--- In [log in to unmask]
, Yahya Abdal-Aziz <yahya@m
> Hi all,
> Thought I'd weigh in with a few more of what I consider
> to be English idioms. I guess I'm using the word "idiom"
> to mean any peculiarity of expression; some are dialectal,
> while others are fairly widespread across dialect regions.
> I expect it will take some long and ingenious thinking to
> produce anything comparable to this variety in any of my
> 20. Weigh in with ... (Contribute. I don't know the origin.)
> 19. Sweating like a pig. (Pigs can't sweat, as they have
> no sweat glands.)
> 18. He can't lie straight in bed.
> 17. It's coming down in buckets. (Said of heavy
> 16. Catch a cold, measles or other disease. (As if the
> disease didn't catch us!)
> 15. Gunna catch me some shut-eye / some Zees. (Meaning
> 'I'm going to sleep'; the second variant MUST be North
> American, 'cos the rest of us call the 26th letter of the
> English alphabet 'Zed'.)
> 14. Well, butter me and call me toast! (Expresses surprise.)
> 13. Strewth! (Old Australian oath, meaning 'God's Truth'.)
> 12. Strike a light! (Expresses surprise or amazement.)
> 11. Let 'er down, Hughie! (Encouraging rain. Hughie, or
> Huey, usually pronounced You-ie, is the putative rain god.
> He might or might not be the same fella as God with a
> capital G. Usually called on by rural folk.)
> 10. Stone the crows! (Yet Another Expression of
> 9. It's only two miles as the crow flies. (People will always
> give you the straight line distance when the only available
> track is steep, winding, dangerous and almost impossible to
> find ...)
> 8. He's six foot tall. (for 'six feet'. Occasionally you may
> still hear 'two mile' for 'two miles'.)
> 7. As bright as a two-bob watch. (Flashy and cheap; a
> 'bob' was a shilling, which in 1966 converted to 10 cents of
> a decimal dollar.)
> 6. He's not the full two-bob. (The florin, or two-shilling
> piece, was made of high-grade silver. It was a favourite
> target of 'shavers' who took a little silver from the edge
> of each coin for later resale. The person compared to
> this shaved two-bob bit was allegedly mentally deficient.)
> 5. He's a few
sandwiches shy of (or short of) a picnic.
> (Another alleged idiot.)
> 4. He's got kangaroos in the top paddock. (This fella's
> trouble is that thoughts just bounce around in his head.)
> 3. He took the king's shilling. (He became a soldier. Also:
> 'He went for a soldier.')
> 2. This weather plays merry hell with my bones. (An
> arthritic's complaint.)
> And finally, number 1! It starts out like this:
> 'Flat out like a ...' How does it finish? Is it?
> a) '... rug',
> b) '... doormat',
> c) '... flying carpet',
> d) '... bowling green', or
> e) '... skating rink'?
> No; it's none of the above; it's ...
> 1. Flat out like a lizard drinking.
> 'Go figure!'
Thank you, Yahya.
Tom H.C. in MI