Floating in and out of here. I have managed to put my 365 Face a day challenges into one page. Did a lovely job of the first lot, now the second lot have uploaded willy nilly. I would love to have the time to l-e-a-r-n about everything but it not possible as I like too many things and don’t know how to choose which to drop so I can concentrate on just a few things and get them right … however … if I did that I would not be me … so let’s do some ‘randoming’ …
I picked up a little dinky book from a Book Crossing meet. (www.BookCrossing.com). The book is a ‘Reader’s Digest’ Titled ‘Idiomatically Speaking’ – ‘IDIOMATIC= Peculiar to or characteristic of a given language.
Here is a little from the book: Some amazing origins of some of our most common idioms.
‘Hair of the dog’ – Many people claim the best cure for a hangover is a quick morning-after drink – known idiomatically as ‘a hair of the dog that bit you’. In the days when superstition and medical science were one. It was believed that the bite from a mad dog could be cured by putting some of its hair on the wound. The expression occurs as early as 1546.
‘Gild the lily’ – To gild refined gold, to paint the lily is wasteful and a ridiculous excess says Shakespeare in ‘King John’ of the monarch who attempted to ‘improve’ his royalty by having himself crowned a second time. Gold, already the purest of metals cannot be improved by gilt; nor can the lily, symbol in Christian art of purity, be made more perfect by paint. As the phrase became an English idiom through usage it was corrupted so that the lily, not the gold was being gilded when someone attempted to make something already good appear to be even better.
‘Hobson’s choice’ – Back in the 16th century. Thomas Hobson kept a stable in Cambridge. Customers wanting to hire a horse were given Hobson’s choice: they had to take the one nearest the door – or go without a mount.
‘High Jinks” – Now synonymous with unrestrained merrymaking, high jinks was once a popular game. In his novel ‘Guy Mannering (1815), Sir Walter Scott refers to ‘the ancient and now forgotten pastime of high jinks – which was played in several different ways. Most frequently the dice is thrown by the company, and those upon whom the lot fell were obliged to assume and maintain for a time, a certain fictitious character, or to repeat a certain number of fescennine verses in a particular order. If they departed from the characters assigned … they incurred forfeits.
‘Not enough room to swing a cat’ – Until 1875, a whip known as the cat-o’-nine-tails (usually abbreviated to ‘cat’) was used to punish sailors on board Royal Navy ships, which were not noted for an abundance of space. Novelist Tobias Smollett (1721-71), who spent considerable time at sea, was one of the first to use the phrase to describe a confined space.
Another little book I picked up is another Reader’s Digest call ‘Oddities in words, picture and figures. Here are some of the tongue twisters compiled in an anthology by Mr. Ken Parkin, A British music examiner.
The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick
A bloke’s back brake-block broke
A dozen double damask dinner napkins
A fat-thighed freak fries thick fish
A truly rural frugal ruler’s mural
A soft shot-silk sash shop
Freddy Thrush flies through thick fog
And now some ‘Strine’ – Australian slang.
Goodbye, must hit the frog and toad (Goodbye , I am going up the road)
Well, take a Captain Cook (Well, take a look)
What’s the curry and rice? (What’s the price?)
He has just gone around the Johnny Horner (round the the corner)
I am all on my Pat Malone (on my own)
I need to wear me bag o fruit (wear my suit)
No, this is not how we speak but I do remember one of my uncles many years ago when I was a child (many years ago … ) he would quote this strine often, I was fascinated.
There is controversy to the origins of these sayings. Possibly from the original convicts that settled here or maybe the turn of the century. It was generally only used by men. A lady would not talk like that in those days. Well, not in public anyways.
It consists of a couple of words or syllables which rhymes with the word for which it is substituted.
Last but not least a little History about Australia … well … some unusual bits …
* Swimming – In 1838 it was declared illegal to swim at public beaches during the day due to morality grounds. This law was enforced until 1902. (It is hard to believe that that is only 112 years ago, swimming in a beach seems such a normal and obvious thing to do).
* Female vote – Australia was the second country to give women the vote.
* In 1932, Francis De Groot, a retired cavalry officer, managed to get himself selected as part of the honour guard at the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. When the ribbon was about to be cut, he galloped forward on his horse and slashed the ribbon with his sword, declaring the bridge open in the name of ‘the decent citizens of New South Wales’. The ribbon was then tied back together and the ceremony continued. De Groot was carried off to a mental hospital, declared insane and later fined for the replacement cost of one ribbon.
* Independence for WA- In April 1933, 68 per cent of West Australians voted in favour of seceding from the Commonwealth of Australia. However, they needed permission from the British Parliament before they could officially become a new country. Meanwhile, Australia’s Federal Parliament was arguing that Britain should not interfere in Australian politics. The end result was that Britain never made a decision. Consequently, Western Australian remained part of the Commonwealth.
* Yowie sighting – In 1987, the Alice Springs police station received a call from a frightened family. The family had stopped for a cup of tea after a morning of rabbit hunting. Then a huge ape like creature, two meters tall and covered in hair, leapt out of an empty water tank and began walking towards them. The family fled to their truck and the creature ran after them before disappearing into the bush. The man,Frank Burns believed it was a man however the women, Phyllis Kenny, told the press she could tell the difference between man and beast and this was definitely a beast. The following day police searched the area and found a man, 203 centimetres tall weighing a estimated 127-159 kg sitting naked by the roadside. The man was then taken to a local mental hospital.
*Australia day – January 26, Australia day, is the anniversary of ships arriving in Sydney carrying a load of Convicts.
*Australia was the 3rd country, after the US and Russia, to launch a satellite into orbit. It was for the British, using a ‘Blue Streak’ rocket
Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide.