We Just Don’t Talk Like This Anymore

I had just dropped a clanger – again.  I called the thing in the corner of the kitchen the “washing-up machine” (I always do) and now the others are dissing me because I am such a linguistic dinosaur.  I thought everything was tickety-boo on this front, having recently mastered the use of the word “fam” to address my family.  This, it seems, was just a flash in the pan.

It is as cold as a witch’s tit outside, so I just wanted a lazy day and to stay warm inside – the only fly in the ointment being that the curtain-twitcher over the road was watching me intently through the window, so I was of a mind to pull down the blind and do an aimless bit of web surfing.  I found an article online originating from the Daily Mirror in which they discovered that 78% of 18 to 50-year-olds were not aware of/never used some of the (to my mind) most exquisite idioms that our rich language is blessed with.  What a crying shame to lose some of these gems of English due to… I don’t know what?  A language without idioms is as dead as a doornail for those of us who are lovers of descriptive phrases.  You may think that it’s a load of old codswallop, but I have to nail my colours to the mast and state openly that I am fighting for their cause and am as keen as mustard to stick up for what would seem to be an endangered species.  I sort of knew this was the case, just by interacting with others, and a nod’s as good as a wink, as they say.

So, here is my challenge to you: do you know your onions when it comes to our language?  Read this through carefully, spot twenty of the top most-endangered idioms in this piece of writing and Bob’s your uncle.  Do you know what they mean or where they came from?  I don’t think that any of them are ready for the knacker’s yard and will post the answers and a bit of information in part two of this post…  If you want to save a stich in time, just head straight there.  But there really is no need to get your knickers in a twist if you struggle – the majority of the people in this age group are the same; it is not a case of putting pearls before swine. 

Pip pip for now,

Pete

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