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boffinbabe12


Member

Posted Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 8:50pm Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
Hello!
I'm beginning to plan a new speech (in my head) for a public speaking competition and I want it to be something along the lines of "This speech is officially the best thing since sliced bread" or "Who first said, 'It's the best thing since sliced bread' because I want them shot." I'm planning for the speech to be about all other useless, out of date, irritating, senseless phrases that are still floating around in the every day speech of Britain and I want to cleanse the phrase-dictionary.

The phrase "Best thing since sliced bread" should NEVER have become a used phrase in the first place for surely whatever was the first thing to be given that title would be the best thing since sliced bread and that would be the end of it. So why do people continue using that phrase when it clearly isn't the best thing since sliced bread?

So- I'd love to know of any other out of date phrases that annoy you. This is me gathering research for my speech so please be helpful!
And of course- this gives you the oppurtunity to have a good old rant, as I know we love them here!
Thank you people!

xxx

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 11:49pm Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
Didn't Fry write a blurb once about Original Phrase Day or something of the sort? We coulsd institute that here. It'd be pretty funny. Like, have a post where everyone logging in would have to deposit an entirely original and grammatically complete English sentence.

Atari?

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boffinbabe12


Member

Posted Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 11:52pm Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
Not sure... I remember a Fry and Laurie scene when he just put a load of random words in a sentence together and spoke of them all being correct english words, yet never before put in that particular order before, or something of the sort. Spiffing idea though!

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 12:28am Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
Not sure... I remember a Fry and Laurie scene when he just put a load of random words in a sentence together and spoke of them all being correct english words, yet never before put in that particular order before, or something of the sort. Spiffing idea though!

That was a sketch, I'm talking about a piece of writing. But the idea's the same, you're right. It was something like "Hold my nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers." (I'm quoting from memory, not the almighty Google, so several words are probably wrong.)

And then - all perfectly ordinary English words but never before put in that order - :

Fry: "A unique child... delivered of a unique mother!.."
Laurie: *blink*

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trouser material


Member

Posted Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 8:08am Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
Billy Connolly had a similar thing about outdated phrases that no longer mean anything:

"He wouldn't say boo to a goose"
"He did it til he was blue in the face"
"There was more blah blah blah's than you could shake a stick at"

And so forth...

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joan


Member

Posted Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 9:50am Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
If you google 'cliche' you'll get loads of sites with lists of them. The nature of such figures of speech is that they will eventually become dated. The phrase 'by hook or by crook', for instance, refered to the ancient rights to gather firewood - you could have what you could get 'by hook or by crook' - in other words you couldn't chop the tree or branches down! And the phrase 'on tenterhooks' refers to the cloth industry before power looms. Cloth was woven in pieces and stretched out in the open into shape 'on tenterhooks' leaving the cloth merchant a bit worried - ie on tenterhooks- that it might get nicked while out in the open. Then there's the phrase 'from Hull Hell and Halifax may the good Lord deliver us'. Well, Halifax had lots of cloth merchants who didn't like being on tenterhooks, so they introduced the death penalty for stealing cloth - in Halifax. There's still a pub called 'the Running Man' at the other side of the Halifax border - ie where you could reach safety from the hangman.

So don't knock the old figures of speech - they have lots of history buried inside of them, and are fun, really.

We had a Premier here who was the master of the mixed metaphore, but that's another story....

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 10:19am Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
Being not a native speaker I can't contribute much to this thread. But I've read with great interest what has been posted so far. I agree with joan that most figures of speech that seem to have no meaning to us derive from a historic context.

Two examples in German: "Jemandem aufs Dach steigen" (to climb one's roof) which means to dress someone down has its origin in the middle ages when it was a form of punishment to climb a villain's roof and untile it.
"Auf keinen grĂ¼nen Zweig kommen" (to not receive a green branch) which means to be unsuccessful and getting nowhere as well comes from medieval times: When a vassal was invested with a fief the liege symbolically gave him a piece of soil with a green twig or branch in it. Thus those who didn't receive a green branch were mostly unfree peasants not getting anywhere.

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meekychuppet


Member

Posted Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 10:58am Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
"I've had more ********** insert object *********** than you've had hot dinners".

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boffinbabe12


Member

Posted Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 12:39pm Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
Oh in no doubt am I saying that some old phrases do carry historical meanings that can be interesting, its just that when they are out dated then we should stop using them. And "The best thing since sliced bread" should NEVER have become a figure of speech in the first place. But thanks for the googling tip Joan- will do.

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Fryphile


Member *

Posted Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 4:06pm Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
"Hold my nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers." (I'm quoting from memory, not the almighty Google, so several words are probably wrong.)


Close, but no cigar. (Hey, there's another one!)

"Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers."

Stephen does seem to have a fascination with hugh's trousers.

I came across this site yesterday because I was curious what the phrase "bee's knees" was all about.

I think of myself as someone who is filled with love, whose only purpose in life was to achieve love. - Stephen Fry

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 4:10pm Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
The word "buster" makes me heave, as does the word "attitude," which may not have been around long but has already managed to become cliche.

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Tourmaline


Member

Posted Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 8:01pm Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
"Seen it, done it, bought the T-shirt" was so tiresome when it first appeared and is even more so now

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JVONEARTH


Member

Posted Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 8:11pm Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
If your ? could see you now he would turn in his grave

That's going to open a can of worms

If i catch you laughing you'll be laughing on the other side of your face

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meekychuppet


Member

Posted Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 8:16pm Post subject: Out of Date Phrases
If your ? could see you now he would turn in his grave

That's going to open a can of worms

If i catch you laughing you'll be laughing on the other side of your face

Irony surrenders.

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Fri Feb 23rd, 2007 8:17pm Post subject: Out of Date Phrases

If i catch you laughing you'll be laughing on the other side of your face

I've never actually heard that one. What an odd thing to say.

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