Friday, January 11, 2013

What does THAT even mean?

Lemont (of the comic strip Candorville) has an unfortunate habit of accosting perfect strangers and correcting their grammar. Today he pays the price.

Lemont says a girl beat the spit out of him for correcting her grammar

But the fact is, he didn't correct her grammar. He rudely and snidely objected to a well-established American idiom in fact, two idioms:

Lemont wants to know what 'so long' and 'you'll pay for this' mean

Frankly, he deserved to be beaten up. Anybody who goes around demanding that idioms make sense and pretending not to understand conventional phrases is just a jerk.

And anyway,"beat the spit out of"? What does that even mean, Lemont?

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At 11:20 PM, January 13, 2013 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

"Spit" is just a bowdlerization for a similar word, except with the 8th letter of the alphabet in the second position. (It's also used as a substitute for the urinary liquid that John Nance Garner famously characterized the Vice Presidency as a warm bucket of, inter alia).

At 4:55 AM, January 14, 2013 Anonymous The Ridger had this to say...

So, I'm not sure if you're serious or not; of course spit is a euphemism equired by the medium. But with or without the euphemism, why does Lemont get to use that figure of speech when he walks around demanding that people not say things like "pay for it" and "so long"?

At 11:18 AM, January 14, 2013 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Young lady, I take my humor v-e-r-y seriously ;-)))

At 11:05 AM, January 15, 2013 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

I had an Indian (as in from India) roommate who thought that "so long" came from an Indian expression, but I can't seem to find any reference to that, at least with a cursory search. I think I have also heard or read that it came from "salaam".

At 11:55 AM, January 15, 2013 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Yes, that story - that Brits brought it back from the Malay pronunciation of "salaam" - is quite common. It's unlikely, though, since it's a very American expression, and dates from about 1860. There's also a theory that it comes from Irish "slán", which is, I think, more likely.

But the bottom line is that no one knows.


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