Monday, May 06, 2019

Monday Forum - what are your favourite idioms?

The phrase the curate's egg dates back to England in the 1890s. Today it means not bad in patches, but also dreadful! 

Do you know what phrases, idioms, like the curate's egg, double dutch, jump a rattler, hump a bluey, whistling in the wind, browned off, life's not all beer and skittles, windy or queer the pitch mean? Or indeed, where they come from?

 It will not come as a surprise that I was a bookish child. I suppose that I still am. Well, bookish anyway. I sometimes think that the child part still applies at times! My books came from different times and indeed different countries. I absorbed idioms from those books, but also from life.

I really first became aware of this part of a my language many years ago when a work colleague, a Canadian, asked me what I meant, In this case, I wrote him a one page story using Australian slang, Needless to say, he barely understood a word, so I thin explained!

Years later,  I was standing in the reception area at work when my friend on the desk asked me what something I said meant. She commented on the number of words or phrases that I used that she did not understand. Since I am a writer writing in the present, this was actually a useful corrective! Still, I have many terms that I am not going to give up.

So here is your challenge for this Monday Forum. What phrases do you love and use that may have dropped out of current usage, Feel free, of course,  to go off topic! And for those in other countries, do add in and confuse your Australian readers!

To get you thinking, this site might help - The Phrase Finder. .  . 

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