Month: November 2018

short takes

Odds and sods — another English version of bits and pieces Have rocks in one’s head — be stupid. (Slang; 1940s) Cool as a cucumber — calm, relaxed, in control of your emotions. (1732) Lie low — keep out of sight, bide one’s time (Shakespeare, 1599) Alike as two peas in a pod — two identical items or people (1500s)…

going nineteen to the dozen

“Going nineteen to the dozen” means going at breakneck speed. Apparently, it arose during the heyday of the Cornish tin and copper mines, which were often hit by floods. In the 1700s, coal-powered, steam-driven pumps were installed to clear the water. When working at the top rates, the pumps could clear nineteen thousand gallons of water for every twelve bushels…