From the sublime to the ridiculous

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, and is NON CH related - chat about the weather, or anything else that takes your fancy.

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sejintenej
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Real Name: David Brown ColA '52-'61
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Some word origins (mainly American)?

Post by sejintenej »

‘A SHOT OF WHISKEY’

In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents, so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowhand was low on cash he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a “shot” of whiskey.

‘THE WHOLE NINE YARDS’

American fighter planes in WW2 had machine guns that were fed by a belt of cartridges. The average plane held belts that were 27 feet (9 yards) long. If the pilot used up all his ammo, he was said to have given it the whole nine yards.

BUYING THE FARM

This is synonymous with dying. During WW1 soldiers were given life insurance policies worth $5,000. This was about the price of an average farm so if you died you “bought the farm” for your survivors.

IRON CLAD CONTRACT

This came about from the ironclad ships of the Civil War. It meant something so strong it could not be broken.

PASSING THE BUCK / THE BUCK STOPS HERE

Most men in the early west carried a jack knife made by the Buck knife company. When playing poker it was common to place one of these Buck knives in front of the dealer so that everyone knew who he was. When it was time for a new dealer the deck of cards and the knife were given to the new dealer. If this person didn’t want to deal, he would “pass the buck” to the next player. If that player accepted, then “the buck stopped there.”

RIFF RAFF

The Mississippi River was the main way of traveling from north to south. Riverboats carried passengers and freight but they were expensive, so most people used rafts. Everything had the right of way over rafts which were considered cheap. The steering oar on the rafts was called a “riff” and this transposed into riff-raff, meaning low class.

COBWEB

The Old English word for “spider” was “cob.”

SHIP STATE ROOMS

Traveling by steamboat was considered the height of comfort. Passenger cabins on the boats were not numbered. Instead they were named after states. To this day, cabins on ships are called staterooms.

SLEEP TIGHT

Early beds were made with a wooden frame. Ropes were tied across the frame in a criss-cross pattern. A straw mattress was then put on top of the ropes. Over time the ropes stretched, causing the bed to sag. The owner would then tighten the ropes to get a better night’s sleep.

SHOWBOAT

These were floating theaters built on a barge that was pushed by a steamboat. These played small towns along the Mississippi River. Unlike the boat shown in the movie “Showboat,” these did not have an engine. They were gaudy and attention grabbing which is why we say someone who is being the life of the party is “showboating.”

OVER A BARREL

In the days before CPR, a drowning victim would be placed face down over a barrel and the barrel would be rolled back and forth in an effort to empty the lungs of water. It was rarely effective. If you are over a barrel, you are in deep trouble.

BARGE IN

Heavy freight was moved along the Mississippi in large barges pushed by steamboats. These were hard to control and would sometimes swing into piers or other boats. People would say they “barged in.”

HOGWASH

Steamboats carried both people and animals. Since pigs smelled so badly they would be washed before being put on board. The mud and other filth that was washed off was considered useless “hog wash.”

CURFEW

The word “curfew” comes from the French phrase “couvre-feu,” which means “cover the fire.” It was used to describe the time of blowing out all lamps and candles. It was later adopted into Middle English as “curfeu,” which later became the modern “curfew.” In the early American colonies, homes had no real fireplaces, so a fire was built in the center of the room. In order to make sure a fire did not get out of control during the night it was required that, by an agreed upon time, all fires would be covered with a clay pot called - a “curfew.”

BARRELS OF OIL

When the first oil wells were drilled, they had made no provision for storing the liquid, so they used water barrels. That is why, to this day, we speak of barrels of oil rather than gallons.

HOT OFF THE PRESS

As the paper goes through the rotary printing press friction causes it to heat up. Therefore, if you grab the paper right off the press it’s hot. The expression means to get immediate information.
I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
~Charles de Gaulle, French general & politician
.
sejintenej
Button Grecian
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown ColA '52-'61
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some people we all know? author unknown.

Post by sejintenej »

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be very liberal, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words redistribution of wealth.

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch conservative, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs.

The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father.

He responded by asking how she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn’t even have time for a boyfriend, and didn’t really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, “How is your friend Audrey doing?”

She replied, “Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She’s always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn’t even show up for classes because she’s too hung over.”

Her father asked his daughter, “Why don’t you go to the Dean’s office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.”

The daughter, visibly shocked by her father’s suggestion, angrily fired back, “That’s a crazy idea, how would that be fair! I’ve worked really hard for my grades! I’ve invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!”

The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, “Welcome to the conservative side of the fence.”

If you ever wondered what side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. If a liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat. If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him...

If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels. Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church. A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and Jesus silenced.

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A liberal demand that the rest of us pay for his.

If a conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh. A liberal will delete it because he or she is “offended.”
I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
~Charles de Gaulle, French general & politician
.
time please
UF (Upper Fourth)
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:02 am

Re: From the sublime to the ridiculous

Post by time please »

When you lived in Norway ( I think you did ) presumably you were registered to live there. In which case you enjoyed first class health care to a minimal cost.
So you did rather enjoy the fruits of a system where everyone chips in. Your comment about shopping for health care or seeking a job that provides it are tosh.
sejintenej
Button Grecian
Posts: 4044
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown ColA '52-'61
Location: Essex

Pre-sliced bread ban

Post by sejintenej »

Sorry, I'm a little bit late with this TRUE story from the US of A

On January 18th 1943 Clause R Wickard, Secretary of an administration related to wartime stocks banned the sale of pre-sliced bread.

The reasons given were to cut demand for wheat, for waxed paper and for steel!
In the case of wheat the US only had warehoused stocks equivalent to a mere two years use of wheat. Under health regulations sliced bread had to be packaged in slightly thicker waxed paper but there was no shortage of such paper. Of course steel had to be used for the knives to cut the bread but those in use had lives said to be up to 50 years.

My thanks to The Brain Food Show for this tasty morsel.

sick gloria USA - it is pretty sickening!
I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
~Charles de Gaulle, French general & politician
.
sejintenej
Button Grecian
Posts: 4044
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown ColA '52-'61
Location: Essex

Re: From the sublime to the ridiculous

Post by sejintenej »

A small pub boasted about having the strongest bartender in the county. The bartender was known to take a lemon and crush it in his massive hand, squeezing every drop of juice out. The pub had a long standing offer that if anyone could squeeze an additional drop of juice from the crushed lemon, that person would win £1000. Many tried, and everyone failed. One day, a skinny man wearing an ill fitting suit came in and said that he wanted to try. The patrons roared with laughter as the bartender crushed the lemon, and then handed it to the man. To everyone’s astonishment, the scrawny man easily squeezed several more drops of juice out of the lemon. As the bartender was paying the man, he asked; “How did you do that?” The man smiled and replied; “I work for the Inland Revenue.”
I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
~Charles de Gaulle, French general & politician
.
sejintenej
Button Grecian
Posts: 4044
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:19 pm
Real Name: David Brown ColA '52-'61
Location: Essex

Wedding that was

Post by sejintenej »

Came to that awkward moment when the priest asked if anyone had anything to say concerning the union of the bride and groom.

Utter silence was broken when a beautiful young woman carrying a child stood up. She starts walking slowly towards the priest.

The congregation was aghast - you could almost hear a pin drop. The groom’s jaw dropped as he stared in disbelief at the approaching young woman and child. Chaos ensued as the bride threw the bouquet into the air and burst out crying. Then the groom’s mother fainted. The best men started giving each other looks and wondering how to save the situation.

The priest asked the woman, “Can you tell us why you came forward? What do you have to say?”

There was absolute silence in the church as the woman replied, “We can’t hear you in the back.”
I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
~Charles de Gaulle, French general & politician
.
Otter
GE (Great Erasmus)
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Real Name: Stephen O'Rourke
Location: East Anglia

Re: From the sublime to the ridiculous

Post by Otter »

time please wrote: Mon Jan 31, 2022 5:35 pm When you lived in Norway ( I think you did ) presumably you were registered to live there. In which case you enjoyed first class health care to a minimal cost.
So you did rather enjoy the fruits of a system where everyone chips in. Your comment about shopping for health care or seeking a job that provides it are tosh.
I'm not sure your (wholly valid) comment was read, or even noticed. This thread seems to be a one-man copy-paste echo chamber.
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