Month: November 2015

bee in your bonnet

If you have a bee in your bonnet about something, you are obsessed or preoccupied with the subject. It may refer to someone who talks with great excitement about something they can’t stop thinking about or discussing. For example, “She has a bee in her bonnet about the current pollution problem” describes someone who is troubled about pollution and is…

monkey on your back

A serious problem that won’t go away or is difficult to get rid of. The origin of the phrase is uncertain. Some scholars believe that the original expression was ‘have a monkey on the roof’ which was used in the 1800s to refer to the mortgage that had to be paid. And we’re all aware of the burden of mortgage…

elephant in the room

An obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed, based on the idea that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook. The term refers to a question, problem, or controversial issue which is obvious to everyone who knows about the situation, but which is deliberately ignored because to do otherwise would cause great embarrassment, or…

hot off the press

Freshly printed. When paper goes through a rotary printing press friction causes it to heat up. Therefore, if you grab the paper right off the press it is hot.  The phrase most often alludes to hot news, that is, striking or sensational news. Newsprint used to be printed by a process called ‘hot metal printing,’ which involved molten lead being…

Book Review — Light Years

I rarely do book reviews because most of the books I read have been out for several – or many! – years. But when the book has just been published and I like it as much as I do this one, then I want to pass on the good news. Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper, by Caroline…

redneck

The term is chiefly used today for a rural poor white person of the southern US. It can be derogatory like cracker, hillbilly, and white trash. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the term characterized farmers with sunburn from hours working in the fields. A citation from 1893 provides a definition as “poorer inhabitants of the rural districts…men who…

learning curve

The book business keeps changing, just like everything else, with the exception of Earth’s orbit around the sun. That, so I understand, will continue for another five billion years. Give or take.  Though it wasn’t always so, these days an author is expected to do the marketing of their books, and therein resides my discomfort.  I am a writer. I…