short takes

Foolhardy — recklessly bold or rash, foolishly brave (mid 13th century)

His bark is worse than his bite — he’s not as tough or strong as he seems. This expression originated in the 16th century, referring to stray or guard dogs who barked to frighten people but never actually bit anyone. Related to “a barking dog never bites.”

Get (the hell) out of Dodge — to leave hastily, sometimes to escape a difficult or dangerous situation. The phrase was made famous by the TV show Gunsmoke, set in the city of Dodge City, Kansas, in which villains were often commanded to “get the hell out of Dodge.”

Overcast — in weather, clouds obscuring all of the sky
               — in mood, gloomy or melancholy
               — in sewing, long, slanting stitches to prevent ravelling
               — in fishing, a cast that falls beyond the point intended
               — in mining, an arch or support for a passage over another passage
               — in accounting, a type of forecasting error

Under my thumb — completely under my control (in use since 1715)

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned — No one is angrier than a woman rejected in love. Adapted from a line in The Mourning Bride, by William Congreve, an English author of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

Dog-tired — drained of energy or effectiveness; extremely tired; completely exhausted.

An old English phrase, it derives from a tale of Alfred the Great, who used to send his sons out with his many hunting dogs. Whichever sons was able to catch more of the hounds would gain his father’s right hand side at dinner that evening. These chases would leave them ‘dog-tired’ yet merry at their victory.

What can I say? If you’re going to be so foolhardy as to bark when you should bite, run from Dodge City, and try to get everyone under your thumb, you’re going to end up dog-tired!

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