Language & Grammar discussion

47 views
Grammar Central > Expressions that you love

Comments Showing 1-24 of 24 (24 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (havan) | 1023 comments There is already a thread here about expressions that we wish would just go away. I think it's only fair to have a positive thread as well.

There are certain expressions that I've heard as an adult that I've just loved, usually for no good reason.

One of my favoriets is when something has been misplaced - it's gone walkies. I know its British but then...


message 2: by Susan (last edited Jun 29, 2011 03:13PM) (new)

Susan Although I'm English, I always say 'Its gone walkabout'.
Probably just a regional variation.
I think I prefer 'walkies'!


message 3: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
We say "gone AWOL" or, in the case of single missing socks, "ran for the border."


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10390 comments Ran for the border is Taco Bell . hee hee


message 5: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (havan) | 1023 comments A lot of these sayings have regional variants... I grew up thinking that the house diagonally across the street was kitty-corner from me and that Coke was just the best pop. Only when I moved to Manhattan did I learn that it was really Catty-Corner and Soda.


message 6: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
My favourite 'expression' when surprised and amazed is "Farting angels!!"


message 7: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 15767 comments Mod
Love it!


message 8: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Haven't heard that one! No doubt it doesn't stink (or if it does, it stinks of harp dust).

When I'm surprised and in polite company (a rarity, as most people around me are impolite), I say, Sacre bleu! which is French for "Holy Jerry Lewis!"


message 9: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
I'll be farted?!! Like my one better ;-p


message 10: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
The power of the letter "F." Amazing it's in 6th place in the alphabet.


message 11: by Genine (last edited Jul 29, 2011 06:36AM) (new)

Genine Franklin-Clark (suz83yq) Just finished watching the Australian soap opera (224 episodes!) and am very taken with the use of the word "stuffed" in place of our "f**ked".


message 12: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
Hahaha! Must have been Neighbours or Home and Away!


message 13: by Stephen (last edited Aug 12, 2011 04:05PM) (new)

Stephen (havan) | 1023 comments OK all. I want to know and my google searches haven't really turned up a satisfactory answer.

There's an expression "I've seen the elephant" and its occasionally cited as He's seen the elephant and heard the hooty owl.

It seems to have originated in New England and has at least the elephant part has been in common usage since the civil war. (I've heard it quoted from letters home from Yankee soldiers)

The hooty owl part has me thrown though... I know that there's an American indian legend that hearing an owl call you is fortelling your death. Is that related?

In my search I even came across a variation suggesting that the full quote was "He's seen the elephant and heard the hooty owl. He's been to the other side of the mountain and heard the eagle scream"

Can anyone shed some light on these? Are they just all separate variations on the idea of having become somehow world weary or fey?

I recently came across The Seen the Elephant, Heard the Hooty Owl variant of this again in Good Times, Bad Times so I know I'm not just making this up.


message 14: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Shoot. I'm about as New England as you get (born & bred) and I've never seen this elephant you speak of. Is he the same elephant who's in the room but no one talks about him?

As for hoot owls signifying death, that's in Twain... Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer or both. That and the howling of a dog at night (bad juju, that). Means someone's gonna die. (Pretty stupid when you consider we're ALL gonna die.)


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Newengland wrote: "We say "gone AWOL" or, in the case of single missing socks, "ran for the border.""

for those who don't know...
AWOL = Absent WithOut Leave
(originally a military term)


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

when I was a kid my friend used to have rhyming phrases such as -

know what I mean, jelly bean? or -
okie dokie, artichokie!


message 17: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (havan) | 1023 comments Michele wrote: "Newengland wrote: "We say "gone AWOL" or, in the case of single missing socks, "ran for the border."""

I've always liked the UK term "gone walkies" for things that have appeared to have walked away on their own.. it's particularly apt for socks.


message 18: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) An uncle used to say "Balz...ac!" when he was angry about something. I've always loved that.


message 19: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
We say "Holy Shiite!" just to show off our religious acumen when angry.


message 20: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (bonfiggi) I like "Merciful Jaybird."


message 21: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 15767 comments Mod
Joanne wrote: "I like "Merciful Jaybird.""

OOh. I like that. I think I'll adopt it.


message 22: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
Aw... a foster mom!


message 23: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 15767 comments Mod
Newengland wrote: "Aw... a foster mom!"

To a jaybird, no less.


message 24: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18313 comments Mod
It's respectable, as birds go.


back to top