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Posts Tagged ‘Gamewright’

Go Bananas

Posted by Admin on March 1, 2011

Gamewright published a board game named “Go Bananas” in 2000.  It was a children’s game designed by Monty and Ann Stambler with artwork by Dave Clegg and had a playing time of about 20 minutes.  The 55-card deck was comprised of 20 monkey cards with wild monkeys, 20 monkey cards with mild monkeys, 8 Gotcha Gator cards, 6 Banana cards and one Wild Gotcha Gator card.  And, of course, as cards were slapped onto the winning pile, players shouted “Go bananas!

According to University of Tennessee English Professor J.E. Lighter who wrote “The Historical Dictionary of American Slang” published in 1994, the phrase alludes to the phrase “go ape.”

On January 21, 1986 Ray Sons writing for the Chicago Sun-Times reported on how football’s Mike Ditka saw himself in his team’s rebels.  It was a three-part report and in part two that ran on that date, he wrote:

Jim Dooley, now Ditka’s assistant for research and quality control, was a split end when Ditka joined the team and coached Ditka and other receivers before succeeding Halas as head coach when the Old Man retired in 1968. He remembers the fire Ditka ignited, not only in games, but in practices. “Every practice was like a game,” Dooley says. “He’d go bananas if he dropped a pass, yelling and screaming.”  His fury was infectious.

Readers of the Anchorage Daily News were treated to an interesting article on April 13, 1978 by Jack Anderson entitled, “Washington Merry-Go-Round: Plugging The Carter Leaks.”

From time to time, we have published excerpts from the confidential minutes and memos of the Carter Cabinet.  This has upset the muck-a-mucks who attend the meetings.  They have started to go bananas over their inability to find and block the leak.

Just a few years earlier, on September 2, 1971 the Telegraph Herald of Dubuque, Iowa ran Erma Bombeck’s column, Wit’s End with the title, “Why Housewives Go Bananas.”  Erma Bombeck’s column that day was on the recent appliance epidemic in her home and how she viewed the events that led to the writing of the column.

However, the term banana as it relates to people comes from 1920s burlesque and vaudeville where a banana was a comedian.  The top banana was the main comic and the second banana was the straight man.  The phrase go bananas referred to an act that was badly under-rehearsed and relied on desperate slapstick.

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Toss Your Cookies

Posted by Admin on December 27, 2010

Whether it’s toss your cookies or shoot your cookies or snap your cookies, it doesn’t matter how you say it — none of those phrases sound any better than the real word to which they refer.  The phrase toss your cookies is so prevalent in society that in 2007, a board game from Gamewright with that very name hit the market.

The earliest published reference to “toss your cookies” that Idiomation could find was from a review published on March 11, 1986 with regards to the CBS sitcom “Tough Cookies” written by Golden Girls’ writers Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas. 

Sometimes, when it’s not making you laugh, it can make you toss your cookies. The trouble with the show is that it’s trying to be believable, when the characters are unbelievable, to the point of being sappy.

In the book “The Real Nick and Nora: Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett” by David L. Goodrich and published in 2001, the following reference to “snap your cookies” is found on page 213, attributed to sometime in 1954:

Frances once wrote him saying she’d searched through shops in New York, London, and Paris for a gift to thank him with but had finally realized that no mere object could suffice.  Albert put his thanks another way:  “I know that if we spill over with love and gratitude you will probably snap your cookies all over that beautiful suite of offices you have.  So we will try to contain ourselves.”

The term “cookie” first appeared in print around 1703 according to The Oxford Companion To Food and so it’s a safe bet that no one was tossing, shooting or snapping cookies before 1703.

However, at the turn of the 20th century, newspapers oftentimes printed helpful hints for harried housewives that suggested giving sick babies soft cookies because they were more easily digested than other foods.  One can garner from that advice that a baby who didn’t keep the cookie down was a very sick baby indeed.

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