Mudcat Café message #2310768 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #110040   Message #2310768
Posted By: Rowan
08-Apr-08 - 10:37 PM
Thread Name: Origins: 'Skin the Cat' and other family sayings
Subject: RE: Origins: 'Skin the Cat' and other family sayin
While it was a common expression around my group when I was much younger, In like Flynn wasn't just a play with alliteration. Up until he died, Errol Flynn was a major 'character', along with Marilyn Monroe, in a vast repertoire of crude jokes that revolved around Flynn's reputation for sexual athletics and the size of his genitalia. This may have been a particularly Oz phenomenon, as he came from Tasmania and was always regarded as an Australian.

I've forgotten all of them, but I recall noticing that they all disappeared from everyone's repertoire within a week of hearing the news that he had died. The phrase you quote is all that seems to be left of that repertoire still in common usage; I heard it only last week.

"Like a rat up a drainpipe" has similar connotations but, when trying to establish whether item A will fit into item B, if it does fit tightly the phrases used are either
"like a thumb in a bum" (relying on rhyme)
"like a bum in a bucket", relying on alliteration, as you suggest.

Cheers, Rowan