Friday, April 27, 2007

What Kind Of Idiom Are You

Here I am, browsing around the internets like I nobody's business, when my Intervention is at 9:00. I must be more vigilant. I think we're having heroin and alcohol tonight. Not in the same person, though.

Today at school, we did a writing assignment with idioms. Or as the kids asked, squinting, "Idiots?" I could not retort. I discussed idioms, gave them a choice to pick from, and had them write their own origin. We started with my example, "Let the cat out of the bag." According to my idiom dictionary, this saying originated in England during the 1600s. If a man went to the market to purchase a piglet for dinner, he had to be satisfied with a piglet in a bag, or 'poke'. Merchants kept them bagged so they didn't run away. Some merchants were unscrupulous! Sometimes a customer took that bag home, prepared to butcher the piglet, and was flabbergasted when he opened the bag and a CAT ran out. Shame on those merchants! This was also the origin of the saying, "Be careful not to buy a pig in a poke." That's just extra knowledge for y'all. We're all about the book-learnin' here at the Mansion. I'm going to start a new educational movement called Mansion-Schooling one of these days.

Here, according to my students, are the origins of some more idioms.

Cat got your tongue? One day, two guys were arguing outside a McDonald's. One got really mad, and went inside. He thought he saw something run by the door. When he came back out, the guy he argued with was bent over by the dumpster. The guy tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't speak. Then he saw that a cat had ripped out his tongue.

Caught red-handed. A kid named Niceguywhogaveuptheshoesonhisfeet was robbing a house one day. He ran out, and another kid saw him. That kid yelled, "Ha! Caught you red-handed!" The police heard this new saying, and then everybody said it.

Caught red-handed. During the Middle Ages, a serial killer was caught with his hands still in the victim's guts. Since he had blood all over his hands, he was caught red-handed.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch. This old man raised chickens. He had a bunch of eggs, and told people when they would hatch. A bunch of people wanted to buy chickens. They showed up on that day, but none of the eggs hatched. The people were really mad at the old man. That's why you shouldn't count your chickens before they hatch.

Goody Two-Shoes. A group of red-headed merchants thought they were better than everyone else. So they acted all snobby and people didn't like them and called them Goody Two-Shoes.

Goody Two-Shoes. In France, at the Eiffel Tower in the 1600s, only rich people had shoes. If you were rich, you had to buy shoestrings, too. When you were rich, you could afford two shoes instead of just one. Other people started calling them Goody Two-Shoes in French. And that is where the saying came from.

Kick the bucket. There once was an old man. He was very sick with the flu in the 1700s. He decided to walk to town. When he got there, he fell over dead. As he was going down, his foot flew up and kicked over a bucket. So they said he kicked the bucket.

That's all I can remember tonight. It's been a trying day. HH volunteered to pick up #1 son after his 6 Flags trip. However, HH's precious Mercedes (that ugly 1980 yellow piece of doo-doo) overheated again. So I had to go anyway. That means from 3:10 to 6:10, I was killing time. I thought of killing HH, but that type of thing is frowned on here in Missouri. I got to school, and there was HH, with the hood of that ugly beast propped up, his head in there, digging around. Oh, and there was a big puddle of water leaking out from under it. I'm hoping that was due to the car, and not HH, who has been know to treat the outdoors like one big toilet. Because there is a camera right on that spot. HH parked in the Superintendent's spot, (as if it could get any worse). He could not get it started again, and had to leave it there. He's hoping someone will steal it.

Another perfect end to a perfect day. And Intervention.


Mean Teacher said...

Silly, silly kids. Here's the ReAL origin of "caught red-handed."

When I was in 1st grade, the teachers hung small wipey boards outside of each doorway. They were keeping track of how much money we raised for some fundraiser, and they used red dry erase markers to fill in the charts. This bad kid named Chip Duncan wiped the red marker off ours one day on the way to the bathroom. When we got back, the teacher saw that the board had been wiped, and she told everyone to hold their hands up in the air. Seeing that Chip's hands were red, the teacher exclaimed, "I caught you red-handed!"

And that is the truth.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Can I call you that? I don't think you mind...I'm trying to play along. And I think you know what I mean, Meanie.

Everybody knows you can't trust a kid named Chip. But what's in a name, really?

Mean Teacher said...

A name's only meaning is whatever people associate it with.

I'm fine with Meanie.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Well said, my fellow preposition-ending sentencer.

Redneck. Diva. said...

Is Meanie Mabel in disguise??

Methinks I smell a Snuffleupagus. Or something.

I love idioms. So much so that I married one. Wait. That's an idiot.

Hillbilly Mom said...

No. You have 20 questions left. And it is customary to begin with "Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral?" Please don't insinuate that Not-Mabel smells.

Methinks youknows the Meanie. You just don't know it YET, not being as psychic as the flaky Hillbilly Mom.