Phrases you've never understood.


New member
Jan 14, 2010
"You suck".
Think about it. That's just gross. How did this ever make it into our everyday language? Everybody uses it, too, in fact it's one of the first abuses kids are deemed allowed to use.


New member
Apr 8, 2010
Jake Lewis Clayton said:
captaincabbage said:
"I think this whole thing's been a bit of a damp squid."
Ahh, this ones hard to tell from just reading it.

but it might have something to do with a corruption of, I think this whole things been a bit of damp squib.

Squib being an explosive in with industrial uses, being wet it's therefor useless.
You obviously don't watch The I.T. Crowd. XD


New member
Apr 8, 2010
Purple Shrimp said:
how do you not understand "could care less"
"Could care less" implies that you care at least a little bit, doesn't it? "Couldn't care less" means, obviously, that you don't give two shits about whatever the subject is.

OT: Just wanna add in, the phrase "didn't do/see/say nuthin'." is stupid and we should all blank it from our minds.


New member
Feb 24, 2010
"Lets hit the road"

firstly i don't think of walking as hitting, and surely roads are for driving not walking anyway, so confusing.


New member
Aug 13, 2009
Dracowrath said:
Tit for tat. I know what a tit is, but wtf is a tat?
There once was a woman who was quite begat. She had three babies named Nat, Pat, and Tat. She said it was fun in the breeding, but found it was hell in the feeding, when she saw there was no tit for Tat. That's a nice limerick.
I think tit for tat just means if you punch me in the face, I punch you equally as hard.

The Eyeball Moose

New member
Jun 16, 2011
"For the love of Pete" and "For Pete's sake".
Is Pete supposed to represent God? Did someone appoint Pete as the new God? That would make sense. If not, I don't know a Pete. Is Pete your friend? Why do you like him so much? I thought you loved ME. Are you seeing someone else? That's it, we're done. We're breaking up. Game over, *****.


New member
Feb 16, 2010
"Are your (ears/hands/legs/other) painted on?"

This confused me for years as a kid. I had no idea how having paint on my body correlated to my ability to do something. Should I be abstaining from activities for fear of spreading said paint?


New member
May 21, 2009
Soxafloppin said:
INB4 "I could care less"


Edit: Head over Heels, My head is generally over my heels, regardless of mood.
I've also heard the one "ass over tea kettle," where I make the assumption that tea kettle means head, and therefore makes a lot more sense.

Littaly said:
We have this expression in Swedish for when something is really easy, we say "It's like a dance on roses". It always bugged me that it doesn't say "dance on rose petals", because a dance on roses doesn't seem easy at all, on the contrary, I imagine that would hurt quite a bit :-/
Also pretty destructive :( I've never heard that one, but it seems silly. I agree that rose petals would make more sense.

The-Epicly-Named-Man said:
F*ck me. I mean, I say it as well, but it doesn't really make much sense.
People say this all the time, and I always find it so awkward. I know what they mean, but I'm one moment of zoned-outtedness away from either saying, "Okay," or, "Fuck no," with a completely blank look on my face. Bad news.

OT: When someone says they "booked it". I know what it's supposed to mean, but... wat?


New member
Jan 15, 2010
There's the whole trend of using the word 'shit' to substitute almost anything.

"Are you shitting me?!" Okay, doesn't make more or less sense than "pulling my leg", so nevermind.

"I don't give two shits about that" So you express interest by shitting..?

"Shit just got real" Up to this point we were living a fictional life where nobody had to go to the toilet or clip their toenails. That's my interpretation anyway.

"You don't know shit" This one *would* make sense if the speaker added 'from smth'

I could keep this up all day.


Senior Member
Aug 7, 2011
Rin Little said:
"Happy as a clam."

Whoever said clams were happy? They're stuck in shells they're entire lives and the only time they see day light is if they're getting wrenched open to be eaten... sounds pretty miserable to me.
Original is As happy as a clam at high tide. I guess clams are only harvested at low tide.

Steve Butts

New member
Jun 1, 2010
retyopy said:
"have your cake and eat it too." If I have a cake, it's because I'm going to eat it.
The problem is that people think it should be understood sequentially. As in you, "You can't have your cake, and THEN eat it."

The two things should be understood as simultaneous, which is much better expressed by the original idiom where the two ideas were reversed. As in, "You can't eat your cake, and still have [posses] your cake."

Money is a clearer example. If you have money, you have the potential to buy things. Once you spend it, the potential is consumed. "You can't have a dollar and spend it too."


New member
Dec 4, 2008
I always reply to any 'F**K this' as though the person is really asking me to have sex with it,

-"oh fuck me'
-"! not even if you paid!"

Head over heels - Hard to find the answer, but got it.. In old english 1771, where the kick in the face makes the head of the victim to be above the heels of the kicker (Note that Heels face down, not up, so you have to think upside down to get your head 'over' a heel of another person, OR be upside down.

Cats have 9 lives, so to skin it, you'd have to kill it 9 ways/times.

If body parts are painted on, they are just for show, and not for use.

tit and tat are short forms in old english for This and That.

Your heels slap down on a road as you walk, slap=hit. yes roads were invented before cars.

Doornails used to be bent over to strengthen the door (and make it stick) and a bent nail is a dead nail.

In some very old english farm terms come in, buying the sow, = marry the daughter, bought the bucket ( to bring milk for the new baby = new life) to kick the bucket ( the bucket is empty, the cow kicks it, its dead) buying the farm was something you tried to do in your lifetime. Some references to Chauser talked about the landowner buying the farm from the dead owner.

Screw the Pooch is interesting.. In modern terms, its like an idiot who thinks he's done a good job, turns out he got it all wrong, based on a joke about a guy who has sex with his dog instead of his girlfriend, but other sources, which seems to be more likely.. when your learning to have sex, and you get it in the wrong hole, but you don't know and continue to orgasm. which matches the meaning of the first.. but I can't find references to dates to say which came first (mind the pun)

Surely a crying child has a legitimate reason for crying. a cut, a broken arm, a dead puppy or a smacked bottom. but to cry over something emotional? c'mon.. if your going to cry, and you don;t HAVE a good reason, you better stop or the reason will be provided for you (a smacked bottom) Usually for boys instead of girls.

First used by long john silver in treasure island when praising jim hawkins you're a "smart as paint"

It simply means that Jim is smart (clever) just as anything freshly painted is smart (neat and well-looking). It's a sort of pun on the two meanings of "smart".

Fit as a fiddle, have you SEEN a fiddle, the curves like a sexy (fit) woman?

and BACK to the ORIGINAL POST (since most of the others are already answered)

When you get married, the top piece of cake has two traditions, you eat it at the wedding or you save it for the 1st year anniversary (Western traditions is to save it = in-case it goes wrong, at least you never really sealed the deal) while others eat it (in Russia, they auction it off for a nice chunk of change = pays for the honeymoon!!) So if you Eat it, you can't have it in your fridge/freezer/cake tin (dependant on ingredients) and if you have it, you obviously can't eat any of it (saliva will promote germs and the cake will be ruined)

I'm an English teacher and this kind of thread is my cup of tea, right up my alley and I just had to be in like Flynn.


Ineptly Chaotic
Jan 6, 2011
A Hermit's Cave
The Eyeball Moose said:
"For the love of Pete" and "For Pete's sake".
Is Pete supposed to represent God? Did someone appoint Pete as the new God? That would make sense. If not, I don't know a Pete. Is Pete your friend? Why do you like him so much? I thought you loved ME. Are you seeing someone else? That's it, we're done. We're breaking up. Game over, *****.
'For God's sake!', 'For Christ's sake!' and by association 'For the Holy Ghost's sake!' just sounds dumb.

So, the third is just a prompt shortening of 'For St. Peter's sake!' Whether he is less offended, I don't know... nor do I care all that much, but that's where 'for Pete's sake!' comes from.