Month: May 2016

Writing for the market

I have been so busy formatting Charger the Soldier, the first book of The Charger Chronicles series, that I completely forgot about posting here yesterday! The good news is, that if nothing dire happens to get in my way, the book will be out in about ten days!  So, since I don’t have time right now to research weird phrases,…

the more I know, the less I understand

The opposite of this statement is true, too: the more I understand, the less I know. This is so because the more we dig into the mystery of any given subject, each new discovery only leads to deeper and bigger questions.  We know that the sun is a star that planets revolve around. Then what is a star? A star…

scuttlebutt

A slang term meaning rumor or gossip. Drinking water on a sailing ship was usually stored in a scuttled butt: a butt or cask which had been “scuttled” by making a hole in it so that water could be released. Since sailors exchanged gossip when they gathered at the scuttlebutt for a drink of water, scuttlebutt became Navy slang for…

as different as chalk and cheese

To say that two things, superficially alike, are fundamentally different in their qualities. English has hundreds of phrases to describe the similarity of one thing with another, such as ‘alike as two peas in a pod.’ There are far fewer expressions that explicitly refer to the difference between things. ‘As different as chalk and cheese’ is an old expression, and…

the devil is in the details

The slang term ‘the devil is in the details’ has a number of different senses, all of which boil down to the fact that it is often the small details of something which make it difficult or challenging. These details can prolong a task, or foil an otherwise straightforward dealing. Like many proverbs which involve the devil, it’s meant to…

fiddling while Rome burns

To occupy oneself with unimportant matters and neglect priorities during a crisis. The source of this phrase is the story that Nero played the fiddle or violin while Rome burned, during the great fire in 64 CE. There are two major flaws with the story. First, there was no such instrument as the fiddle,  or violin, in first century Rome.…

Short takes

Ubiquitous: existing everywhere Nullibiquitous: existing nowhere Dollymop: Amateur female prostitute in 19th century London. (‘Dolly’ was one of the slang terms for penis.) Boondocking: Camping without hookups, usually in a completely undeveloped area. Safe as houses: Very secure. A shelter from the elements, from the late 1800s. Hang tight/sit tight: stay where you are, pending new events Hang loose: relax…