“I have to shit like a racehorse!”
Oh, you know what’s fun? When people mix up expressions having picked up on the wrong contextual cue.
“Wow, that rose is so red. It’s, like, pitch red.”
This sort of thing is just fun to do on purpose.2 The “pitch red” example reminded me of a guy I knew in university who was fond of the expression “gay as the ace of spades.”3 I’ve been borrowing that one for years, confusing many listeners in the process. “No, no,” I’ll explain after they try to set me straight. “It’s ‘black as a three-dollar bill.”4
1. Speaking of complaining, Candace tells me of an aunt who returned from travels abroad, tossing around foreign slang, only to mistakenly use the word “minge” when she meant “whinge.”
2. See the example in the title of this post, which I used this morning, with some urgency, but also with the satisfaction that I’d stumbled on a catchphrase I’d be abusing for years to come.
3. If Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford ever covered the Motörhead song “Ace of Spades,” I could point to this as backup.
4. Before it was withdrawn from circulation, the now-defunct Canadian three-dollar bill was actually pink.
Filed under: Pedantry and Word Nerdery | 6 Comments