Slang is a funny thing. I find it interesting how certain parts of the world have their different sayings and phrases that really make no sense to the rest of us. If I were to be stuck in a room with an Englishman, and forced to carry out a 30 minute conversation, chances are that, even though we both speak English, at least 20% of the conversation would leave me scratching my head saying “What the heck did he just say? Is he speaking English?”
How quaint, that language has evolved so much that we are able to manipulate it to a point that, in our own separate regions, we can come up with different sayings, and all automatically know what it means. I was speaking with an English lady the other day, and she was telling me that her horse had “a bit of wind under her tail, and a bloody mind.” I laughed, because I could tell she was joking about something by the tone in her voice, but I honestly had no clue what she had just told me. I can only make a guess that she was telling me that her normally calm, quiet mannered horse, was feeling a bit frisky that day.
I came in contact with another individual from England a few months ago who told me to “Shove up a bit”. I wasn’t sure how to respond to this statement. Part of me felt that I had been insulted in some fashion. The only phrases I’m familiar with that use the word “shove” are not really flattering. “Shove off”, “Shove it in your mouth and shut up”, and “Tell him to shove it up his (you know what)” are not really things that I want someone to say to me. I even enlisted the help of google, which didn’t help much. So if anyone knows whether or not I was insulted, please let me know.
It’s not just limited to different countries either. I can guarantee you that anyone visiting Texas from one of the northern states would spend most of their time running around with wide eyes, trying to find a “Texan to English Dictionary.” Throw the twangy accents in to the mix, and that poor sap never had a chance.
I try not to include slangy sayings in my writing, because I have followers from all over the world, but it happens sometimes. So, I thought I would clue you all in on some of the common phrases I may have said in the past, or will say in the future, just so you know what the heck I’m saying!
“Come Hell or high water”
Example: I’m going to make it to the wedding on time, come Hell or high water.
I don’t really know where this phrase came from, it’s origins have to be outdated because Texans are tough, and most aren’t scared by the idea of Hell. We live in the “Bible belt” and aren’t really threatened by the idea of Hell. And pretty much everyone here drives a big bubba truck, so high water isn’t exactly a huge issue either. But this phrase basically means, I’m going to do what I said I would, no matter what.
“Fixing to”, “Fixin ta”, or “Fixin a”
Example: I’m fixing to go grab something to eat.
I’m guilty of using this one religiously. I love this phrase. It’s become so natural to me that I have no clue when I say it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was almost in high school before I realized that saying “fixing to” wasn’t proper English, and to this day, I’m not 100% sure I know what the proper phrase is. I know in other parts of the country they say “about to” but I have no clue if that’s really correct or not. This one basically means you’re getting ready to do something. (Is that the correct way to say it? I’m still confused)
Example: You’ll never get that door open, the lock is all whomperjawed.
I love to use this one merely for the fact that whomperjawed is just a fun word to say. Basically, if something is whomperjawed, you’re in trouble. It means that something is either broken, or out of place.
“rode hard and put away wet”
Example: Have you met his new wife? She’s sweet but she looks like she’s been rode hard and put away wet.
Having horses, I know where the idea of this one comes from. When you ride a horse to the point of making it sweat excessively, and you don’t bathe them, and just let the sweat dry, it can be pretty unpleasant to the eye. There are two uses for this phrase: the first being for someone (usually a woman) who has aged beyond her years. Usually these women were once very pretty but have led a long, rough life and it has taken it’s toll on them. The other, and less common use, is for someone who is very exhausted and looks like they are fixing to (I can use that one now!) fall over from fatigue.
Okay, that’s all for now. Now that I’ve done this, I’ve given myself permission to use these phrases in the future, up to y’all (you guys, left that one out) to reference back here in the event you need it.
Now, to find out if I should “shove up a bit” or not….