- A shape in a drape
A well-dressed person. “Usually she just wears jeans, but she sure is a shape in a drape in that dress.”
- Bright disease
To know too much. “He has bright disease. Make sure he doesn’t rat us out.”
- Claws sharp
Being well-informed on a number of subjects. “Reading Mental Floss keeps your claws sharp.”
- Dixie fried
Drunk. “It’s Friday and the eagle flies tonight. Let’s go get dixie fried.”
- Everything plus
Better than good-looking. “He wasn’t just built, he was everything plus.”
- Focus your audio
Listen carefully. “Shut your trap and focus your audio. This is important.”
- Gin mill cowboy
A bar regular. (A gin mill is a bar.) “Cliff Clavin was the _flossiest gin mill cowboy of all time.”
- Hanging paper
Paying with forged checks. “I hope that chick who stole my purse last week goes to jail for hanging paper.”
- Interviewing your brains
Thinking. “I can see you’re interviewing your brains, so I’ll leave you alone.”
- Jungled up
Having a place to live, or specific living arrangements. “All I know is that he’s jungled up with that guy he met at the gin mill last month.”
- Know your groceries
To be aware, or to do things well. (Similar to Douglas Adams’ “know where your towel is.”) “You can’t give a TED Talk on something unless you really know your groceries.”
- Lead sled
A car, specifically one that would now be considered a classic model. “His parents gave him their old lead sled for his sixteenth birthday.”
- Mason-Dixon line
Anywhere out of bounds, especially regarding personal space. “Keep your hands above the Mason-Dixon line, thanks.”
- Noodle it out
Think it through. “You don’t have to make a decision right now. Noodle it out and call me back.”
- Off the cob
Corny. “Okay, some of this old Beat slang is kinda off the cob.”
- Pearl diver
A person who washes dishes. “I’m just a pearl diver at a greasy spoon, but it’s a job.”
- Quail hunting
Picking up chicks. “I’m going quail hunting and you’re my wingman.”
- Red onion
A hole in the wall; a really crappy bar. “I thought we were going somewhere nice but he just took me to the red onion on the corner.”
- Slated for crashville
Out of control. “That girl’s been in college for five minutes and is already slated for crashville.”
- Threw babies out of the balcony
A big success; interchangeable with “went down a storm.” “I was afraid the party would suck, but it threw babies out of the balcony.”
An ex, a person you used to date. “I ran into my used-to-be in Kroger’s and I looked terrible.”
- Varicose alley
The runway in a strip club. “Stay in school or you’ll be strutting varicose alley, girls.”
- Ways like a mowing machine
An agricultural metaphor for impressive sexual technique, from the song “She’s a Hum Dinger” by Buddy Jones. “She’s long, she’s tall / She’s a handsome queen / She’s got ways like a mowing machine.” (Let us know if any of you ever successfully pull this one off in conversation.)
- X-ray eyes
To understand something, to see through confusion. “That guy is so smart. He’s got x-ray eyes.”
A thousand dollars. “Yeah, it’s nice, but rent is half a yard a week. Let’s jungle up somewhere else.”
- Zonk on the head
A bad thing. “It stormed all night and we lost power, but the real zonk on the head was when hail broke the bedroom window.”
Living in LA: Let’s jungle it up somewhere else.
Picture of German Keyboard
A new study warns that less-common languages are in danger of disappearing from the Internet.
Tongues including Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian and Maltese simply have too few speakers to gain a foothold, and too few examples online to power translation engines. While they are among those with the highest risk for digital extinction, no language — other than English — is safe. Even Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish were shown to have no better than “moderate support,” when it came to resources to fuel increasingly sophisticated technology such as speech-to-text and voice-controlled devices.
- Most European languages unlikely to survive online: report (nbcnews.com)
- Report: The Internet Is a Language Killer (technewsworld.com)
- Most European languages “unlikely to survive in the digital age” (sociable.co)
Listening to This American Life has its perils. Each of the main broadcasters on the show has a perfectly cultivated Standard American Accent. It serves exactly the same purpose as Received Pronunciation; it’s a neutral dialect with a clear broadcast-ready sound. It’s also totally stuffy and archaic.
I learned that the word primer, as in a study of elemental principles, is pronounced to rhyme with dimmer. And not miner, which is the type of paint, among other things. That seems unnecessary.
After the ha-rass / ha-rass debacle that rose up a few years ago (remember when you started noticing that old people pronounced it weirdly?), I’ve decided I can pronounce anything the way I like (and so can you!!). But I’ve also always preferred knowing the more common pronunciation. This helps in cases where I run into those wacky people who insist words like accessory should be pronounced with an s sound instead of the ks sound. Clearly, it goes ak-ses-so-ry. There are two Cs. One goes kuh and the other provides backup with a nice sssss. Don’t break up their friendship by pretending one of the Cs doesn’t exist; that’s a rude thing to do to a nice word. None of the letters will get along and then the language will fall apart.
Don’t beat the meaning out of a poem with a hose, and don’t pronounce things in a way that takes people out of the sentence you’re listening to.
Almost works. It’s specifically a kind of contemptible timidity, which I think describes and defines the speaker’s judgment more than the qualities of the pusillanimous thing itself. It’s derived (please correct me if I’m wrong, Tessa) from the Latin words for small and spirit.
A spirit could in the romantic, Keatsian sense include things like learning and a desire for knowledge. Or at least be open to new ideas. I wonder what Keats’ reaction to something like American Psycho would be. A hidden-camera video of the poet watching the movie would get a lot of hits on YouTube.