Sunday, December 24, 2006

Jumped The Shark, and other useful phrases

I have enjoyed the repartee following my Happy Birthday Wishes to The Stupid Blogger. In this series of witty rejoinders, Foo Daddy revealed his new phrase, chases (-ing, -ed, -er, etc.) the laughing bats.

That got me thinking that we could have yet more uproariously stupid good times making up (or modifying) similar phrases.

Let me get us started by alluding to a couple of such sayings. I like these because they are very slightly opaque at first glance. Their meanings have also become nuanced and altered from the original, but they are now in widespread use. Here goes...

Jumped the shark I have heard this used plenty of times but only recently did a search to discover the origins and real meaning. I recommend that you give at least a half hearted whirl at guessing it's meaning before you go to

Drank the koolaid What do you think?

OK, there's a couple to get us started. Let the games begin. I think we could make some up that may very well make their way through the pierced lips of tattooed teenagers, the stiff uppers of Harvard professors and the collagen puffed ones of not-well-compensated blonde truck stop waitresses all across our fair land. Wheee...what an ambition.


Jack W. Regan said...

I'll think about this a bit, but I do know what "Jumped the Shark" means. It's used many times in describing TV shows when describing the moment or event that caused their slide into oblivion. Kind of like an apex, or high point. I suppose this could come to mean the apex of anything: TV show, career, etc. Okay, now I'm going to wikipedia and see if I'm right.

Ha! I was right. I'm gratified.

Jack W. Regan said...

Okay, here are some commonly used phrases and origins. I'll be back later with some weird phrases I hope very much are original.

1. Son of a gun: After sailors had crossed the Atlantic to the West Indies, they would take the native women on board the ship and have their way with them in between the cannons. Some of the women the sailors left behind would have boys, who were called sons between the guns.

2. Mind your Ps & Qs: Ale was served at local taverns out of "tankard" ... you were charged by the angle of your elbow ... half-way up... you drank a pint, all the way up... you drank a quart. Since the Quart cost so much more than the Pint, you were warned to "Mind your Ps & Qs"

3. Saved by the bell: No, not school. When our ancestors realized that they were burying a great deal of people before their time had actually come, they came up with a solution. They tied a string onto the "dead" person's hand, buried them, and tied the other end of the string to a bell and then tied it to nearby tree branch. If the person revived enough to ring the bell, their survivors would rush out and dig them up. Hence... "saved by the bell"

Anonymous said...

I think we could all come up with normal phrases which have taken on a twisted or ominous meaning in the current US political climate, such as:

The term "decider", as used by a once-popular leader of a certain free world, made into a transitive verb, viz: "Decidered [that thing]". As in: "Boy, Laclede, you really decidered that one up but good!" Naturally I'm ignoring the possible meaning of the removal of cider from some process or thing or stomach.

No, I think you fellas should aim for something containing more simon-pure stupid, something from the Ernie Kovacs side of the brain, something unsettling, preferably with a subliminal internal rhyme, like...

deburred the penguin


frisked the cheese


pranged the kite (that's a real one from the RAF)


snubbed the bulb

None of these shows that spurt of genius for which FD is famed, but you get the idea.