Skip to main content

Enigmatic Expressions

Friends,
As a non-native English speaker, I find some of the idiomatic expressions we use, well, befuddling. When someone arrives in the nick of time, do you ever wonder who Nick was and why he so often borders on impunctuality? The Internet puts many answers at our fingertips, which can be fascinating. Too often, I find the explanations the pundits provide dissatisfying –either because the origin of an expression is too mundane, or because they are merely speculating on how it came about. I sometimes prefer my own backstory. Earlier this week, Missy Glauch, Kelly Crosby and I got to speculating about some of these expressions:
  • Neck of the woods. Since when do woods have necks and how in tarnation did that come to mean neighborhood? For a while I thought it might be Nick (perhaps the same chronically semi-punctual gentleman we discussed earlier). Apparently, Al Roker’s folksy expression dates back to colonial days when many villages were near a narrowing (a neck) of the wooded areas surrounding them.
  • Winner, winner, chicken dinner! I had always assumed it was a silly expression used solely because the words rhyme. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised to learn there’s more. Apparently, the minimum blackjack bet used to be $2, about the price of a chicken dinner at a Las Vegas casino and it was customary to associate the winnings with something you could buy for that price.
  •  Fifth third bank. Admittedly, not an idiomatic expression. Still, why christen a bank with a name that implies (to me at least) they are an also-ran. The fifth bank in the third rung of banks? I can understand bragging about being number one, but this feels like an 8th place ribbon. It’s not even a proper fraction, despite their logo suggesting otherwise. To the picky mathematician, 5/3 should be 1 2/3. Cute, maybe, but who wants a banker who is bad at fractions? With so much potential, I was disappointed to learn that the fifth national bank and third national bank had chosen this name when they merged.

While not discussed with my colleagues during that fateful Über ride, I like a baker’s dozen, especially when donuts are involved. Perhaps they’re not good at math (that would explain the baking, rather than accounting or engineering career path). Perhaps the sugar makes bakers more generous. Whatever the reason, we have one today, so come, let us discuss the origin of an idiomatic expression over a donut -or thirteen. Who knows, our version may be more memorable.
Happy Friday!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

BIrds of a Feather

Friends, The early bird catches the worm, however, as the sun rises I’d much rather have a Denver omelet than a diet of worms . Ready to fly the coop, my ducks all in a row, I ponder one more time whether a bird in hand is truly worth two in the bush. Egged-on by my quest to tuck away a nest egg, I’ve decided to change industries and hope that, like the phoenix, my career will also rise from the ashes of change. After all, I’m no spring chicken –my crow’s feet and gray bely my age – however, I have to trust my judgment and believe you can’t catch this old bird with chaff (whether or not folks think me an odd bird for my actions). And so I shall attempt to soar like an eagle, aware that counting my chickens before they hatch would be ill-advised. As I learn to talk turkey in the language of cybersecurity, I will endeavor not to hide my head in the sand, choosing instead to be like a duck – calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath! And while my excessive use of bird-inspired

Love and Marriage go together like a Horse and... Donut!

Friends, My family gained a new daughter last week. As I welcome the freshly minted Mrs. González, I wish the new couple a lasting, loving, happy and tranquil marriage. I am also reminded of a special delivery I received at the wedding. A few weeks ago, my niece/goddaughter held a “go fund me” and offered to stitch something for the donors. I, of corse, asked for a horse jumping through a donut. The completed masterpiece depicting this unlikely combo now has a special place in my office, and brings a smile to my face every time I see it. That said, I may forgo the obligatory donut today and opt for some of the leftover cake we still have at the house. Happy Friday!   New addition to the Family Horse through donut  with the artist   Horse through donut at it’s new home shelf P.S. The donut wall in action.

Life is Smiling!

Friends, You know life is good when even dinner smiles at you. That said, digging into smiley soup can pose a dilemma. At a conscious level, you know it’s just inert food. Inanimate, unsentient, incapable of emotion or feeling. Still, those cute cross eyed egg eyes and that little pepper smile are saying ”I’m your friend” —and friends don’t eat friends. Naming your anthropomorphic dish only makes matters worse. Eventually, being the monster I am, hunger wins. Mmmm, delicious! (Sorry, Sally). Speaking of which, maybe skip the smiley faces on that next dozen donuts. Happy Friday! ;-)