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BS: Odd Expressions

The PA 13 Jul 07 - 06:10 AM
The PA 13 Jul 07 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Wordsmith 13 Jul 07 - 06:13 AM
MBSLynne 13 Jul 07 - 06:43 AM
GUEST 13 Jul 07 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,meself 13 Jul 07 - 07:40 AM
Georgiansilver 13 Jul 07 - 08:16 AM
Sandra in Sydney 13 Jul 07 - 09:35 AM
GUEST, Sminky 13 Jul 07 - 10:13 AM
Splott Man 13 Jul 07 - 10:23 AM
Mrrzy 13 Jul 07 - 10:28 AM
JennyO 13 Jul 07 - 10:44 AM
JennyO 13 Jul 07 - 10:46 AM
GUEST, Sminky 13 Jul 07 - 11:06 AM
GUEST,ibo 13 Jul 07 - 11:12 AM
GUEST 13 Jul 07 - 11:14 AM
GUEST, Sminky 13 Jul 07 - 11:25 AM
Rapparee 13 Jul 07 - 11:27 AM
Splott Man 13 Jul 07 - 11:29 AM
beardedbruce 13 Jul 07 - 11:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 13 Jul 07 - 11:42 AM
Amos 13 Jul 07 - 12:32 PM
beardedbruce 13 Jul 07 - 12:34 PM
GUEST, Sminky 13 Jul 07 - 12:48 PM
Raedwulf 13 Jul 07 - 01:12 PM
beardedbruce 13 Jul 07 - 02:13 PM
Raedwulf 13 Jul 07 - 07:55 PM
Rapparee 13 Jul 07 - 09:39 PM
Rowan 13 Jul 07 - 09:52 PM
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Subject: BS: Odd Expressions
From: The PA
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 06:10 AM

Ok, does anybody know where the expressions, having a 'kip' - as in having a sleep and doing something 'willy nilly' - as in doing something any old way, come from. We have a forgign lady in our office and lots of our expressions take some explaining! I've heard both this morning but no one here can come up with an explanation for her. Any ideas ???


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: The PA
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 06:11 AM

Sorry cant spell foreign ! She's from europe !


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: GUEST,Wordsmith
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 06:13 AM

To sleep.

[Perhaps from Danish kippe, cheap inn; akin to Old Norse -kippa (as in kornkippa, seed-corn holder) and Low German kiffe, hovel.]


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: MBSLynne
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 06:43 AM

I am fascinated by word origins and spend a lot of time reaching for the etymological dictionary, which rarely has the word I want and when it does, usually says "Origin unknown".

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 07:34 AM

I've always assumed that willy-nilly comes from "will he, nil he" - well, now that I look at it, I'm not sure that makes any sense either - but the meaning is actually "without choice" - if you do something "willy-nilly", you do it whether you want to or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 07:40 AM

Hmmm - hit the 'submit' button by mistake - then ran into problems with my next attempt -

Anyway, I just had a look at this dictionary; it gives the original as "will ye, nil ye", and also notes the alternative meaning of "disorganized; sloppy".


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 08:16 AM

What about people who go for their afternoon 'nap'...where did nap come from.......?


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 09:35 AM

I received this from a reference librarian friend recently -

Sayings and Phrases - Meanings and Origins

Browsable and searchable explanations and bulletin board entries on the
origins and meaning of phrases from literature, folk usage, popular
culture, etc.
[http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings]


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 10:13 AM

I'd love to know who invented these expressions - and why.

I mean, someone, somewhere must have been the first to say:

shilly shally
harem scarum
hocus pocus
airy fairy
wishy washy
namby pamby
jiggery pokery
etc

and the fact that so many are 'rhyming pairs' can't just be a coincidence, can it?

I love 'em by the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: Splott Man
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 10:23 AM

okey dokey


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 10:28 AM

Hocus Pocus is one I actually know the origin of - it comes from people not understanding the Latin mass. I think it's during transubstantiation that the priest says Here is the body, which in Latin starts off Haec something or other. So hocus pocus came to mean something incomprehensible used for magic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: JennyO
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 10:44 AM

Then there's holus bolus, artsy fartsy, lolly dangler, rumpy pumpy and teeny weeny, to name a few more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: JennyO
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 10:46 AM

Oh yes, and pish tosh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 11:06 AM

...and we mustn't forget hanky panky ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: GUEST,ibo
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 11:12 AM

popping out to the shops


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 11:14 AM

Apparently, the technical term is 'reduplicative compounds' but that sounds a bit hoity-toity to me.

higgledy-piggledy
tittle-tattle
pitter-patter
mish-mash
lovey-dovey
helter-skelter
argy-bargy
nitty-gritty
    Please remember to use a consistent name when you post. Messages with the "from" space blank, risk being deleted.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 11:25 AM

"popping out to the shops"

If you ever want to confuse a Frenchman, tell him you're:

"just nipping down the boozer for a swift half of mild"


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 11:27 AM

I don't find any of these so odd as "Ah, go piss up a rope."


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: Splott Man
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 11:29 AM

So here we are in April, in showy, blowy April,
In frowsy, blowsy April, the rowdy dowdy time
In soppy, sloppy April, in wheezy breezy April,
In ringing, stinging April, with a singing swinging rhyme.

The smiling sun of April on the violets is focal,
The sudden showers of April seek the dandelion out;
The tender airs of April make the local yokel vocal,
And he raises rustic ditties with a most melodious shout.

So here we are in April, in tipsy gypsy April,
In showery, flowery April, the twinkly, sprinkly days;
In tingly, jingly April, in highly wily April,
In mighty, flighty April with its highty-tighty ways!

The duck is fond of April, and the clucking chickabiddy
And other barnyard creatures have a try at caroling;
There's something in the air to turn a stiddy kiddy giddy,
And even I am forced to raise my croaking voice and sing.
Ted Robinson


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: beardedbruce
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 11:30 AM

R,

Your expression is a statement that the person should go do something ( thought to be ) patently impossible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 11:42 AM

I'd love to know who invented these expressions - and why.

Idiomatic expressions are one of the hardest things to understand when learning a new language because they don't follow word origin rules, etc. Usually there is no "one person" who started it all. I was a native English speaker in a French for Translation course in graduate school where the professor would give us some of those each week and say "memorize them. That's the only way to learn them to figure out what they mean in colloquial usage, they don't make sense any other way."

You'll have a thread longer than MOAB if you try to enumerate and explain all of the idiomatic expressions in our various forms of English, not to mention other languages. Best to simply be aware of them when you use them so you can assist the non-native speaker by offering a quick translation yourself to help them on their way through this language.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: Amos
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 12:32 PM

A thread longer than MOAB? Madam, it is quite impossible.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: beardedbruce
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 12:34 PM

A flight of hyperbole best left grounded, at least.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 12:48 PM

Yes, because as we all know:

"many a mickle makes a muckle"

and you can't argue with that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: Raedwulf
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 01:12 PM

Good guesses Guest, meself. My OED says possible link to Danish kippe, & "Will I, nill I" as origins.

As to most of the others, "reduplicative compounds" may sound technical, but is a damn fine explanation & probably accurate more often than not. These days, what tends to be created are acronyms, which essentially are a post WWI phenomenon. If anyone offers you an acronymic derivation for shit, fuck, cunt & most other "expletives", plus posh & too many others to mention, disbelieve them. Unless you're sure the word being defined is modern (snafu, frex - Situation Normal - All Fouled *cough* *cough* Up), it isn't an acronym.

Aside from that google Michael Quinion. His World Wide Words website will anser many of your questions...

Nap comes from Old English hnappian, by the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: beardedbruce
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 02:13 PM

btw, it is SNAFUBAR - Beyond All Repair


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: Raedwulf
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 07:55 PM

Debatable, Bruce. Fubar can be/is a separate expression. Fouled *cough* *cough* *again* Up Beyond All Recognition is the exploded version that I know. Entirely independent of snafu.

I believe there was also a "tarfu" ("Things Are Really..."), but that never seemed to pass into popular speech.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 09:39 PM

RTFM, dude. Just RTFM.


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Subject: RE: BS: Odd Expressions
From: Rowan
Date: 13 Jul 07 - 09:52 PM

"Jiggy jig" is one of those "reduplicative compounds" I'd keenly explore more often.

Cheers, Rowan


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