Phrases you've never understood.

daemon37

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Oct 14, 2009
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Being a foreigner in Australia I hear this one often:

"Good on ya."

Why is it on me? I don't want it on me, can you help me get it off? WTF.
 

EmperorSubcutaneous

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Dec 22, 2010
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Instant K4rma said:
_____ Was all but ____

Example: The village was all but destroyed.

Translation: The village was destroyed.

But wait, I thought it was all but destroyed? No?

What is this I don't even....
It's a shorthand way of saying "all but a small amount." So it really means "almost entirely."
 

SckizoBoy

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Jan 6, 2011
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A Hermit's Cave
dorkette1990 said:
OT: "Sick as a dog". To my knowledge, dogs are not known for being terribly ill...
I think that hearkens back to the days of the plague, when they were more (or just as) susceptible to it than humans. And it was their gait and general malaise that that expression arose from.
 

Beautiful End

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Feb 15, 2011
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"Cute as a button"
I don't think buttons are cute. :/

"Kicking ass and taking names"
If I had to kick someone, I would kick them in the balls. A kick in the ass wouldn't hurt as much. And why would I take names? THEY should learn MY name, if anything, shouldn't they?

"So hungry, I could eat a horse"
Why? I've heard people say "I could eat a cow". That's fine. But horses? Who would eat a horse? Is there such thing as roasted horse meat or something?

"___ as the day is long"
For example, I was watching Friends and someone said "As gay as the day is long". The day isn't that long; it ends eventually. So...it means whatever we're talking about will end? In Friend's case, being gay?
 

justcallmeslow

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Dec 18, 2009
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BlakBladz said:
balls to the wall action. I don't get it.
It's to do with steam train engines I think, and what happened to a certain valve when you went full speed. Though googling to check i remembered correctly i found that it could also be to do with the throttle's position in a full-speed jet fighter. Either way, there's no testicles involved. Hooray!

BlakBladz said:
balls to the wall action. I don't get it.
I've always had an issue with "A poor workman blames his tools." I sorta get the idea behind it, I just think that there has to be a better way to say it.[/quote]

Modern variant: "A poor player always blames his team"?
Cos there's always one leet player on a team of n00bs. If only everyone else was as good as him then he'd win. Of course.
 

Vie

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Nov 18, 2009
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Local one here for you, try and see if you can translate it.

"Where be you to?"

Obviously that means: "Where are you going?" Right?
Wrong

"Where have you been?"

I hate this retarded city.
 

dancinginfernal

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Sep 5, 2009
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"I could care less."

People say that. I've heard it. They use it when they intend the opposite. They try to say I'm incorrect whenever I correct it.

I can't tell if it's a misunderstanding on my part, or theirs?
 

TehChef

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Feb 19, 2010
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Not a phrase, but a word that never made sense to me is "oxymoron". The only thing my wife and I can come up with is that there are probably no morons studying at Oxford, therefore, if there were an Oxford moron, it would describe a contradictory thing. Anyone know how close we are to the truth?
 

justcallmeslow

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TehChef said:
Not a phrase, but a word that never made sense to me is "oxymoron". The only thing my wife and I can come up with is that there are probably no morons studying at Oxford, therefore, if there were an Oxford moron, it would describe a contradictory thing. Anyone know how close we are to the truth?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxymoron#Etymology
pretty far from it
 

Twilight_guy

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Nov 24, 2008
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It's not technically a phrase but I wonder why everyone likes to turn things into acronyms. There are so many three letters acronyms, just in my comp. sci. classes alone that its ridiculous. No more TLAs, no more!

I always kind of wondered where the expression to pull one's self up by the bootstraps comes from. Bootstraps, as far as I know, are basically buckles on the shoes like laces. Why would you be dangling from them, what is the implication?
 

EmperorSubcutaneous

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Dec 22, 2010
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Beautiful End said:
"So hungry, I could eat a horse"
Why? I've heard people say "I could eat a cow". That's fine. But horses? Who would eat a horse? Is there such thing as roasted horse meat or something?
Um...yes, they do eat horses some places.

But the saying just means that a horse is both very large and not something you would normally eat. So you would have to be extremely hungry to consider it.
 

StorytellingIsAMust

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Jun 24, 2011
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"What's up?" That's the question that literally has no answer besides: the sky, the ceiling, the lights, birds, clouds, the sun, or anything that actually would be above you.
 

Beautiful End

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EmperorSubcutaneous said:
Beautiful End said:
"So hungry, I could eat a horse"
Why? I've heard people say "I could eat a cow". That's fine. But horses? Who would eat a horse? Is there such thing as roasted horse meat or something?
Um...yes, they do eat horses some places.

But the saying just means that a horse is both very large and not something you would normally eat. So you would have to be extremely hungry to consider it.
Wow, really? Man...can't say it sounds appetizing...probably because it's something I hadn't considered...but dang!
I still prefer "I could eat a cow" better. Even "Bull" is okay. :/
 

Beautiful End

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Also, "When shit hits the fan" and it's related phrases.

Why would the shit hit the fan? Is it piling up in a room and it's about to reach the roof? Or is there a fan oscillating and the shit is slowly approaching? Or is someone gonna toss the shit at the fan and it will cause it to splatter everywhere?
 

Agayek

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Oct 23, 2008
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the spud said:
I still don't see the connection between whining and tiny violins. It isn't like it makes a difference.

Somebody's been maiking lots of threads.
The connection is that in plays (musicals, opera, etc) and movies, when things are all sad and super cereal, they generally play slow, sad violin music. It's mostly a reference to the cultural zeitgeist, where violins generally are used for the depressing moments.

The "world's tiniest violin" is simply a way to state that whatever problems they think they're having really aren't much in the greater scheme of things.
 

Agayek

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Oct 23, 2008
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Beautiful End said:
Also, "When shit hits the fan" and it's related phrases.

Why would the shit hit the fan? Is it piling up in a room and it's about to reach the roof? Or is there a fan oscillating and the shit is slowly approaching? Or is someone gonna toss the shit at the fan and it will cause it to splatter everywhere?
http://mythbustersresults.com/cold-feet

Yes, yes they did.
 

The Funslinger

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Sep 12, 2010
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Rawne1980 said:
I remember as a child my sister burst into tears and my dad said "if you don't be quiet i'll give you something to cry about".

Er, dad ... she's already crying numbnuts your comment made no sense.

Another parent one and i'm guilty of using this myself.

"Dad, can we go to the beach"

"No"

"Aww dad why not?"

"Just because"

Just because. Because bloody what?
I think it's meant to be you'd give someone a reason that's actually worth crying about.
 

The Funslinger

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Beautiful End said:
Also, "When shit hits the fan" and it's related phrases.

Why would the shit hit the fan? Is it piling up in a room and it's about to reach the roof? Or is there a fan oscillating and the shit is slowly approaching? Or is someone gonna toss the shit at the fan and it will cause it to splatter everywhere?
As in the shit would be sent flying everywhere by splattering off the fan.

Seriously, I think some of you are over thinking some of these in an attempt to find fault with ones that haven't been suggested.