER Practically Family

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    I don't have any evidence, but I always (well, if I ever took the time) thought of the guns on sailing man 'o war ships. The guns were mounted on wheeled carriages. Ropes on pulleys pulled by sailors moved them into the openings in the hull through which the cannon were fired. After firing, the gun was pulled back, the barrel swabbed, reloaded, and pulled forward to firing position.

    If the ropes were severed the gun-and-carriage became a "loose cannon", the gun would likely roll around the gun deck causing death and damage as the heavy gun lurched around with the heaving of the ship.
     
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  5. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

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    Good call, I hadn't thought of that.
     
  6. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    While I've used the term, "Hell's half-acre" for most of my life, I didn't realize it was a real place until the past few years.
     
  7. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Any kind of comparison to Hell or other perceived "evils" are often rather... odd. Just HOW cold IS a witch's teat? I need standardized measurements!
     
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  8. Old Mariner

    Old Mariner One of the Regulars

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    "You can't have your cake and eat it too."

    It's my cake...I damned well can (and will) eat it too.
     
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  9. Yeah...that one always seemed backwards to me. I bet a lot of kids started an argument with their Moms over that one.
     
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  10. LostInTyme

    LostInTyme New in Town

    It's an alternative take on Shrodinger's Cat.
     
  11. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    Except the first use of the phrase is traced to 1760, nearly 130 years previous to the birth of Schrodinger. Schrodinger first published his thought experiment in 1935.
     
  12. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    I have been corrected more than once....It is correctly "You cannot eat your cake and have it too"
     
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  13. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    My mother oft accused me of 'wandering around hell's half acre'.....it became a source of pride for me as I apparently was so adept at it.
     
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  14. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    Another of my mother's favourites was..."give me an onion and I will cry for you". As a smart ass preteen she said that to me one afternoon. I opened the fridge and finding only a small cabbage presented it to her and asked in the absence of onion if a cabbage would suffice. I turned and walked away to have the cabbage whiz passed my ear and crash against the cupboard. Had it hit I would likely be more impaired than I already was. I made myself scarce for the rest of that day and kept a low profile for a long time afterwards.
     
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  15. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    Most entries in this thread make perfect sense once the context is established. Analogy and euphemism is what we have here, mostly. And that's fine, and fun. No need to limit the discussion to those "old sayings which make no sense."

    As to euphemisms for bodily functions, I've generally found those used by women to be more clever and subtle, such as "she's powdering her nose" and "her aunt came for a visit."
     
  16. LostInTyme

    LostInTyme New in Town

    Perhaps they made sense, or, perhaps not. Things we were told as children.

    Eat your vegetables, there are children starving in (name the country).
    If you don’t quit making that face, it’ll freeze like that.
    Don’t go in the water for 20 minutes after eating.
    Look at me when I’m talking to you.
    Don’t pick that, it’ll get infected.
    Do you think money grows on trees?
    Stop crying before I give you something to cry about!
    Sit up straight, or you’ll get a hunchback.
    Don’t talk with food in your mouth.
    Don’t eat that, you’ll ruin your appetite.
    Take your hat off in the house.
    Who do you think I am, your maid?
    Your father will hear about this when he gets home.
    Don't sit so close to the TV, it'll ruin your eyes.
     
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  17. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

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    And I was told ALL of them. It's a wonder I survived into adulthood!
     
  18. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    My mother never minced any words: "Shut up/stop it/get the hell out of here or I'll kill you." And everything else she ever said, really, just boiled down to that.

    I was also told that sitting too close to the television would make me "sterile." "Guess they didn't have TV when you was a kid" was the wrong reply for me to make, and "I'll kill you" soon followed.
     
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  19. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I had a friend who referred to having her period as "being off the sports list." She'd been to private school, and it showed.
     
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  20. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    As was I. Standard parental repertoire, it must’ve been.
     

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