didn’t have a pot to piss in

Before the days of indoor plumbing, bedrooms were equipped with chamber pots, wide-mouthed vessels used by the room’s occupants as toilets during the night. Chamber pots were a common house-ware item for centuries, but the saying itself dates only to 1905. However broke people might have been in the past, there weren’t a whole lot of them unable to afford…

piss poor

“Piss poor” is an intensifier, meaning extremely poor, or “of very poor workmanship or ability.” The phrase is appealing at least partly because of the alliteration. Words having to do with excretory functions are routinely used in colloquialisms meant to communicate a meaning of “little or no value.” For example: “shit for brains,” “not worth a fragrant fart,” and “I…

a good egg

“A good egg” is an old-fashioned term for a good guy or a kind person. The expression originally came from its opposite, “bad egg,” British public school slang from the 1800s for someone who was not nice. Fifty years later, “good egg” began to be used for a good person. Literally, of course, a good egg is one that is…

in a nutshell

“In a nutshell” is an idiom which describes summing something up in a concise way, or “in a few words.” For example, “Just give me the facts in a nutshell.”  Shakespeare’s Hamlet used it when he said, “I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.”…

Freebies

As of today, all my books at smashwords.com are permanently free! Why? Because that’s what I feel like doing to begin the celebrations for the upcoming summer solstice. So take advantage!  

scissors

Scissors are hand-operated shearing tools, used for cutting cloth, paper, string, and other thin material. Many varieties exist. A pair of scissors consists of a pair of metal blades pivoted so that the sharpened edges slide against each other when the handles are closed. Modern scissors are often designed ergonomically with composite thermoplastic and rubber handles which enable the user…

green-eyed monster

green-eyed monster The “green-eyed monster” is jealousy or jealousy personified. It may have been Shakespeare who coined the phrase and used it in The Merchant of Venice, in 1596. The phrase could have arisen from the idea that when people are sick, their skin turns a yellow or greenish color. Also, unripe fruit (which will make you sick when you…