Thursday, January 1, 2015

Where exactly do our oddball sayings come from?

No, seriously. I gotta ask this.

Yes, it's almost midnight and I really should be going to bed, but that's a different track of insanity I really don't wanna follow right now.

I just happened to announce in passing to my husband that I needed to use the household facilities.  As I bolted out of the room at warp speed in a race against my biological functions, of course, I mentioned this in as ladylike a manner as I possibly could...

Me: "Look out! I gotta pee like a race horse!"
Steve: "No, it's 'I gotta pee like a Russian race horse'.  Get it right."
Me: "Wouldn't that leave an awful lot of yellow icicles hanging around in odd places?"

Once the necessities were handled... shush, you... we found ourselves wondering just where this term originated and why.  So, like the expert researchers we are, Steve loaded up Google and went to town.

He found something.. somewhere on the internet... that explained something or other about horses, particularly show and race horses being uncomfortable piddling outside their stalls, thus the sense of urgency to suddenly get back to a stall for private time.

Personally, I think it's more along the lines of wanting to be in first place in a horse race, so you don't suddenly find yourself running through a rain shower that wasn't scheduled by Mother Nature.

But there are other phrases I hear that make me stop and wonder just where on God's green earth someone came up with such a saying, and more to the point, why in the world do we REPEAT them???

For example...

~~~"Best foot forward."

Errmmm...  Am I the only one who hasn't found myself sitting around staring at my feet to see which one is better looking than the other?  I suppose I could take the time to see if my left foot pulls off the stiletto look better than the right foot, but I think I'd get some pretty strange looks if I ask the sales clerk to "only sell me the left shoe because the right shoe just looks awkward in that style".

~~~"Bite the bullet."

No thank you.  You bite the bullet. I'm not that hungry.  I'll take a chunk out of that chocolate bar. K. Thanks.

~~~"Bury the hatchet"

Awesome.  We're gonna be buddies because you buried your hatchet.  I'll be more inclined to believe that when you bury your crossbow, knives, ax, rifle, flamethrower.... oh and your shovel just to prove you're not gonna dig all that stuff back up while I'm sleeping.

~~~"Break a leg!"

This one really confuses me.  I realize that it means to wish someone in the acting world good luck on their performance, but you would have to be one helluvan actor to make breaking ANY limb seem like a positive thing.

The only way I see this being a happy phrase is if you work for the mafia and just got sent on a high paying job to maim someone.

~~~"Nothing to sneeze at."

Hrmmph.  As if our noses actually need a target to suddenly discharge every ounce of mucus our bodies have stored up since the last time our faces exploded in a usually public place that guarantees everyone in the vicinity is going to turn to stare at us while we use our bare hands to try to defy gravity and a mini Niagara Falls impersonation all at once.

Has anyone else noticed that most of our sayings revolve around gross bodily functions?

Sophisticated we ain't.

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