Tuesday, 7 October 2014

I Say Weird Things


I like to think of myself as a fairly well-spoken person.  Sure I say a lot of dumb things and swear a little too often, but overall I like to think that I have a good vocabulary.  I love to read, and I love language.  I especially love how language changes and evolves.  I love learning new quips and phrases, and especially enjoy learning where they come from.  Lately, though, I've encountered a few instances where I use an expression that someone else isn't familiar with.  I can't say for sure if I'm using unusual expressions (very likely) or whether the people I've been talking to just haven't encountered them, but I thought it would make for a fun post to see if anyone else uses these expressions, or if any of you have new ones for me!

First up - Wheelhouse.  As in, "That's right in my wheelhouse", meaning that something is in your skill-set.  I use this one a lot, and apparently it's a baseball expression.  If a pitch is in a batter's sweet spot, or preferred area then it was considered to be in their wheelhouse.  Obviously it must go back further than that though, and have something to do with a wheelhouse on a ship, where the controls are.  Anything that I came across in my Googling seems to be a little fuzzy on the details, but that's about the long and the short of it.

Kibosh.  As in, "To put the kibosh on something", meaning to put an end to something.  I was surprised when I used this expression at work when I was talking to a lawyer.  I thought it was a super common phrase, but apparently it's not.  I fully expected it to be a Yiddish phrase, but evidently it isn't.  It seems to be of unknown origin, although there is a lot of speculation about it being derived from some old Irish or English expressions.

Disco Nap.  As in, "It's going to be a late night, I'm going to need a disco nap!", meaning taking a nap in the afternoon or early evening for the express purpose of being able to party longer that evening.  Again, something that I say all the time (although it's more likely that a disco nap for me will just turn into an entire night of sleeping on the couch instead) but every now and then I encounter someone who isn't familiar with it.

Gong Show.  This one is a little different because I know the expression and use it often, and most people seem to understand it as well.  However, the other day one of the justices of the peace at my work mentioned the court being a real gong show and then apologized to me because he thought I was too young to understand the expression.  Sadly I am not too young, I am quite familiar with Chuck Barris and The Gong Show - which seems to be the granddaddy of so many reality TV shows we have today.  The Gong Show was a talent show where judges would bang a gong if the act was too terrible.  The Gong Show is widely remembered for being absurd and over-the-top, so now to refer to anything as being a real gong show is basically saying it's something that rhymes with musterbluck.  That's another expression I throw around at work a lot - anyone else?  See also: clown shoes.  Often used as "It was just fucking clown shoes."

Good Stuff Charlie.  I'm pretty sure I came up with this expression.  I have no idea where it came from - I just started saying it this summer.  "Yeah, it was good stuff Charlie!" Just a nice catch-all for when things are good I guess?  Often interchangeable with "good news Charlie".  I don't know, maybe it will catch on.  Good stuff Charlie and text-chicken - we need to get these out there into the world, people!

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