Friday, August 21, 2009

IDIOMS and such

2Leggeds! Sometimes I think I will never understand you.

Idioms. Don't roll your eyes at me. You use them every day and each person, each family, each city, each state has added their own "coloratura" if you will, which individualizes that phrase even more. So, as a 4 legged trying to acclimate, we have to quickly "come to speed."

What started me thinking about this was the "raining cats and dogs" comment I overheard momma make to daddy. I am a dog. I know about dogs. I have never "rained." I am NOT water!

I tapped momma on the leg when she said, and again when she repeated it. She gave me two weird explanations for that phrase. One was upsetting. I stopped listening after she said dogs and cats were kept on a thatched roof which caved in routinely in heavy rains. Roof???? MOI????? Never!!!! The other was more palatable, but weirder. The Teutons of Jutland back in the days.... like 100 BC or something, believed that it rained hard when their god Odin was chasing a cat which took the form of rain. Shaking my head, so where is the dog in that? NO SENSE.

Momma is always demanding that I "spill the beans." She usually does it when she discovers that all the pillows "fell" off the couch or when JD, Wendy, and I make a puppy-ladder to get treats and eat the whole bag but we forget to throw out the bag and she finds it (oopsie). But we didn't spill any beans! We don't even like beans! Google says that the expression comes from the ancient Greeks (I love their olives!). Beans were used to vote. Candidates held an empty helmet, people tossed a bean in the helmet to vote for the candidate and at the end, beans were spilled and counted. Winner had the most beans. And dinner to boot. Oh and no hanging chads!!!

The phrase that I find funny is "hanging out." My humans say that. I have never seen them hanging. I would be very disturbed if I did. Turns out that that phrase comes from England, where shopkeepers used to hang out flags with products and prices. People would stop to read the flags and they would gather. So it means gathering. Put away the clothes pins and rope, no real hanging. Phew!

There are myriads of these phrases like beating around the bush, talking through your hat, by hook or by crook, coming to speed. You see how difficult it becomes to learn what is meant vs what is said?!?

Momma has her own weird phrases which are idioms in some other language, but do not necessarily translate to English, and that is a whole different post.
Suffice it to say I take great consolation in watching daddy struggle with what she is saying at times. It IS NOT JUST ME.

Oh one more thought, add dialects to idioms, and then inside family jokes and you have a whole new language. Really guys, if you had a gorgeous tail, you could do away with words and learn the simple art of tail communication.

Speaking of tail, I am having a perfect tail day, I hope we go out today.

Before I forget, you know... you have to VOTE


Honeygo Beasley said...

Vote 494 here...

: )))

rocky-dog said...

Hi Silvie -- we've been on vacation and haven't been able to write in a while. But I'm home now for a bit -- mama is doing quite a bit of galavanting (as she puts it) this fall! It means I get to go stay at Auntie Laura though which is okay with me -- Auntie Laura doesn't let me use her puter though.

Anyway, I just wanted to comment on the idiot thing -- oh yeah, IDIOM thing. standard phrases are bad enough but both mama and John talk in a language called "tech" those are even weirder words. Like not having enough bandwidth -- what is bandwidth???? and why do you need so much. or googling something??? I thought google was something you ate? mama says you google to look something up on the puter -- although John says that you now must bing things -- it's very difficult to keep up with them sometimes.

Anyway I wanted to let you know that we are back to voting -- mama said she didn't have as much internet access when she was on her last trip.

Your bud -- rocky-dog

silvieon4 said...

Yeaaaa for voters! I am relying on you since momma is going to get cut up again on Tuesday. They better stitch her up with pink thread this time! Rocky welcome back!,The bing and gorgle as I call it is heard a lot around here. What got me stumped today is a "motion in limine" ???? I know.... they are just messing with my puppy head!!