Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Penny Dropped

Posted by Admin on March 27, 2021

The British idiom about a penny dropping means that someone has finally understood something that escaped their understanding for a period of time, but that expression is not to be confused with the idiom to drop a penny which still means something entirely different. It also should not be confused with the lyric in the Christmas song that encourages the audience to “please drop a penny in the old man’s hat.”

And it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the story of a penny dropped off the observation deck of the Empire State building killing someone on the street below.

Pennies have been around a long time. Back in the mid-1800s, 12 pennies (also known as pence) made a shilling, and a shilling made a pound 20 a pound was made up of 240 pennies. In Canada, coppers (as pennies were called) were stamped out by Britain’s Royal Mint and represented 1/100th of a Canadian dollar and at the time, outside of Ontario, Canadian pennies were considered worthless.

But long before the Canadian penny, in 1793, the American penny made its appearance authorized by the United States from the Mint Act of 1792 which was signed by George Washington and designed by Benjamin Franklin.

You might think the expression should be American, not British, based on how long the penny has been around in the U.S. and yet, that’s not the case. A penny during William Shakespeare time wasn’t really a penny but a reference to money in general.

What penny hath Rome borne, What men provided, what munition sent?

But was the British penny of William Shakespeare’s the penny the British people came to know as a real penny? In 1797, pennies in Britain were made from copper but before that, pennies were made of silver, and in 1860, copper pennies were made from bronze instead of copper.

But at what point were pennies associated with people understanding what took the listener so long to understand that was obvious to the speaker?

At the end of the 19th century, penny machines (also known as penny-in-the-slot machines) were very popular in Britain. They provided cheap entertainment. Usually, when you dropped a penny into the machine, a song would play or a puppet would dance or a mannequin clairvoyant predicted something in your future after wich a small card dropped down into the slot with the fortune printed on it. The mannequin clairvoyant was a featured player in the Tom Hanks’ movie, “Big.”

You could also have gas delivered by way of an automatic penny-in-the-slot machine in 1890 where those of the poorer class (as they were called back then) could purchase 25 cubic feet of gas for their homes by inserting a penny into the penny-in-a-slot machines attached to their homes.

It wasn’t long before there were automatic postal boxes supplying postcards and stamped envelopes with paper enclosed and automatic insurance boxes providing insurance against accidental death for 24 hours, and automatic photographic machines.

Pennies were all the rage, and not just as they pertained to slot machines either!

INTERESTING SIDE SIDE NOTE 1: The penny-farthing was a popular bicycle in its day beginning with its arrival in the 1870s. It got its name from the difference in the size of its wheels which was a nod to the difference in size between a penny and a farthing. The front wheel was large and the back wheel was small in much the same way that the penny was much larger than the farthing (which was worth a quarter of a penny).

The Sekgness Standard in Lincolnshire published the following in the column “Things We Want To Know” on 20 April 1932:

The identity of the gentleman who was allowed to go for a drink after assisting the missus on Sunday?
And how long it took him to fathom the problem as to why the hostelry was closed at 1.15 p.m.
And if the penny dropped on suggestion of his spouse that he had forgotten to advance his watch an hour?
And if he has made a mental resolve to guard against a similar happening in future years?

With a 40-year gap to work within, Idiomation continued tracking the idiom’s history down.

In the 1890s and 1900s, the Kinetoscope or Mutascope movie machines were all penny-in-the-slot machines. The viewscreen would be completely blank until the coin dropped through the slot into the machine, and there was usually a delay between the action of plugging the slot with a penny, the penny dropping into the box, and the mechanism within finally starting the movie.

The concept of a penny dropping and the person who paid the penny going from a blank screen to a movie is from this particular era even though the idiom is attest to years later. However, that it should be used so easily in a newspaper column and without quotation marks in 1932 indicates it was an idiom in use without doubt throughout the 1920s.

Posted in Idioms from the 20th Century, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pieman

Posted by Admin on June 28, 2016

Many are familiar with the nursery rhyme about a young man named Simon who meets a pieman going to the fair.

Simple Simon met a pieman
Going to the fair;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
“Let me taste your ware.”

Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
“Show me first your penny.”
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
“Indeed I have not any.”

Clearly, a pieman is simply that: Someone who makes  or sells pies.  But have piemen existed for as long as pies have, and do piemen still exist in today’s world?

According to the October 25, 2015 edition of the Mirror newspaper in the UK, piemen still exist and are worthy of news articles from time to time.  In an article published in the paper that day, it was reported that the boss of Morrison’s pie-making factory in Bradford had reached a milestone of sorts.  The article was titled, “Pieman‘s Appetite Is Off The Charts.”

A month earlier, however, the Canberra Times in Australia reported on September 24, 2015 that the southside Canberra was reeling from the passing of their last pieman, Leicester Donoghoe.  The funeral processions was lead by a 1936 Chevrolet van that had served as the pieman‘s original pie cart.

His was a colorful life, apprenticed as a baker and pastry cook at Duncan’s in Queanbeyan before buying the pie cart from Tom Wilkinson from the Top Hat Café in Manuka.  The article marked the man’s passing with the headline, “Leicester Donoghoe, Last Pieman Of Canberra’s South, Leaves With Tragic Wish.”

In Volume 25 (on page 57) of the “Materials Engineering” magazine published in 1947, an interesting line was inserted into an editorial titled, “Simple Simon Met A Pieman.”  Obviously an OpEd piece, it addressed a social injustice the author wanted known.  The piece began with this set-up.

Once upon a time there was a pieman named Getmore in fact there was a whole family of Getmores up to their necks in the pie business but not making a great deal of dough at that.

Perhaps it’s because the nursery rhyme lends itself so easily to being rewritten that a different version was published in “The Common Cause” on page 25 in 1912.  This version was titled, “Simple Simon On Capital” and was written by W.M. Ramsay.  It was actually part of a larger publication titled, “Great Anti-Socialist and Anti-Communist, Anti-communist Movements.”

Everybody knows that I met the Pieman, but they don’t know as I got a pie from him. This is how it same about.

“Let’s have a pie, Pieman,” says I.

“All right, says he, “let’s see your brass.”

“I ain’t got no brass now,” says I, “but I’ll soon get the brass at the fair.”

The focus of the story was to sell both sides of the concept.  At first, the story claimed that capitalism was “stealing from the poor, grinding down the workers and taking their profits, letting ’em starve and making bloated millinaires [sic]” as voiced by Thomas.

But Simon rebutted the definition by saying that capitalism wasn’t that at all.  Simon said:  “Capital keeps the sheep alive till the grass grows.  It puts something in your inside and sets you a-going at your job, and it grubs the men a-making the railroad and their wives and their little-uns, and buys ’em clothes and pays the lodging till the trains are running and the profits come in.”

It sounds to Idiomation like the Pieman from W.M. Ramsay’s story taught Simon quite a bit about capitalism.

Volume 4 of “Vick’s Monthly Magazine” published in 1881 had an article titled, “Notes And Reminiscences” that talked about the hopes the writer had for the Valley of the Murray in Australia.  Mentioning an article in an earlier edition, the writer — known only by his initials S.W.V. and the fact that he lived in Sandhurst — stated:

One character, “the pieman,” I offer a few additional remarks about, which may be of interest.  The pieman not only sold, but was open to the speculations; the pie was supposed to be of a standard commercial value, one penny, and his proposal for business was “‘Ot pie, toss o’ by” (Hot pie, toss or buy) and the adventurer would “spin a copper,” the pieman crying, “head or tail,” as the case might be.  If the pieman cried wrong he had to shell out the “‘ot pie” for a half penny; au contraire, if he called right the spectator lost his half penny.  It is, perhaps unnecessary to say that in any case the pieman was the winner, even if he always had to sell the pie at half penny, seeing that said pie was but a small bit of puff paste, and as to the meat or fruit it contained, it required a magnifying glass of high power to find it at all.

A generation earlier, in the 1851 edition of “London Labor and the London Poor: A Cyclopaedia of the Condition and Earnings of Those That Will Work, Those That Can Not Work, and Those That Will Not Work: Volume I” by English social researcher, journalist, playwright, and social reform advocate, Henry Mayhew (25 November 1812 – 25 July 1887), a similar situation is described.

The London piemen, who may number about forty in winter, and twice that number in summer, are seldom stationary.  They go along with their pie-cans on their arms, crying, “Pies all ‘ot!  eel, beef, or mutton pies!  Penny pies, all ‘ot — all ‘ot!”

INTERESTING SIDE NOTE 1:  Henry Mayhew was co-founder, along with Mark Lemon,(30 November 1809 – 23 May 1870) of the satirical and humorous magazine Punch first published in 1841. 

In “The Boston Weekly Magazine” published in 1802, it too mentioned of a pieman in a short insert titled, “Sagacity of a Dog.”  It was an amazing story that included this passage.

The next time he heard the pieman‘s bell, the Dog ran to him with impetuosity, seized him by the coat, and would not suffer him to pass. The pieman, who understood what the animal wanted, showed him a penny, and pointed to his master, who stood in the street door, and saw what was going on.

The concept of a pie being something where meat or fish are enclosed in pastry dates back to the 1350s.  Undoubtedly there have been piemen selling their wares since then, but somewhere between the 1350s and 1802, the term wasn’t published in books, pamphlets, or newspapers.  Or if it was, it has escaped Idiomation’s eyes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Pie In The Sky

Posted by Admin on June 23, 2016

Whenever people talk about pie in the sky they’re talking about how unlikely something is apt to be.  It’s a wish, an empty promise, a pleasant daydream, a prospect of future happiness that will go unfulfilled. Pie in the sky is something that is lovely to consider but not realistic to anticipate coming to fruition.

Today is the day the UK votes on whether to stay in the European Union.  There have been countless articles and interviews in the media discussing the pros and cons with no clear answer arrived at.

On one week ago, on June 15, 2016 the Daily Telegraph shared a report that the former Conservative shadow chief secretary to the Treasury said that only 12% of UK insurance exports were to the EU with the majority of insurance exports going to North American and Asia.  In his opinion, leaving the EU was the way to go.  The powers-that-be at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) saw things differently.

ABI’s director of regulation Hugh Savill said he suggestion that UK insurers could do business without taking account of European regulation was “pie in the sky.”

Baseball is one of those sports that everyone seems to love regardless of whether you’re a fanatic about it.  Back in 1984, Tom Monaghan, then owner of Domino’s Pizza (the largest privately held restaurant chain in the world at the time), owned the Detroit Tigers.  For him, it was a dream come true.

He had lived a difficult childhood, losing his father at 4, being placed in an orphanage by his mother at 6, and striking out on his own at age 12.  He bought a pizza shop at age 23 (with help from his slightly older brother who worked as a postman), and never looked back.  The article written by Jack Friedman and published in People magazine on May 6, 1984 was titled, “Owning The Detroit Tigers Is No Longer Pie In The Sky For Pizza King Tom Monaghan.”

Volume 180 of The Fortnightly magazine published in 1953 also used the expression in an  article about one of Britain’s British historian and political scientists, Professor Hugh Seton-Watson (15 February 1916 – 19 December 1984).  Professor Seton-Watson had used the expression in one of his articles.

An extraordinary remark (among other extraordinary remarks) is made by Professor Hugh Seton-Watson in his article “Moscow and the West” in the September number of The Fortnightly.  It is that the new promises of a speed-up in supplying consumers’ goods and housing “will soon be relegated” to the status of “pie in the sky.”  This statement is allegedly based on “the experience of many previous promises.”

INTERESTING NOTE 1:  Professor Seton-Watson was one of the two sons of British political activist and historian Robert William Seton-Watson (20 August 1879 – Skye, 25 July 1951).  R.W. Seton-Watson was also known by his pseudonym, Scotus Viator.

Interestingly enough, both the Harvard Bulletins in Education (1926) and the Infantry Journal (1927) published by the United States Infantry Association along with other publications at the time, quoted a song that had a scoffing attitude towards believing in the future.  It was identified as one of the I.W.W. songs, where the chorus is as follows:

You will eat bye and bye
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die (that’s a lie).

INTERESTING NOTE 2:  The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) was a group of nomadic proletarians from the west coast of the U.S.  The group was started by Swedish immigrant, Joel Emmanuel Hägglund (later known as Joe Hill) who arrived in American in October 1902.  His songs oftentimes ridiculed religion and non-union workers.

INTERESTING NOTE 3:  Joe Hill was arrested, charged, and found guilty of the murders of John Morrison, owner of Morrison Grocery, and his son Arling on the night of January 10, 1914 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was executed by firing squad inside the walls of the Utah state penitentiary on November 19, 1915.  He maintained he was innocent right up to his death.

Joel Emmanuel Hägglund aka Joe Hill (7 October 1879 – 19 November 1915) wrote his song, “The Preacher and the Slave” in 1906 as a parody of the popular hymn from 1868, “In The Sweet By And By” which was originally known as “There’s A Land That Is Fairer Than Day.”

Pie In The Sky_Parodied Hymn
It was published in the fourth printed edition of the Industrial Workers of the World songbook “Little Red Songbook” on July 6, 1911 under the title of “Long Haired Preachers” where it was credited to F. B. Brechler.  It was credited to F.B. Brechler in the 1912 edition, and then credited to Joe Hill in the 1913 edition.  It has been suggested that F.B. Brechler may have been a pseudonym used by Joe Hill.

INTERESTING NOTE 4:  The first edition of the “Little Red Songbook” was published in 1904 with the slogan, “To fan the flames of discontent.”

There is no earlier reference to pie in the sky, and so Idiomation pegs this idiom to 1906 courtesy of Joe Hill.  In the meantime, enjoy this rendition of Joe Hill’s song.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sheila’s Brush

Posted by Admin on March 19, 2015

On St. Patrick’s Day, Idiomation shared the history and meaning of the word begorrah.  It seems only fitting that Idiomation should also share the history and meaning of the idiom Sheila’s brush as there’s a connection between Paddy and Sheila, and it’s one that’s been known for many generations … especially among Atlantic Maritimers in Canada.

For those who know the idiom, Sheila’s brush refers to a fierce storm with heavy snowfall that happens in and about St. Patrick’s Day.  And this year, Sheila’s brush was particularly severe in the Maritimes up in Canada.  According to the Weather Network, weather forecasters were warning Newfoundlanders to prepare for 30 centimeters of snow before the day was over.  As  luck would have it, they got more than 40 centimeters of snow and wind gusts were up to 100 kilometers an hour in places such as Gander (Newfoundland).

Sheila's brush

SOURCE: The Weather Network

Sheila’s brush effectively shut down Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, and everything within their borders.

While that may sound like a lot of snow, it’s nothing compared to Sheila’s brush in 2008 when two powerful storms hit the coast back-to-back, leaving places like Gander to deal with 120 centimeters of snow over the week of dueling snowstorms.

In the 1986 book, “Talamh an Eisc: Canadian and Irish Essays” edited by Cyril J. Byrne and Margaret Rose Harry and published by Nimbus Publications, Ireland no longer holds to the idiom.  However, those of Irish ancestry in Canada’s Maritime provinces know Sheila’s brush very well.

The people of Conche, like other Newfoundland-Irish people, have also retained and adapted certain folkloric items which are no longer found in the homeland.  As Herbert Halpert has demonstrated, the familiar Newfoundland weather belief of “Sheila’s brush,” a snow storm which occurs close to St. Patrick’s day, appears not to be known in Ireland.

It was in “Chafe’s Sealing Book” by Levi George Chafe (1861 – 1942) and published in 1923 that Sheila’s brush is mentioned.

They employed for that purpose schooners measuring forty to seventy five tons, strongly built, poles are suspended on their sides as some protection to their timbers against the ice.  The crews of the largest craft were from thirteen to eighteen men, who on finding their own guns are admitted berth free, the rest generally pay 40/ – for their berths.  About St. Patrick’s Day they start, most of them waiting until after Sheilah’s brush or the equinoxial gale has passed.  It is impossible to conceive a degree of perseverance and intrepidity greater than the people of Conception Bay in particular displayed in struggling by all means possible to get out of their harbour and bay till they reach Baccalieu.

On March 26, 1829 the popular St. John’s, Newfoundland newspaper The Newfoundlander reported on the celebrations of March 17 by the Benevolent Irish Society.  The article stated in part:

The company continued to retire, successively, until six o’clock on Sheelah‘s morning, at which hour, we understand, a few of the campaigners might have been seen, as usual, piously and patriotically employed in ‘drowning the shamrock.’

Yes, the day after St. Patrick’s Day was known as Sheila’s Day (with various spelling of the name).  It was mentioned in Volume 1 of John McGregor’s book, “British America” published on 2 January 1832 by T. Cadell of Strand, London, England.

St. Patrick’s day, and Sheelagh‘s day (the saint’s wife) the day following, are occasions on which the mass of the Newfoundland Irish revel in the full glory of feasting and drinking.  They are certainly at those periods beyond any control; and they completely forget themselves, fighting and drinking, until they are overcome by the one, or laid up by the other.  These excesses have become less frequent.

Even Anglican missionary, Newfoundland magistrate, and historian Lewis Amadeus Anspach (22 April 1770 – 1823) wrote of it in the first general history of Newfoundland titled, “History of the Island of Newfoundland” published in 1819, stating the following:

It is hardly in the power of any priest in the world to hinder an Irishman from getting gloriously drunk, if he is so inclined, on the whole of the 17th of March, as well as the next day in honour of Sheelagh.

While Idiomation was unable to find Sheila’s brush in publications of the day, the term was used colloquially among the Irish of Newfoundland in the 1800s, and Sheelagh (with many spellings of the name) was oftentimes mentioned in conjunction with St. Patrick’s name when speaking of the festivities in March.  Anecdotally, many Newfoundlanders speak of letters written by their forefathers to friends and family, discussing Sheelagh’s brush or Sheelagh’s broom (as it was sometimes also known).

That being said, it’s understood by seafaring men of the Maritimes that Sheila’s brush referred to the equinoxial gale that happened in March — winter’s final hurrah for the year.  Idiomation therefore pegs the idiom to at least 1800 in Newfoundland among its inhabitants.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Too Many Cooks Spoil The Broth

Posted by Admin on March 8, 2011

When there are too many people trying to manage an activity, the chances increases dramatically that things will not turn out well never mind as expected.

On February 24, 1998 the Richmond Dispatch-Times ran a news story about the budget negotiators. Democrats outnumbered Republicans on the budget conference at the time 5 to 3 and it expanded the number of participants to include another 4 was hotly debated.  The title of the news story was:

Will Too Many Cooks Spoil Budget Broth?

But that’s not what readers of the St. Petersburg Times read about on September 2, 1950.  The International News Service had written the following about the residents of Wycombe (PA):

Too many cooks spoil the broth, but that’s not the way with the residents of Wycombe.  They’ve built their own firehouse.  This project was not to determine how many residents of this little community were born construction workers.  It was imperative.

Now, 50 years before that, in Pennsylvania, in the Easton Free Press of July 25, 1900, on the topic of “Friends of Chinatown: New York Mongolians Interviewed on the Situation” Minister Conger’s comments were included in the news story:

“Do you think the chances will be good for hustling Americans to go to China at the close of the war and make money, as you intend doing?”

“Well, maybe; if there are not too many of ’em going.  But, as the ‘Mericans say, ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth,’ you know.”

English clergyman, university professor, historian and novelist. Charles Kingsley (1819 – 1875) wrote “Westward Ho!” published in 1855.  In Chapter XV, he wrote:

After which there was a long consultation on practical matters, and it was concluded that Amyas should go up to London and sound Frank and his mother before any further steps were taken. The other brethren of the Rose were scattered far and wide, each at his post, and St. Leger had returned to his uncle, so that it would be unfair to them, as well as a considerable delay, to demand of them any fulfilment of their vow. And, as Amyas sagely remarked, “Too many cooks spoil the broth, and half-a-dozen gentlemen aboard one ship are as bad as two kings of Brentford.”

Almost a century before that, Anglo-Dutch courtier, diplomat, art advisor, miniaturist and architectural designer Balthazar Gerbier (1592 – 1663) wrote “A Brief Discourse Concerning the Three Chief Principals of Magnificent Building” published in 1662.

When an undertaking hath been committed to many, it caused but confusion, and therefore it is a saying, Too many Cooks spoils the Broth.

Two generations before Balthazar Gerbier, John Hooker alias Vowell Joh Hooker of Exeter, friend, confidante and servant to Sir Peter Carew (1514 -1575) wrote “The Life of Sir Peter Carew” published in 1575, in which the following passage is found:

It chanced unto this gentleman, as the common proverb is, — the more cooks the worse potage, he had in his ship a hundred marines, the worst of them being able to be a master in the best ship within the realm; and these so maligned and disdained one the other, that refusing to do that which they should do, were careless to do that which was most needful and necessary, and so contending in envy, perished in forwardness.

But while John Hooker’s friend, Sir Peter Carew states that it is a common proverb, Idiomation was unable to find an earlier published version of this saying.

Posted in Idioms from the 16th Century, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Bosom Buddies

Posted by Admin on December 21, 2010

There was the song “Bosom Buddies” from the 60’s musical “Mame” and the 80’s TV show “Bosom Buddies” with Tom  Hanks and Peter Scolari playing men who cross-dress to successfully rent a room in an all-female building, but the phrase bosom buddies goes farther back than that!

It’s an updated American version of “bosom friend” or “bosom pal.”  The phrase “bosom buddy” has become more widely used because of the alliteration.  The term buddy is an Americanism.

In the book Anne of Green Gables written by Lucy Maud Montgomery and published in 1908, Anne refers to her friend, Diana Barry as her bosom friend

In the book  A Dictionary Of Biography by Richard Alfred (R.A.) Davenport published in 1832, the term bosom friend is used no fewer than 5 times in such passages as:

Peter Artedi, a Swedish physician and naturalist, born in 1705, was drowned at Amsterdam in his thirtieth year.  He was the fellow student and bosom friend of Linnaeus, who, in honour of him, gave the name of Artedia, to one class of umbelliferous plants.  His only work is the Ichthyologia, or History of Fishes, which was published by Linnaeus, after the author’s death.

The poet Michael Drayton (1563-1631) alluded to his student and English pastoral poet, William Browne (1591-1643) in a poem published in 1615 where he wrote:

Then the two Beaumonts and my Browne arose,
My dear companions whom I freely chose
My bosom friends; and in their several way
Rightly born poets.

The phrase bosom friends is used with such ease in this poem as to imply that the phrase was already used in every day English of the Elizabethan era.

Before its use in literary circles, the British had a saying that went like this:   “A bosom friend afar brings a distant land near.”   This saying was a direct translation of the Chinese phrase “Hǎi nèi cún zhī jǐ tiān yá ruò bǐ l.”

Posted in Idioms from the 16th Century, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

In The Doghouse

Posted by Admin on October 15, 2010

The phrase “in the doghouse” has been around longer than most people care to remember but is it really that old? 

On October 13, 1946 the Los Angeles Times wrote an article on General Joseph “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell on his death from an incurable ailment of the liver.  Over the years, Stilwell had risen to the rank of general, having served in the Philippines, with the American Expeditionary Force in Europe during World War I, and as an instructor at West Point.  In the article outlining his outstanding career, a journalist wrote: “The Army was in the doghouse then, with the pacifists riding high.”

Oddly enough, however, the phrase “in the doghouse” isn’t much older than that.  The phrase was first published in 1904 in J.M. Barrie‘s story Peter Pan .

It began in 1902, when J.M. Barrie introduced Peter Pan in several chapters of The Little White Bird.  Very early on in the Peter Pan mythology, he was a  as a birdlike infant.

By 1904, the story had become a play and it premiered in London, England (UK) with Nina Boucicault originating the title role. This established the Neverland mythology, however, it also spoke of Mr. Darling living in the doghouse because of his behaviour towards Nana.  He is allowed out of the doghouse and back into the matrimonial home only after his children return home from Neverland.

Before Peter Pan, it would appear there was no mention of anyone being “in the doghouse.”

Posted in Idioms from the 20th Century, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Twush

Posted by Admin on September 3, 2010

One of the most recent words to make its way into slanguage is the word twush.  A twush is an intense and passing romantic Twitter-based infatuation on a twitter user known as a tweep.  The term was coined by Twitter user, hattalldude.

Twitter was the result of a day-long brainstorming session” at the podcasting company Odeo to end a creative slump.  Jack Dorsey came up with the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group.”  Twitter was founded in May 2007. 

Originally, the online twictionary was meant to compile words used on Twitter because tweets are restricted to no more than 140 characters including spaces.  Twitterverse, by virtue of its limitations, spurred it’s own lingo to accommodate those restrictions.

The word twush was added to the Twictionary on June 23, 2009.

Posted in Idioms from the 21st Century, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »