When I Pretend to Fall: an album by the Long Winters, and a line from the song “Stupid.” She laughs when I pretend to fall…
Ring around the rosie³:
Ring around the rosie
Pocket full of posie
We all fall down
And there it is. We all fall down.⁴
¹ Clearly I’ve been falling down on the job with my ThThTh posts, seeing as the last one I posted was in December.
² There are loads more real idioms involving falling
³Apparently there are many different versions of this, some of which don’t even involve falling down. Theo has been reciting a version of this lately. Mostly what I hear is “Asses, asses, we fall down.” I don’t recall seeing that one on the Wiki page.
⁴ Often on our asses.
Cradle falling image from The Only True Mother Goose Melodies, by Munroe & Francis, 1833, found on the Gutenberg Project.
Today is Thanksgiving in the US, a holiday marked primarily by having a large meal together with family and/or loved ones. In previous years, I’ve set the table with utensils, and served up some turkeys. This year, I want to make sure we include bread (and a few other bready baked goods) in our ongoing ThThTh feast.
break bread: an expression meaning “have a meal together with people”
“Breaking Bread,” a song by Johnny Cash
“bumped his head on a piece of bread”: a line from the song/nursery rhyme “It’s raining, it’s pouring” in the version I learned as a child (though not in more commonly known versions). Did anyone else learn this version?
It’s raining, it’s pouring
The old man in snoring.
Bumped his head on a piece of bread,
And didn’t get up till morning.
bread: a slang term for money
breadwinner: one who earns money for a household
dough: another term for “bread” as in “I’ll need some dough to buy bread”
dough: a mixture of flour, water and other ingredients used to bake bread, as in “I’ll knead some dough to bake bread.”
I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Be he ‘live, or be he dead,
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.
the best thing since sliced bread: an expression said appreciatively of something really innovative, or just something really good. Often said facetiously.
bread and circus: as the wiki says, since I’m too tired/lazy to say something on my own “is a metaphor for handouts and petty amusements that politicians use to gain popular support, instead of gaining it through sound policy”
Project Bread, a Massachusetts anti-hunger organization. I’ll donate $5.00 to them for each commenter who includes the name of a type of bread in the comments below.
image credits: bread from wpclipart, Little Red Hen from Ella M. Beebe Picture Primer (New York: American Book Company, 1910) 87 from clipart ETC.
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theater: a sock puppet duo of YouTube fame
The Bureau of Missing Socks: “the first organization solely devoted to solving the question of what happens to missing single socks. It explores all aspects of the phenomena including the occult, conspiracy theories, and extraterrestrial.”
With Chinese New Year having brought us into the Year of the Ox, it seems a good time to bring on the bovines.
Seeing as oxen aren’t all that plentiful in the universe of things in my head, Babe aside¹, I’ve decide to round up some more plentiful bovines instead. This ThThTh brings you cows².
A herd of cow things
Cows are used in the branding of several companies, such as Ben & Jerry’s (ice cream, which is a dairy product), La Vache Qui Rit/Lauging Cow cheese (more dairy products), A black and white cowhide pattern is also used for Gateway Computers, which are computers made entirely out of cheese. Or are they made out of beef?
cow pie: Not anlagous to a chicken pie, this is not a beef-filled pastry.
cowlick: a section of hair that grows in the wrong direction, sticking out as if licked by a cow.
Vachement: a French slang adverb. Vache being the word for cow, and -ment being an adverbial suffix along the lines of -ly, vachement could be translated as “cowly.”
Cow Parade: a large scale art project/event in which life-sized plastic cow models are painted and/or decorated as works of art and put on display. First seen in Chicago, and later in other cities around the world.
Mrs. O’Leary’s cow: the cow blamed for starting the Great Chicago Fire by kicking over a lantern. She has since been cleared of the arson charges, as she didn’t really exist.
Don’t have a cow, man.An expression meaning “don’t get upset.” A catchphrase used by Bart on The Simpsons.
How now, brown cow? A saying used to practice the diphthong [aʊ], which is contained in each of the words.
“I never saw a purple cow.”: a children’s rhyme.
I never saw a purple cow.
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.
till the cows come home: an idiom meaning “all day long” or “for a long time.” I could list cows till the cows come home.
¹ The blue ox, not the pig.
²I’ll spare you the bull, or at least the bulls, for now.
It’s that time of year again. You know, when the goose is getting fat. And you know what? So is my goose list for this fine Themed Things Thursday. But I’m in a bit of a rush, so I’ve gotten a bit loose in my descriptions.
A flock of geese things
one’s goose is cooked: an expression meaning that one is in trouble. Eg. “She knew her goose was cooked when she saw the flock of angry geese heading her way”
a wild goose chase: an expression for a fruitless venture, usually involving a lot of wasted energy. And sometimes flying feathers.
a goose walked over my grave: an expression meaning “got a sudden chill”
goose bumps: bumps that a appear temporarily on the skin when a person is cold. Perhaps because the skin looks a bit like that of a plucked goose.
what’s good for the goose is good for the gander: an expression meaning that both male and female should be plucked. Or otherwise get equal treatment.
take a gander at: an expression meaning “have a look.” As in “Take a gander at those soldiers doing the goose step.”
like a hot knife through butter: an expression meaning that something was or can be cut easily
not the sharpest knife in the drawer: an expression meaning “not very smart,” playing of the use of the word sharp as a synonym of intelligent.
The Subtle Knife: A novel by Philip Pullman, second in the trilogy His Dark Materials. (It’s the sequel to The Golden Compass.)
“3 Blind Mice”: a nursery rhyme and song in which a carving knife is used. Possibly is about Bloody Mary.
Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?
going under the knife: an expression meaning “having surgery”
“I always eat my peas with honey”: A poem of largely unknown origins. I first ever heard it while visiting my in-laws last week (and eating peas), and then encountered it a second time the next day when Magpie left it as a comment on my utensil list. Kind of eerie.
I always eat my peas with honey;
I’ve done it all my life.
They do taste kind of funny but
It keeps them on my knife.
“Mack the Knife“: a song from the Threepenny opera. Has been performed by many, From Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong to Sting, The Doors and The Psychedlic Furs.
“Cuts Like a Knife”: the title track from the 1983 Bryan Adams album (YouTube)
Slash with a Knife, a book of works by artist Yoshitomo Nara with many paintings of angry and threatening-looking but cute litte kids.
Knives can be used for slashing, stabbing, and throwing (as well as slicing, dicing and julienning), so they appear pretty frequently in movies as weapons. You might see them such in fight scenes (eg. West Side Story) or murder mysteries (eg. Gosford Park).
The knife is one of the possible murder weapons in the boardgame Clue.
“That’s not a knife. This is a knife.” A line from Crocodile Dundee. (See the scene on YouTube.)
“Chefs do that”: A line from the movie The Long Kiss Goodnight. Geena Davis plays an amnesiac with no memory of her past life as an assassin. When she discovers her skill with knives, she briefly thinks she must have been a chef. Then she throws a knife and skewers a tomato against the wall, saying “chefs do that.” (You can see at least part of the scene in the trailer on YouTube.)
knife throwing: a sport involving throwing knives at a target. (The goal is to hit the target with the point of the knife, not, for instance, the handle.)
knife throwing act: involves a performer throwing knives around a person, with the goal of not impaling the person. Somewhat ironically considered an “impalement art.” Here’s an example of a mother throwing knives at her little kids in the 50s:
knifehand strike: a martial arts strike using the “blade” of the hand (not the palm or a fist), and sometimes called a “karate chop.”
“In Japan, the hand can be used like a knife.” A famous line from a 1970s commercial for the Ginsu knife.
• An effete British superhero, to be precise. I am pilfering your tableware because I hurl it. I hurl it with a deadly accuracy. The Blue Raja is my name. And yes, I know I don’t wear much blue and I speak in a British accent, but if you know your history it really does make perfect sense…The point is: Your boy’s a Limey fork-flinger, Mother.
• I say, what the fork! Let’s do it!
• May the forks be with us.
So there’s my list. Stick a fork in me, I’m done.
If you’re looking for more tasty bits to gobble up once your t(of)urkey is gone, go stick your fork into the 107th Carnival of Satire over at The Skwib. A spoonful of satire makes the holiday angst go down! (Especially when taken with a Wild Turkey chaser.)
Phoebe got a real bed a couple of weeks ago, inspiring me to think about beds for a ThThTh list¹.
A bed list²
make one’s bed and lie in it: an expression meaning that one must accept the consequences of one’s actions. The wording of the expression is somewhat variable, with various subjects (and agreeing possessives) possible, some variation in tense/aspect of the verb make, and variability in the the following clause. eg. You’ve made your bed, and now you must lie in it. or He made is bed, so now he’ll have to lie in it.
The Princess and the Pea: a classic fairy tale in which a pea is hidden under mattresses to test whether a girl can feel the lump under the bedding
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed.” Something the bears say in the fairy tale Goldilocks.
flower bed: an area, such as in a garden, that has been planted with flowers
bed of roses: an expression meaning an easy or luxurious situtation. More often heard with a negative, such as “it was no bed of roses.”
fortune cookies: If you add “in bed” to the end of the fortune when you read it, hilarity will ensue (in bed).
hotbed: an environment conducive to rapid growth
Beds Are Burning, a song by Midnight Oil. (youtube video)
“5 little monkeys jumping on the bed:” a children’s song/rhyme of the “counting down” variety:
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”
Subsequent verses are sung with one fewer monkeys jumping, until one reaches the final “no more monkeys” state. There’s a book based on the rhyme, too.
“10 in the bed:” another kids’ song of the countdown type.
Ten in the bed and the little one said “roll over! roll over”
So they all rolled over and one fell out…
in bed with the enemy: an expression meaning “consorting with the opposition”
strange bedfellows: an expression used to describe a situation where unlikely individuals cooperate, having been brought together to by unusual circumstances. Taken from a line from Shakespeare’s The Tempest: “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”
“In Bed with Madonna:” The title of the 1991 Madonna movie (“Truth or Dare“) as it was released in various countries. I saw it in Brazil as “Na Cama com Madonna.”
“My Bed is a Boat:” a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson from A Child’s Garden of Verses
My bed is like a little boat;
Nurse helps me in when I embark;
She girds me in my sailor’s coat
And starts me in the dark.
“To bed! To bed!”
“Tarry awhile,” says Slow;
“Put on the pan,”
Says Greedy Nan;
“We’ll sup before we go.”
bed head: hair that has been messed up during sleep, or that at least appears that way
¹Also at times inspiring me to miss the cage-like qualities of the crib. Is duct tape really so wrong?
²You know, I pretty much never make my bed. But I’m clearly not opposed to making a bed list.³
³You know, I really need to get to bed.
I got to have me some cake this week.¹ I ate it, too. And this cake-having inspired me to think about cake. So I’ll be serving up a list of cake-oriented things for this week’s ThThTh.
A Cake List
Cakes are used for lots of holidays and celebratory events in many cultures. Some examples include birthday cakes, going away cakes at office parties, French bûches de Noël or German stollen at Christmas. Also…
Wedding cakes. Usually elaborately decorated multi-tiered cakes meant to serve all the guests at a wedding. They can be quite tall, and easily knocked over or smashed for comedic effect in movies or sitcoms.
stripper in a cake. A tradition (if it really happens outside of TV and movies) of having an exotic dancer jump out of a large cake-shaped container. (You can make your own, if you like.) (I toyed with making a list of movies/shows where you see a stripper cake, but could only remember “Under Siege,” where the stripper fell asleep in the cake. Anyone have any others?)
sexy cakes. A sketch on Saturday Night Live with Patrick Stewart as a baker of cakes decorated with erotic images. That is, erotic if you have similar ideas to the baker as to what’s “sexy”. (The video seems not to be up on the SNL website, but you can read the transcript. Come on, go read it. It’s funny. Especially if you imagine Patrick Stewart’s dignified stentorian voice for the baker’s lines.)
“Let them eat cake!” A phrase attributed to Marie-Antoinette, reflecting her insensitivity to the hungry masses who could not afford to buy bread. It was likely not really said by her. (And certainly not in English.) Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote of someone using a similar phrase under similar circumstances in 1767, several years before Marie-Antoinette even arrived in Versailles.
the icing on the cake. An expression meaning an additional bonus, benefit, or other desirable thing. As in something good on top of something else that’s good.
cupcake. A small individual serving-sized cake. Also an endearment.
babycakes. Another, even cutesier, endearment. (Want to see something creepy? Check out this YouTube video of someone making a realistic sculpted baby cake. Perhaps not as deeply unsettling as bread made to look like dismembered body parts, but creepy nonentheless.)
Pat-a-cake. (or Patty-cake). An English nursery rhyme. Also used for a clapping game.
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Pat it and roll it and mark it with “B”
And put it in the oven for Baby and me.
a piece of cake. An idiomatic expression meaning “easy.” As in “eating up all that chocolate was a piece of cake.”
have your cake and eat it, too. An expression describing a desire to have things 2 different ways that are not compatible. More along the lines of “save your cake and eat it too.”
takes the cake. An expression meaning “the most extreme example,” such as the winner of a contest or other comparison. As in “I thought Martin was a geek, but his brother Andy really takes the cake.”
Cakewalk. A game, set to music, where the winner gets win a cake. I hadn’t realized it had origins as an actual dance:
Cakewalk is a traditional African American form of music and dance which originated among slaves in the Southern United States. The form was originally known as the chalk line walk; it takes its name from competitions slaveholders sometimes held, in which they offered slices of hoecake as prizes for the best dancers. It has since evolved from a parody of ballroom dancing to a “fun fair” like dance where participants dance in a circle in the hopes of winning a free cake.
Cake. A band. My favorite song of theirs is probably their cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive.”
¹ Actually, what I technically had was a celebratory fresh fruit tart, with a preamble of a couple of donuts holding some candles. But these were symbolically cake: