Sunday, April 06, 2008

Updated Phrases

A coworker and I got to talking last week about popular phrases and their origins. A few of these phrases probably need to be updated. For instance:

* A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. This phrase can be traced back to the 1300's, and basically means that it's better to have a small actual advantage than the chance of a greater one. This needs to be freshened up a bit, doesn't it - maybe make it a sports reference ... like, say .... "A field goal is better than no points at all ..." Ok, that one needs work.

* From soup to nuts. This conveys the meaning of "from beginning to end". It basically describes a full course dinner, starting with the "soup," and finishing with the "nuts" as the last course. But who the hell finishes a meal with nuts at this point? Isn't it more common to have ice cream, cake, or pie? Starting with soup is fine, although salad may be even earlier than soup, right? So, I submit we change the phrase to "From salad to cake."

* Take down a peg or two. This means to lower someone's high opinion of themselves. Apparently, one of the origins of this has to do pegs being used to regulate the amount of drink taken from a barrel. How does this even relate to lowering somebody's self opinion? We have an opportunity to blaze trails here (hey, that's another phrase!). Maybe use some modern day comparison, like "getting Spitzered." Just a thought.

* The whole nine yards. We should be familiar with the meaning of this - everything/all. But, in a society that loves football, this seems to be a bit confusing, since you need 10 yards for a first down. The origin of this one is clouded, and new official origin can be determined, although it is most likely military. Sports seems like it could be used again, and I submit a football comparison ... like "The long bomb." There's gotta be a better one.

Anybody have any others, or better suggestions?

13 comments:

schue said...

Nuthin's right when your underware's tight.

schue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Rev said...

From salad to cake


But what if you want pie for dessert?

Jeff said...

How about updating classic sports rants?

snowelf said...

Ok, Los. I was just wondering where the heck the phrase from Soup to Nuts came from! It was at the end of some cartoon my chilis were watching this weekend and it started this whole thought train about it. I almost googled it, but now tonight, here it is on your blog.

If stuff like this didn't happen to me all the time, I'd be wigged out.

--snow

sirgeb said...

Other sayings:

(betting) Dollars to donuts

For kicks and grins (or sh*ts and giggles)

Getting thrown under the bus (recent and overused)

peas and carrots

hell in a handbasket

there's a bunch of idioms here:
http://www.phrases.org.uk/index.html

minijonb said...

"Hitting the nail on the head"

Sure, it makes sense, but there's way too much in-u-end-do there...

I hate all things NY. said...

"The whole nine yards."

That's what she said.


El pad.

I hate all things NY. said...

i lost a bet

Ink and Stone said...

* A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
A dollar in hand is worth two on the table. (gambling reference)

* From soup to nuts.
From appetizer to dessert!

* Take down a peg or two.
Loosen the belt a spot or two.

* The whole nine yards.
The whole kit and kaboodle!

Some others:
All that and a bag of chips.
(What does it mean?!?!)

Penny saved is a penny earned.
(Can't buy anything with a penny anymore)

Los said...

Schue - Badabing!

Rev - Salad to pie is acceptable as well.

Jeff - Like takin' it to the hole?

Snowelf - Eh, you would've been easily able to find the origins with Google.

Sirgeb - I actually went to the site to find info on some of those phrases/idioms.

Minijonb - Knockin' it outta the park (sorry Jeff).

ElP - What was the bet?

Ink - Times they are a-changin'!

Steve and Des said...

How do you spell "hemorhoids?"

Steve and Des said...

Cause mine are killin' me...