Strange Phrases – Say what?!?

Quotation MarksThere are three sayings off the top of my head (oops, that’s another one) that seem strange or highly false to me.  Here goes:

1. “Ahh, I slept like a baby last night!” – So, you awoke every few hours because you were hungry and then, having realized your discomfort, decided you needed to awaken the rest of humanity?  Hm, I’m sorry you slept so badly … and I’m sorry for anyone who lives with you.

2. “Can I pick your brain?” – No, Hannibal!  Get away from me!  I mean, where did that phrase even come from!?!  Gross – just gross.

3. Sorry for this one but it must be said: All the phrases having to do with … well, throwing up.  I refuse to go into them here.  REFUSE!  I mean, we’ve all been there and it ain’t pretty.  No matter who you are, how sophisticated, good looking, intelligent, etc., you’ve lost the contents of your stomach through the opposite route they were meant to take.  Why don’t we have a nicer way of referring to this deplorable state instead of descriptions that make the hearer that much more likely to loose it themselves?

Phrases usually have interesting origins and are often regional.  They sure make our language unique.  While some phrases are downright mind boggling, others are perfectly apt to the situation.

What are sayings that strike you as odd, false, or just plain wrong?  Please share in the fun in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “Strange Phrases – Say what?!?

  1. Right?!? There are a few idiomatic expressions that always leave me wondering (not to mention uncomfortable):

    1. There’s more than one way to skin a cat…(why is there even ONE way?)
    2. Kill two birds with one stone…
    3. You could swing a dead cat (rat) in here without hitting…..
    4. I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but… (then don’t!!)

    And there are so many more like this. I’m sure there are other ways to express these ideas without this morbid obsession with dead animals.

    • Too true, @duanenicol And the southern phrases I heard growing up were always uniquely their own. Those are some of the best I must say.

  2. I suspect a lot of the dissonance between the literal meaning and the cultural meaning of these phrases is to do with the way society changes over time – the original context is lost, even if the phrase isn’t. Some of my favourite idiomatic phrases, here in New Zealand, reflect local subculture – and ‘sucked the big kumara’ has to be one of the best. It has nothing to do with sweet potatoes and actually means ‘that rather complex thing you tried to do just failed’.

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