It’s a figure of speech

My blogging friend Brendan recently posted various idioms that he uses in everyday speech.  It got me to thinking about things that I always say and why I say them.  I managed to come up with a few.

1.  One of my most beloved idioms is “curses!”  I remember being on the phone at work with a nurse and something about the computer wasn’t working or I did the wrong thing and I said “curses” half way under my breath.  She totally called me on it – “did you just say ‘curses’?”  Alas, I did.  I think I picked it up as a way to keep from uttering profanities in a work environment or other situations where a certain level of professionalism is required.  And, oh yeah, I totally got it from the Power Puff Girls.

2.  Another one I use in a work situation to keep from actually cursing is “God bless it!”  It sounds pretty tame, but you know that when I’m whipping that out, things have gone from bad to worse.  No idea where it came from – probably my wife.

3.  For many years now, I have used the British term “bloody” quite a bit.  I realize it really is vulgar – or has been in the past – in the UK, but I feel like the connotations are just not there in the U.S.  It usually gets a laugh from the person who hears me say it, which helps defuse situations in which “bloody” might actually get used.

4.  One that Heidi and I use a lot in jest is “I could just brain him/her!” referring to people that frustrate us.  I really can’t remember the source of this either, although I’m inclined to believe it was my friend Jeff’s mom.  I seem to recall him telling stories in which she said that.  Tinas, am I right on this?

Apropos of nothing, I’m kind of fascinated with idioms for dying.  Kick the bucket, circle the drain – you know them.  The one that bothers me though is “bought the farm.”  Surely it should be “sold the farm.”

I would love to hear phrases others use.   Thanks for the idea, Brendan!

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5 Responses to It’s a figure of speech

  1. Dwayne says:

    Dang, I thought for sure this would be an Olivia post. “It’s a figure of speech. But you’re still out of reach.”
    Dead as a doornail & Meet your maker are the ones that first come to mind for me.
    Also, I have no problem with cursing born of anger or frustration. I hate it when they are used as an every other word adjective. I have zero time for people that talk that way. Oh yes also hate it in a pop song. Ooh you said the F-word in a pop song. You’re so cool. NOT!

    • Dan says:

      Admittedly that ONJ song did go through my head – did you know that was a rejected song from Streisand’s Guilty album? Man, now I’m going to have to listen to that song.

      I am certainly not blameless when it comes to using curse words as adjectives, but I get where you’re coming from. When you stand back and look at it objectively, it’s so ridiculous.

  2. Dwayne says:

    I did not know that about the song, but wow I can hear it in my head. It would have been amazing.

  3. Nice post! I love “Curses!” I’m absolutely going to start using that.

    My completely unsubstantiated guess is that “bought the farm” refers to the antiquated idea that when you’re a city-slicker who gets old and wants to retire, you buy a farm and move to the country. Viz, from Miracle on 34th Street: “…You better start lookin’ for that chicken farm right now, because we won’t even be able to get you in the primaries.”

    • Dan says:

      That’s as good of an explanation as any for “bought the farm.” I can get behind that.
      “Curses!” almost always gets a laugh or a sly look from whoever hears me use it – I wholeheartedly endorse its use! 🙂

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