‘What Does It Mean’ Monday #6 “Lunatic”

Did you know that we are currently in the full moon phase? Although that shiny orb in the sky has appeared to be glowing in a circular fashion for a few nights now, the official full moon time was this morning at 8:07.

Do you get affected by the full moon? Do you find those around you getting cranky, emotional, irrational even? Is traffic more trying? Random upsets with friends occur? An annoying hiccup at work? Your pets go ape-shit?

I’ve started paying a lot of attention to the moon cycles. Ever since I started going off-kilter because of them… and my cat too.

The moon. Lunatic. Lunar. How did the term evolve to how we use it today?

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Photo by Guzmán Barquín on Unsplash

Let’s first look at the word ‘Luna.’

Wikipedia says, Luna: a Spanish, Italian and Romanian name of Latin origin, meaning moon.

How does this differ to ‘Lunar?’

The Collins Online Dictionary says, Lunar: of, or relating to the moon. 

We are clearly talking ONLY about the moon here. So where did the -tic come from, and how did this evolve to people going crazy?

The Online Etymology Dictionary says Lunatic is a late 13th century word meaning “affected with periodic insanity, dependent on changes of the moon.”

Origins are from Old French ‘lunatique,’ meaning “insane,”

or directly from Late Latin, ‘lunaticus’ meaning “moon-struck.”

Ok, so the moon can make you crazy, we get it. But is there any proper evidence to support this long-held superstition?

The Lexicon Orthopaedic Etymology says that the first uses of the word were related to epilepsy rather than insanity. It was believed that epileptic seizures were triggered by moonlight, therefore the term lunatic was reserved for those patients.

Epilep-tic.

Luna-tic.

Hmmm. 

However the very first known entry is in the 5th century Latin version of the Bible, where a father asks Jesus to cure his son as he is “lunaticus” – that is, suffering from epilepsy.

“Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick…”

Have you personally felt the effects of the full moon? Have you ever felt like going a little ‘cray cray’ at a certain time of month? (And no women, I mean the other time…)

I know a medical professional who sees 6 independent women from the police force, and they all concur that on the night of the full moon, they are much, much busier than usual.

Take that as you will. But today, tonight… beware…

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Photo by Drew Tilk on Unsplash

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

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‘What Does It Mean’ Monday #5 “Choking the Chicken”

Yep. You read right.

Today I am doing something a bit different. Sure I am going to be exploring the above phrase and its origins, but rather than basing my research on online google searches, I am going to say right now, what I am about to say can’t be found on google.

I AM GOOGLE TODAY PEOPLE. You won’t find this info anywhere.

I am going to bring forth a theory based on someone else’s fact, and so if you disagree with me, I’d love to hear it… but I think it’s pretty darn good.

Since I talk about origins, of course I can’t proceed without talking about what my Monday phrase first means. So, how do I put this…

‘Choking the chicken,’ diplomatically speaking, is the act of pleasuring oneself, intimately…

With the term specifically reserved to men. For good reason.

Think similar terms like “taking the dog for a walk,”

“spanking the monkey” and

“bashing the bishop.”

And if you still have NO IDEA what I am talking about, you clearly should not be on this blog.

Onwards for those that do.

With the phrase well and truly explained and the image clear in our minds (sorry!) I will now go onto the fascinating story of HOW I CAME TO FIND OUT ITS ORIGIN.

And guess what? Real chickens are involved.

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Photo by William Moreland on Unsplash

Some time ago we were visiting some family friends, who had backyard chickens at the time. Baby girl being the age she is, was fascinated with the chooks, and our friend caught some for her to pat.

As he held one, he was telling us about the chooks, and how he had to sometimes… choke them. Not choke as in strangle, but massage the area beneath the hen’s neck which is called the ‘crop,’ which if it became watery and squishy in nature, might mean the food they had eaten had not emptied fully, which could lead to an infection for the hen.

To keep this from happening – he laughed – he had to “choke the chicken.”

At first I stared in awe. I mean, the term kind of went over me, as I stared, watching him massage the neck of the hen, up and down, until something, slowly and quietly, spewed and dribbled out from the hen’s mouth.

Oh God. Then it hit me. 

CHOKE. THE. CHICKEN.

The official term used is ’emptying a chicken’s crop.” Look it up on youtube. Hell, I’ll give you the link that I watched. Go to 4:20. There you go, easy peasy pumpkin easy. And then watch as the chicken… well, you know.

I must advise, only those that know what they are doing should perform this manoeuvre. You can fatally harm a chicken if you don’t do this the right way. But as you can see in the video… OMG. Like it looks, the same! Oh God. I feel sick. Please don’t vomit guys, don’t vomit.

And there you have it. Choking the chicken. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

Okay I will stop now.

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

 

‘What Does It Mean?’ Monday #3 “Easy peasy pumpkin easy”

I have only ever known it as ‘pumpkin easy.’ But my daughter insists, every time I say it this way, that it is in fact – “lemon squeezy!”

I honestly thought it was her stubborn nature as she often proves herself to be 6, going on 17 and all… until I did this google search…

“EASY PEASY…”

And the “lemon squeezy” result came up far more times than my “pumpkin easy” preference did!

It must be a generational thing. Hubbie too finished my testing ‘easy peasy’ opener with –

PUMPKIN EASY.

Ok, so besides who says it what way, what does it actually mean?

Simple. Like literally. It means super easy or extremely simple.

“See, we fold this here and there you go! Easy peasy pumpkin easy.”

“We turn right into this street and it’s there – easy peasy lemon squeezy!”

The original term is easy peasy. Common add ons can be:

Pumpkin easy, or

Lemon squeezy, or even

Japanese-y!

WHAT?!

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Photo by Orlova Maria on Unsplash

The latter part of the sentence contains playful words added on perhaps for the fact that it is often used in the company of children (hence my almost everyday use of it). It is an example of a rhyming duplication… think other examples like teenie-weenie, and super-duper.

The term ‘easy peasy’ was originally used in the 1940 American film called The Long Voyage Home. We can only guess at the lemon squeezy addition, with some believing it goes back to a British commerical for soap in the 50s-60s, where the slogan used was “easy peasy lemon squeezy” to promote its lemon-scented dish soap called “Sqezy” (pronounced squeezy).

America’s version was ‘easy as pie,’ used as far back as from 1976, but we can still see that the British term was in use much further back than when the US one arrived on the scene.

I for one, have no idea where the pumpkin came in… only to assume that it may have digressed from the ‘easy as pie’ expression, and someone thought that pumpkins (and their pies!) were easy… hence ‘easy peasy pumpkin easy’?

As for the ‘Japanese-y’ addition… a few sources cite that it comes from a silly childhood rhyme:

“Easy peasy Japanese-y

Wash your hair in lemon squeezy!”

Why I never. I can imagine there was more rhyming and schoolyard nonsense attributed to this version rather than a downright racial slur… but fair to say I will still be using the orange vegetable version thank you very much!

Do you sayeasy peasy”? Which version do you use?

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

 

‘What Does It Mean?’ Monday #2 “Don’t get your knickers in a knot”

The above phrase is also commonly referred to as –

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist.”

“Don’t get your panties in a knot”

“Don’t get your panties in a bunch.”

Collectively they all mean the same thing…

Don’t get too excited or upset, or

Calm/settle down.

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Photo by Fahad Waseem on Unsplash

There doesn’t appear to be a real definitive origin of the phrase, other than to say that the term “don’t get your knickers in a twist” appears to have come from Britain in the 70s, only to have moved along to the U.S and Australia and become their version of “don’t get your knickers in a knot.”

The term ‘knickers’ itself is a British one, and the phrase is primarily reserved for women and their lower apparel…

Although the first recorded literary mention seems to come from Wilbur Smith’s The Train from Katanga (1965) I have to quote the 1968 novel by Frank Norman, titled Barney Snip – Artist:

“Oh do stop it,” she gasped as their lips broke away from each other with a resounding plonk. “You’re getting my knickers in a knot!”

And that my friends, is an appropriate usage of the term ‘knickers in a knot’ don’t you think? 😉😂

(How’s about that ‘lips broke away … with a resounding plonk’! What is a plonk sound? How do lips parting, go plonk? Hmm). 🤔

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

‘What Does It Mean?’ Monday #1 “Hold Your Horses”

Have you ever wondered at the term “hold your horses?” I say it a lot, primarily to baby girl being the impatient 6 year-old that she is, and to our cat Mister F, well because… he can’t wait for anything and meows incessantly when he wants something.

It makes simple sense if you stop to think about it. In a historical sense, it refers to keeping your horses or carriage from moving and holding them still, and this is interpreted in our every day speech to mean:

to not get ahead of ourselves

to not rush

to be careful, and

to not celebrate too early.

“Hold your horses, we’re not there yet.”

“Hold your horses, you don’t know what is around the bend.”

“Hold your horses, you haven’t won the game.”

“Hold your horses, have another think about what you just said…”

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Photo by Daniil Vnoutchkov on Unsplash

First said as “hold your hosses,” it became our modern day interpretation in references like from the magazine Chatelaine in 1939, with –

“Hold your horses, dear.”

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!