Archive for the ‘Idioms’ Category

A New Yorker trio

October 23, 2020

Three cartoons from the 10/26 New Yorker: two of linguistic interest (by Amy Hwang and Roz Chast), one (by Christopher Weyant) yet another Desert Island cartoon.

(more…)

No offense (intended)

October 15, 2020

From the American tv series Emergency! S7 E11 “The Convention” (from 7/3/79), a tv movie following the regular series. Two women end up serving as a paramedic team together — female paramedics were a new thing at the time, only grudgingly accepted, and they were normally paired with a male partner — so a male paramedic tells them the watch commander wouldn’t approve of the women teaming up. One of the women good-naturedly but pointedly snaps back at him:

(1a) How would you like a thick lip, to go with your thick head? No offense.

With the idiomatic tag No offense — a shorter version of No offense intended — literally meaning something like ‘I intend/mean you no offense by saying this’, but almost always conveying something more complex than that.

(more…)

goon squad goon squad goon squad

October 2, 2020

Somewhere in the first Presidential “debate”, or its immediate surrounding net discussion, the phrase goon squad appeared and seized my attention, so that I repeated it like a mantra. I was in the grip of onomatomania


Logo of the League of Legends South African esports team Goon Squad

(more…)

wazoo

September 29, 2020

Today’s morning name. Briefly, from NOAD:

noun wazooUS informal the anus. PHRASES up (or outthe wazoo US informal very much; in great quantity; to a great degree: he’s insured out the wazoo | Jack and I have got work up the wazoo already. ORIGIN 1960s: of unknown origin.

The phrases are straightforwardly idioms — the fact that they are degree adverbials is unpredictable from the meanings of the parts — though they can be varied a bit: by extension with the modifying adjective old (up/out the old/ol’ wazoo), or the with the noun ass ‘asshole’ instead of wazoo (to have problems up/out the ass); it’s likely that wazoo in these phrases is, historically, an ornamental replacement for ass in them (see below).

But wazoo, on its own, has no parts, so it can’t literally be an idiom. However, it’s restricted in its collocations — formally non-compositional, if not semantically non-compositional.

(more…)

Parallelism, metaphor, chiasmus

September 25, 2020

On the slogan in my posting yesterday “Come a long way, long way still to go” (A), a chiastic formula conveying:

Things have improved, but still we’re far from the goal (and there are constant threats to take back the gains)

(A) is a poetically compressed version of (B):

We have come a long way, but we have a long way still to go

(which presents two metaphorical idioms in parallel, with their contrast between the opposed motion verbs come and go).

So there’s a lot of linguistic interest here.

(more…)

gone to seed

September 20, 2020

Today’s morning name, the PSP form of the English idiom go to seed, originally botanical, then metaphorically extended to use for people.

From NOAD:

go (or run) to seed: [a] (of a plant) cease flowering as the seeds develop. [b] [AZ: metaphorical extension of sense a] deteriorate in condition, strength, or efficiency: Mark knows he has allowed himself to go to seed.

Plus, a near-synonym, one sense (1d below) of one of the verbs bolt (the ‘rapid movement’ verb bolt). From NOAD:

verb bolt-2: 1 [a] [no object] (of a horse or other animal) run away suddenly out of control: the horses shied and bolted. [b] (of a person) move or run away suddenly: they bolted down the stairs. [c] [with object] (in hunting) cause (a rabbit or fox) to run out of its burrow or hole. [d] (of a plant) grow tall quickly and stop flowering as seeds develop: the lettuces have bolted. …

(more…)

Caterpillars spinning platters

August 5, 2020

Yesterday’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with songs you just can’t get out of your head:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

A wonderful collision of worlds, set off by the idiomatic (and colorfully metaphorical) N + N compound earworm: the world of DJs — the ear world (disc jockeys providing sonic pleasures for the ear) — and the world of caterpillars — the worm world (caterpillars being one type of worm in colloquial English).

(more…)

Exulting in Pride

June 18, 2020

This afternoon my grand-daughter Opal arrived at my house (dutifully standing about 7 feet away and wearing a mask (as I was) to deliver two items: the DVD of Woody Allen’s Take the Money and Run (“It says GUB”), which she’d borrowed from me, oh, three years ago; and a celebratory Pride t-shirt from my daughter Elizabeth, whose bold NSFW message in Pride rainbow colors I defer to under the fold.

(more…)

Smearing and taunting

June 17, 2020

(Adapted and expanded from a Facebook comment of mine a while back. Some coarse sexual language, notably from American newsmakers, but also enough about sexual bodies and mansex from me to make the posting dubious for kids and the sexually modest.)

Every so often, MSNBC commentator Ali Velshi tartly notes — alluding to the Imperator Grabpussy’s smears of President Barack Obama as a Muslim born in Kenya — that he is a Muslim who was born in Kenya (though he grew up in Canada).

There’s a linguistic point here, having to do with relevance and implicature. Why does Velshi say this? Yes, it’s true, but then “The freezing point of water is 32F” is true, but if Velshi had said that it would have been bizarre, because it would have been irrelevant in the context. So Velshi’s religion and nativity are relevant in the context. Cutting through a whole lot of stuff, I would claim that Velshi is implicating something like “Being one myself, I know from Muslims born in Kenya, and I know that Barack Obama is no Muslim born in Kenya”. And THAT brings me to a piece I’ve been wrestling with some time, about Grabpussy Jr. jeering at Mitt Romney, taunting him by calling him a pussy. (I have a Velshian response of my own to that.)

Hang on; this will go in several directions.

(more…)

Another Super Bowl Sunday

February 2, 2020

(For me, Super Bowl Sunday frequently erupts into a festival of sex, either literal or fictional, between men, so this posting about my relationship to the event will be awash in male bodyparts and mansex, described in street language, and will therefore be entirely unsuitable for kids and the sexually modest.)

That would be Super Bowl LIV, the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens FL, game time 6:30 EST, so going on as I type this:


(#1) The logo for Super Bowl 54, in all of its boring shininess

I have an unbroken record of not viewing Super Bowl games, and not giving a shit about any of their details — I had to go look up the facts above — so my custom has always been to do something out of the public eye, where my homonormative sports-averse masculinity won’t incite thugs to harass me. Chamber music concerts used to be a favorite alternative, along with occasional Super Bowl days reveling in cock at the gay baths (some notes below), but I’ve been a lone homebody for some years now, and get my Super Bowl mansex in videos; today has brought me many pleasurable hours re-viewing the oeuvre of the sweetly smiling hunky Damien Crosse, that exponent of sexually democratic, mutually attentive sex, intense assfucking, and cum facials, among other things. (I’ll expound further on DC’s charms in another posting.)

After some brief notes on that logo — the hell with the game, let’s talk about design, honey — I’ll run through some Super Bowl notes roughly in reverse chronological order. Backwards will run the postings until reels the mind.

The logo. It follows the pattern established ten years ago, when someone introduced the shiny metallic dick ejaculating a great big shiny metallic football as a design element. (I believe many people think the vertical element is just supporting the football, but sharp-eyed viewers know otherwise.) And then, in the place of complex and varied logos, we got this:

(#2)

Yesterday: the demise of Mr. Peanut as a Super Bowl ad event. From my 2/1/10 posting “Revisiting 42: stalked by a giant anthropomorphic squirrel”, with a David Sipress cartoon:

(#3)

the cartoon is exquisitely topical: Mr. Peanut has in fact just met his death (though not as the prey of a giant squirrel), and will be mourned at the Super Bowl [on the 2nd]

(Further details in the posting.)

And now: Sexy Sunday, ooh, what have you done?  (in 2016, 2014, and 1996)

2016: Gridiron Gang Bang. In my 2/6/16 posting “The Super Bowl looms”:

On Super Bowl 50, a gay gangbang, language play in porn, and the careening career of gay pornstar Dayton O’Connor, all of this inspired by an ad today under the header “C1R Locker Room Super Bowl Pass”, with two stills from the Channel 1 Releasing gay porn flick Gridiron Gang Bang: a locker room scene and a rear shot of Dayton O’Connor in football gear.

(#4)

2014: two Todd Winters videos. Not previously blogged about, but then today on AZBogX, in my posting “Jocks, Socks & Cocks”:

Two gay porn items [both from 2014] that came to my mind for Super Bowl LIV today:

From Channel 1 Releasing: Todd Winters as a football player, in Rascal’s Take One For The Team (with a jockstrap on the cover, but no dick)

(#5)

and in Catalina’s Jocks, Socks & Cocks (with three stiff dicks on the cover, in a careful formal composition of sexually significant visual elements)


(#6) Cover cropped to hide the three hard cocks

(The AZBlogX piece has an analysis of the formal composition of the cover of JS&C, using the material cropped above.)

Note on Take One For The Team. From the Lexico / Oxford site:

phrase take one for the team: US informal Willingly undertake an unpleasant task or make a personal sacrifice for the collective benefit of one’s friends or colleagues.‘I took one for the team by naming myself the designated driver’

But then the idiom can be understood as roughly equivalent to take it for the team, with it understood as referring to a penis; take it ‘to have sexual intercourse’ (in GDoS from 1910 on) is in fact understood as receptive intercourse specifically, and can be either vaginal or, especially, anal (to take it up/in the ass). Putting all this together gets us from the neutral idiom take one for the team to the contextually conveyed ‘get fucked (up the ass) for (or by) the team’, which is what the porn video is about.

Note on the ad copy for JS&C. A bit of  excellent iconic prosody built on conventional dirty talk: four pile-driving feet followed by two lightly racing feet: hard deep fucking followed by a rapid shower of cum:

(#6)

(The vowels are also nicely chosen.) All of these poetic niceties are of course intuitive, not calculated — choices made just because they “sounded right” to the writer.

1996: Superbowl Sunday at the baths in San Jose. An account reproduced on AZBlogX in three parts on 10/3/10. Intense and personal, but also analytical: participant observation. The three parts: “Superbowl Sunday (Part I): San Jose, 1996” (link), “Superbowl Sunday (Part II)” (link); “Superbowl Sunday: notes” (link).

From the first:

Football fan.  At the gay baths, there is a noticeable outflow of patrons as the magic hour of 3 (Pacific Time) approaches: fags hurrying on to their Superbowl parties.

I know what some of you are saying to yourselves: they aren’t real fags, they are mostly-straight bisexuals, in the closet, getting a little dick on the side. And that is probably the case for the first guy I play with – a guy with hugely broad shoulders and big chest who reels me in in the porn-TV lounge by stroking his proportionally big hard-on under his towel and staring fixedly at me. I follow him back to his room, where it turns out that what he wants is to suck my cock for a little while, an experience that gets him so excited he comes almost immediately (in a spray that goes over two feet – it splashes on his face – something I’ve never seen before and find entertaining, in a Believe It or Not sort of way).

Football Fan has a wedding ring on. In the over 40 years since my first carnal experience with another man, I’ve had maybe a dozen guys ask to suck my cock and then shoot within seconds of taking it (always appreciatively, but then as far as they were concerned we were done). Every one of them was a married man, to judge from their wedding rings or their explicit testimonies.

Football Fan was, I believe, a lone patron that Super Day, looking for dick on his own hook.

But, in the other direction, it wasn’t uncommon for two or three buddies (sometimes, they were married friends, ostensibly just guys hanging out with one another) to turn up together to get serviced by willing cocksuckers, to get the easy, skilled, responsibility-free, just-the-sex-man blow jobs that (they feel) their women can’t provide. Usually completely unreciprocal sex, but not at all hostile. Still … as one of them said to me after I’d taken his load (with pleasure) and suggested I’d like him to exchange the favor, “Well, you can’t help being the way you are, but I’m not queer”. Not hostile, but thoughtlessly contemptuous.

In any case, all of these MSMs could get their quick mansex fix and go on refreshed to their Super Bowl parties. In a way, I was relieved that Football Fan was in and out so quickly, because he really was a football fan, and if we’d talked any more he would have discovered what a dead loss I was in the sports department, and maybe then in his eyes I wouldn’t have been man enough to get him off.

(Eventually, I had an extraordinarily good time, stretching over a couple of hours, amazingly intricate and satisfying sex with just one guy, on that Super Day at the baths. But no football was involved in any way.)