Archive for the ‘Idioms’ Category

Proper nouns

June 16, 2018

In the One Big Happy of May 30th, Ruthie falls into the pit of use and mention:

There’s an adjective proper as defined by Ruthie’s mother. Then there’s the adjective proper in the idiomatic nominals proper noun / name. And that’s just the beginning of the problem.

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slide in(to) (y)our DM’s

May 10, 2018

(Guys in sexy underwear, yes, but no more than that. Plus a recent slang idiom.)

Daily Jocks yesterday:

   (#1) SLIDE IN OUR DM’S!

We are looking for hot new influencers to promote DailyJocks products, follow us & like our most recent post for the chance to become a DailyJocks influencer.

We will be sending out products for you to take pictures in & share with the world!

Lots of smiling — I’m big on smiles — in these amateur underwear photos, as compared to the sturdy studly pro shots.

The slang initialism DM (for direct message) I already knew, but the larger idiom slide in(to) (y)our DMs was new to me (but I’m so far from plugged into new things that I should be treated as permanently unplugged).

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POP POP

April 24, 2018

Yesterday’s Zippy had a nutjob in a diner ranting:

Are you trying to lure me into a lexicographical, self-contradicting black hole of word play so heinous it defies logic?

And today, embedded within a thick matrix of allusions pointing in many directions:

a lexicographical, self-contradicting vortex so heinous, it defies Robert Mueller

(#1)

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New idioms

April 17, 2018

Now on the Dictionary.com site, the posting “Are New Idioms Ever Created?”:

Many idioms—expressions that are not taken literally—are so old and so familiar that we don’t think twice about using them. We say, for example, “it’s raining cats and dogs” to indicate that it’s pouring outside, and “comfortable as an old shoe” to explain an easy and familiar relationship. We can trace the etymology of some idioms to books and sayings that were first used hundreds of years ago, while the origins of others are, frankly, mysterious.

We wondered, though, do we still coin new idioms? To find out, we asked linguists, people who study language.

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Water source of questionable information

April 7, 2018

This New Scientist cartoon by Tom Gauld:

Five nominals of the form N1 of Mod N2. The first panel has the model for the other four: the metaphorical idiom family fount of all N2, where N2 refers to a kind of information. The last four are somewhat snide plays on this original. In effect, the cartoon supplies a template for generating fresh — in two senses —  metaphorical idiom families on the basis of an attested one.

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Ruthie confronts idiomaticity

April 3, 2018

The One Big Happy from March 3rd:

Ruthie doesn’t know which expressions are conventionalized (and have to be reproduced exactly) and which are fresh creations (possibly metaphorical, but made up on the spot) — whose parts can be varied by substitution.

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V-headed compounds

March 27, 2018

I’ll start with the seasonally relevant compound verb to snow blow / snow-blow / snowblow and go on from there to an animus, in some quarters, against such V-headed compounds (on the grounds that they are unnecessary innovations, because the language already has syntactic means for expressing their meanings — in this case, to blow (the) snow away from).

(#1)

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An idiom comes to life

March 27, 2018

Today’s re-play of Calvin and Hobbes has Calvin in bed:

(#1)

From Gary Martin’s Phrase Finder site:

What’s the meaning of the phrase ‘A frog in the throat’? Temporary hoarseness caused by phlegm in the back of the throat.

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Three Saturday lingtoons

March 24, 2018

A portmanteau (fishwich), a perfect pun (on the lam / lamb), an imperfect pun (bar / bark mitzvah):

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without a care in the world

March 20, 2018

Today, Zippy takes on idiomaticity and is unsettled:

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