Month: January 2022

lead pipe cinch

lead pipe cinch A “lead pipe cinch” is a sure thing, or something easy to accomplish. “Cinch” comes from the Spanish word for a horse’s saddle-girth — cincha. A saddle that had been tightly cinched was secure or had a firm grip. The figurative sense of cinch was first recorded from the 1870s as meaning to get the better of…

honky-tonk

“Honky-tonk” is a cheap or disreputable bar, club, or dance hall, typically where country music is played. It’s also ragtime piano music. Lyrics tended to focus on working-class life, with frequently tragic themes of lost love, adultery, loneliness, alcoholism, and self-pity. Honky-tonks are common in the South and Southwest US. Many eminent country music artists, such as Jimmie Rodgers, Loretta…

hootenanny

A “hootenanny” is an informal gathering with folk music and sometimes dancing. The word is a colloquialism that was used in the early 1900s Appalachia, a region heavily settled by Scottish immigrants. Hootenanny is a Scottish word for party or celebration.  In modern times, the word most commonly refers to a folk music party with an open mic, at which…

January word herd

Slumgullion — originally, food that was liquid, semi-liquid, or muddy. Now it means a cheap or insubstantial meat stew. Mark Twain, in Roughing It, 1872, says, “Then he poured for us a beverage which he called ‘Slum gullion,’ and it is hard to think he was not inspired when he named it. It really pretended to be tea, but there…

hubris

 “Hubris” is exaggerated pride or self-confidence, often combined with arrogance. Hubris is usually perceived as a characteristic of an individual rather than a group and it often indicates a loss of contact with reality and overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities. It also indicates a lack of humility and sometimes ignorance. Arrogance is the feeling that one has…