‘What Does It Mean’ Monday #10 “Keen as mustard”

Keen to know this one? 😉

The ‘Online Cambridge dictionary’ describes this phrase as meaning:

very eager and interested in everything.

Although the company Keen and Sons manufactured mustard from as way back as 1742, they did not come up with the phrase nor use it in the selling of their product.

In fact it was first recorded in text in 1672, almost a century earlier in a book by William Walker: “as keen as mustard,”

Then reappeared some years later in 1679 in F. Smith’s Clod-pate’s Ghost:

“You shall see a man as hot as Mustard against Plot and Plotters.”

But how does mustard mean we are enthusiastic and overly excitable?

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Photo by Elevate on Unsplash

You can thank the English for that. So revered their roast beef dish, that any side accompaniment that lifts the flavour and adds further taste to it should definitely be praised, right?

Mustard naturally adds zest and flavour, and therefore came to be associated with adding enthusiasm and vigour.

Ha!

Today the phrase is a simile, much like other “as ‘a’ as ‘b'” similes – the comparison of one thing with another.

Eg. as blind as a bat.

As brave as a lion.

As busy as a bee.

Do you like mustard? I’m more a mayo girl myself…

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 #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!

Life Rules by SmikG #1 About wine and being shitty in reply

Keep this list handy…

#1 Don’t write/email/respond to someone who has pissed you off, while you are still pissed off… and drinking wine.

BAD IDEA.

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Photo by James Jadotte on Unsplash

Explanation: In my online writing course the students give each other feedback on our 5000 word submissions. The other day I was totally cranky pants and thrown off by one such student who thinks they are smarter than the teacher (why are you doing this course then?)

I didn’t like their disparaging and condescending remarks to my submission, and then, the student got the entire plot of my story wrong!

Like, why comment on something and tell me you don’t believe it, when you didn’t read my synopsis properly in the first place! GRR ARGH!

So I stewed… and I stewed…

And I drank some wine…

And I stewed some more…

And then still shitty (and still sipping on red)…

I took the wine to the computer…

And I wrote a reply.

(Insert snapping dogs and cats clawing at one another).

I was diplomatic in my reply. Sure. But now, a few days after, I’m feeling…

BAAA. 🐑

Sheepish.

Why did I let someone I don’t even know get to me?

Note rule number 1!

 

 

‘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!