But What Does It Mean?

Since writing that post somewhere down there wherein I mention I'm not feeling particularly 'bright-eyed and bushy-tailed,' I've been thinking a good deal about old sayings and what in the world they could possibly mean.  

During orientation week at The First College I Ever Attended (I officially enrolled in five more colleges before completing my stupid degree and do not ask me to clarify further unless you'd like a considerably vague response), they passed out a quiz which listed several of these confounded little sayings and asked us to decipher them.  (I rather suspect them of creating said quiz with no other purpose in mind than to keep all of us freshmen preoccupied until lunch.)

I can't remember which sayings were on the quiz, but it's hardly relevant.  You've heard them before.  They were just your standard, run-of-the-mill sampling of obscure phrases we all repeat but might be hard-pressed to explain.  As I also do not remember what I was supposed to learn from the quiz in the first place, I consider the whole experience an epic failure.  In fact, the only reason it stuck with me this long (a good eight years later), is because it was the first bad grade I ever received. 

So, in honor of my first bad grade, I thought I'd list several of those sayings in a blog post along with the first thought that pops into my head upon hearing them.  Please feel free to chip in with yours as well.

You're barking up the wrong tree.  Actually I think the real problem is that you're barking at all.  Get a therapist, Cujo.  Break a leg.  An excellent alternative to breaking both legs.  Bury the hatchet.  Because you certainly wouldn't want the police to find the murder weapon.  Put your best food forward.  Clearly no one wants to see your ugly foot before seeing your pretty one.  Paint the town red.  That way we get to confuse all the color blind people even more!  Not to mention it would explain the whole 'caught red-handed' thing.  Quit beating around the bush.  Spring for the tree next time; it's shadier over there anyway.  Read between the lines.  Because the rest of the novel is just plain stupid.  It's raining cats and dogs.  My, my, you have a lot of strays.  Shoulda' listened to Bob Barker.  Get down to the nitty gritty.  Obviously invented by someone who was also raised on nine-grain breakfast cereal.  You're no spring chicken.  Silly old bear.  Pay through the nose.  An ancient banking system.  Pull the wool over someone's eyes.  Particularly people with especially long eyebrow hair.  Chew the fat.  Because chewing the cud would just be too goat-like of you.  I've got a frog in my throat.  French or accidental? 

P.S.  While writing this post I accidentally learned the origin of most of these, and they're actually pretty fascinating.  Just in case you were ever interested in googling them. 


  1. I want to know what paint the whole town red has to do with anything.

  2. wowza. those are pretty weird and funny.
    i especially don't get the "paint the whole town red" one....

  3. p.s. thank you, once again, for not putting word ver. on your blog. thank you. soooo much.


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