Short takes

Here are a few words that might have interesting history but, if so, I couldn’t find any. They do make the language more vivid, though.

Old hat — predictable, old-fashioned, hackneyed, trite, uninteresting

Bang your head against the wall — waste time in a hopeless enterprise

Lose your head — lose control of your emotions

A shoulder to cry on — someone willing to hear your problems and offer sympathy

Kiss my ass — an expression of disdain or dismissal

Sitting pretty — lucky, or in an easy, favorable situation

Cheek by jowl — close together, side by side, cheek to cheek. 

Knucklehead — a stupid person

Numskull — a stupid person

Out of earshot — too far away to hear (1600)

All thumbs — clumsy, awkward, uncoordinated (1546)

Pull your socks up — a warning to correct one’s behavior, to be prepared

Knock your socks off —
If something “knocks your socks off,” you’re amazed or impressed or surprised. The phrase appeared around the mid-1800s, when it meant to beat someone so badly that he’d have not only his shoes knocked off, but his socks as well. Then the meaning softened to simply “decisively defeat,” as in an election, and today is used more often in the positive sense of “amazing or impressing.” It may once have been connected to the expression, “knock your block off,” which does mean to hit someone very hard.

I don’t wear socks, so where does that leave me?


Post navigation

  One thought on “Short takes

  1. how9473
    April 29, 2020 at 7:28 am

    Thanks Lea,

    I loved all these and of course, your witty ending.

    So now I will sit pretty, paint a little, read a little, eat a lot, drink a lot and be content with my lot.



  2. April 29, 2020 at 7:55 am

    What a good idea! And thanks for your witty response!


  3. Leanne Taylor
    May 3, 2020 at 8:09 am

    … with cold feet? (Or ankles, maybe.) 🙂
    Like Licette’s response, too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: