Clever things we say

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 6, 2004

We Americans are a nation of smart alecks. We use humor, clever sayings and wisecracks to explain ourselves. All this puzzles those who cannot think like us. So to spread some understanding of our weird habit I’ll explain some of them as well as I can. Here goes:

&uot;Hit the road.&uot; By no means do you get a stick and bang the road. Simply it means get out, leave, be gone. told you we’re nuts.

&uot;Smart as a whip.&uot; Now, we know a whip isn’t smart. It hasn’t ever gone to school. It just means a real smart person. Silly!


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&uot;Pretty is as pretty does.&uot; One of the silliest. Just a saying one uses in talking about someone pretty. Never had it used on me. Wonder why.

&uot;Chip off the old block.&uot; Another nutty one. If a family member does something really well it is said to mean it was like a family member (usually the father) was copied. So silly!

&uot;Nutty as a fruitcake.&uot; If you need this one explained you need help. Don’t call me. I have my own troubles.

&uot;Get lost&uot; Why would you tell anyone to do this? Just means go! Leave!

&uot;Put up or shut up.&uot; Means prove your point or shut up. Keep quiet.

&uot;Excuse my French.&uot; This takes the cake for nonsense. Means you’re cursing and not being used to it you mean the use of the word &uot;French&uot; to mean your cursing. Viva la cursing!

&uot;I’m in!&uot; Okay poker players it means pork players and the dealer above you have anted. No cheating, please

&uot;’Till hell freezes over.&uot; No conclusion, please. Just means one word Never! Suppose it does (freeze over) Won’t you feel silly?

&uot;Quiet as a mouse. &uot;I’m not explaining this either. Read &uot;The Night Before Christmas’ and you’ll be heard to say, &uot;I should have thought about that.&uot;

&uot;Once is enough.&uot; Now, this one can be argued. So many things you can say once is not enough. Fill in the words according to the situation or the ones involved. I’ll do mine. You do your own.

Well, I know you’ve heard and used one and all. Select one or all and have fun with it. Life is too short to let a few words bother me. And no protesting use of ‘hell.’ I don’t enjoy small minds. There’s still &uot;hell and high water&uot; I didn’t include Stay happy. You may have fun using them. I do!

P.S. – We have lots more like &uot;step on it,&uot; (not about bugs) and &uot;till the cows come home&uot; (not for farmers) I’ll explain in another column.

Florence Arena is a resident of Hillcrest Retirement Center and a regular News-Herald columnist.