My collection

I have decided to collect cliches. Not the American English cliches that I’ve grown up with, like, “so sue me” or “whatever floats your boat.” Some of them have their place and say the very thing I want, but I want to collect the old phrases, the foreign ones that I haven’t heard before.

I’ve had a longtime aversion to collecting anything. I feel burdened with a lot of possessions or clutter to keep dusted. I love the wooden giraffe that Brad brought to the union. This giraffe’s ear has been glued back on twice. He stands up high enough now, nobody can tell. But another giraffe wouldn’t be special and would take something away from the first.

I’ve subscribed to A Phrase a Week at www.phrases.org.uk. My favorite so far is “daylight robbery.” Sounds like “highway robbery,” but according to some, daylight robbery refers to an English king who levied a window tax. The rich and proud went so far as to deliberately build structures with many windows, to show their financial status. But since it taxed “the very stuff of life, i.e. light and air,” a lot of people boarded up their windows, adding “painted-on trompe l’oeil windows.” So when the theater over the highway from Pleasanton charges $3.50 for a bottle of water, that’s daylight robbery!

So send your favorite or least favorite cliches my way, any nationality or culture. If you can, send the original language with English translation, and of course, the meaning.

Storage in the digital world is large and easy to unclutter. So it’s the perfect chachky for a word nerd to collect.

2 Comments

  1. Amy H.
    Posted Sat Jul 15 22:28:26 -0800 2006 |

    On the hunt... I am going to try to find something distinctly canadian for you....

  2. Amy H.
    Posted Sat Jul 15 22:47:33 -0800 2006 |

    Ohhh got one for ya.

    "You can't tell the mind of a squid"

    Originates from the Canadian province of Newfoundland where fisheries were the primary industry until a few years ago. The saying refers to an unreliable person. A squid can move forward or backwards - you never know which direction they will go in.

    Enjoy!