Expressions I don’t get

I realize that I HAVE been tagged by I think, three blogging buddies this week and I promise I will fulfill my tagging duties for each and every one but right now my brain is completely cloudy so it won’t be today. : )

This thought has been on my mind a lot lately though so I decided to jot it down for your edification. I couldn’t think of a more direct title for this post so there it is. I don’t know how much explaining that title really requires so I’ll just launch in:

“Fatty fatty two by four, can’t get through the kitchen door” Ok, I get the fatty thing but to call someone a “two by four” sort of implies long and skinny, right? I mean, if you MUST use some sort of description to give a visual of JUST how big someone is…then let’s not give mixed signals. Tall, skinny kid, tall skinny kid, two by four, has to duck to get through the kitchen door. How ’bout that?

“Liar, liar, pants on fire, nose as long as a telephone wire” Again, I get the nose reference, thinking it is a pinocchio thing but WHY the pants on fire? What’s that about? How does being a liar somehow endow one with flaming drawers?

And lastly, “I smell a rat” I don’t know if rats stink or what. I am glad to say I’ve not had to share close quarters with them to date so I wouldn’t know what sort of odor they emit. I understand that if someone is deceitful that the poor rat tends to shoulder the metaphorical burden of that comparison but why say you SMELL a rat? You see what I’m saying here?

I’m sure there are more out there but these are the ones that came to me today as I thought hard about what sort of wisdom to convey upon you today.

Carry on.


16 thoughts on “Expressions I don’t get

  1. Hi there!

    You know, I always heard, “Liars liars pants on fire going down the telephone wire.” I looked it up, and it seems that it might have first come from a parent told to a child and then the child recited it to friends.

    This is one of my favorites:

    “Wing and a prayer ”

    Meaning: Hopeful but unlikely to succeed.
    Example: She is driving on a wing and a prayer in that old jalopy.
    Origin: During World War One airplanes were still a novelty and untested in war. A “wing and a prayer” was first uttered when an American flyer came in with a badly damaged wing.
    His fellow pilots and mechanics were amazed he didn’t crash. He replied he was praying all the way in. Another pilot chimed in that “a wing and a prayer brought you back.”

    Huh….well that would make a little more sense I guess…so you’re saying we got it wrong in Cincinnati Ohio when I was a kid? Gee, imagine that! LOL
    thanks girl!
    Mrs M

  2. I would guess that “I smell a rat” comes from a dead rat. They have a nasty tendency to die under floorboards and in places where you can’t get to the body to remove it. They they decompose, smelling truly horrible.

    The first, beginnings of composition are very faint, ie the first inkling that something is not right… ie I smell a rat.


    Aha! See, this is when it pays off to post things online that I don’t understand…it’s all part of the discernment process…
    thanks BC!! You are a gem!
    Mrs M

  3. I have nothing meaningful to say except that I am committed to posting once a day in November to acknowledge your effort. One more day. What’s next, mrs.?

  4. Thanks for the laughs. I love your analogies.

    And for 38 years I’ve had this one wrong: “Liar, liar, pants on fire, nose as long as a telephone wire”

    I thought it was: “Liar, liar, pants on fire, HANGING on a telephone wire” (talk about making no sense. LOL)

  5. I’m with FreefromPT on that one. We always said “Hanging from a telephone wire”.

    The one I expression I never understood was “Head over heels”. Well, yeah, Our heads are always over our heels… DUH!!!

  6. We sang, “upside down on a telephone wire” or “hang them up on a telephone wire”. Maybe it means if you lie, you will be burnt alive and hanged as punishment. Or at least your pants will be.

    I once smelled a dead mouse decomposing on my parents’ attic stairs (the access is through my room) so I said to my dad, “I smell a rat”. I think BC is spot-on with what she wrote about that expression!

  7. My mind is blank, what else is new? with Pink Beefs here. Have learned a lot about the rat and the pants on fire and wing and a prayer. I will sound so smart at next gathering. LOL!

  8. I remember the saying as “Liar, Liar, pants on fire. Hair as long as a telephone wire.” I took this to mean that fiery pants and mile-long hair are lies as allegedly obvious as whatever the accused person said.

    A quick internet search, however, reveals the “hair” version of the saying perhaps was not very widespread. I couldn’t find anything that explained it.

  9. Liar, Liar, pants on fire, hanging from the telephone wire-clothes lines & telephone line hung very close together. It’s a light hearted approach to someone who is telling a fib, and you interact with the saying above….fatty fatty two by four -could not get through the bathroom door so he did it on the floor, fatty fatty two by four- I think two feet high by four feet wide.
    Head over heels in love-they have gone completely over the line -infatuated with this object or person.

  10. Don’t they say a lot of that stuff not so much because it means anything real but just because it rhymes? Sure thing chicken wing. Winner winner chicken dinner.

  11. I think what you published was very reasonable. However,
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