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Forums > Social Chat > Cold as a witches What?!?!?!

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:It is record breaking cold here, they are shutting down everything and there are accidents all over from black ice. So while I was stuck in traffic I was think about the phrase
"Cold as a witches t!t" and wondering where that came from, or in fact, where have these freaky old phrases came from.

I know "Horney" stems from the fact that in medicinal lore ground up horns of various animals (varies on the culture) stems as an aphrodesiac as well as a "viagara".

My dad used to say "Oh my aching a$$" everytime one of us girls messed up (and yes I was/am a huge pain in the butt!), and that he was "tickled pink" when he was happy.
Last time I was tickled pink..I wasn't happy. I laughed so hard it hurt.

So, have any funky phrases that throw you off or know where the origins come from?
And why is it called being Toey in Aus? That really makes me laugh every time I hear some say it!


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London

Total posts: 2211
Posted:You're not so green as you're cabbage-looking.
Translation
You aren't as stupid as I thought

Now we're sucking diesel (a fave of my dads)
=everythings dandy
If someone knows the origins of this please share!

It's beyond the pale - its not on / its uncivilized.
(History)
The pale was a word that the English ruling Ireland used to describe Dublin's boundary.

Beef to the heels like a Mullingar Heifer = someone with big 'sturdy' legs

The plains of Westmeath round Mullingar are noted for fattening cattle.

Unfortunately the women of Mullingar are not noted for being especially slender ankled either

I come from Mullingar but luckily neither of my parents did so my ankles are safe

There never was an old slipper but there was an old stocking to match it - your love match is out there even if he looks like an old sock!


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2363
Posted:i believe the phrase are referring to is incomplete, the full one being..."cold as a witches t!tty in a brass bra..."
actually apllicable at one of out fire shows... the first place i ever heard that expression ...


-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:"Cold enough to freeze the balls of a brass monkey"
From the by-gone nautical days. When they had canons, there were, unsurprisingly, canon balls. For ease of loading and also tidiness the balls were stacked in pyramids (I think...) and the Monkey was the piece of metal which held them together. They were made of brass, which is very susceptible to heat changes. So when it was very cold, the brass contracted and the balls all fell off. This is true, although I'm not sure exactly what a brass monkey actually looked like or how the balls were arranged...


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:The brass bra was added on to the end of it recently, actually arashi. I checked some superstition sites and stuff for an explanaition of that one...something to do with a belief once that a "true" witches heart was made of ice while she was made of wood. Her left breast being over her heart is to what the phrase refers to. This is the explanaition behind why witches float (why in the trials they would binda woman and toss her in a lake) and why they were burned, takes care of both the wood and the ice issues.
Bleck.
I don't like that one.

I had never heard of the ones you contributed Kat. They were great, especially the one about the ankles, those poor women! LOL
This is great!


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Jello


ambiguous
Location: Mpls, MN, USA

Total posts: 646
Posted:poor witches, always getting a bad rap.

But yes, it is cold. I woke up to -12 F at around 9 am and now it's gotten all the way up to -5 F, YAY! The forcast says we'll hit 6 F sometime, though I highly doubt that. Cold weather rocks You definitly know you're alive when you're out in freezing weather. If only we had snow though, that kind of sucks brass monkey's balls


_________________________________
Fuzzy Dice.......................................

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musashii


musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1148
Posted:ack, snow..Tell you whats worse..waking up(hungover), looking out the window to big fat fluffy snowflakes, 1/2 inch on the ground, and piling up quickly. No work right?!? Get back in the warm bed n sleep sum more, hmmm. Nope, work must go on, drag self to work. Now it's sunny, all of the snow has melted, n I have to spend the rest of the day at work

First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

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Jello


ambiguous
Location: Mpls, MN, USA

Total posts: 646
Posted:hehe, it's darn near impossible to get a snow day here, we're way to prepared for it. Only time I can remember a snow day was back in 94 I think, we got over 3 feet of snow the night of halloween, all in one night, and that shut us down for one day. It was early so I don't think we expected it or were prepared. If it happened in January I think we could have actually fought it off. Minneapolis is prepared, especially on the University campus, we can handle anything.

_________________________________
Fuzzy Dice.......................................

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I thought it was cold here (6F!). But according to Jello, I should be out sunbathing or something!

We haven't quite gotten in to that -0F territory here just yet. But it is cold enough that my hair freezes when I'm walking out of the pool after practice. It's cold enough that snow doesn't stick...it sublimes away. It's cold enough that my car's engine (4.0 Liters of it) can go from operating temperature (about 98C) to below 30C (the bottom of the scale) in 15 minutes after I shut off the engine. It's also cold enough that my car does not warm up enough to use the heat by until I'm almost all the way across town.

And I just had to treat a friend for frostbite that she got for going outside at night without gloves on for 20 minutes. And the University of Michigan NEVER cancels classes for weather. Individual professors might, but the university doesn't.

Back on topic...

"Mad as a hatter." Hatters used to work with mercury a lot. Mercury is not so good for your noggin'. Hatters went mad.

"hand-waving" an expression used in scientific fields when someone is trying to explain a phenomenon with idle, thought-up, unsupported or non-calculated theories. This is derived from the fact that magicians wave their hands to distract you from the fact that they aren't actually doing magic. Hand-wavers "wave their hands" to distract you from the fact that you aren't doing science.

"Sleep tight!" In days of old, people suspended their mattresses from the bedposts by way of rope ties. You would have to tighten these to firm up your mattress.

"Don't let the bedbugs bite." Bedbugs are real. We had a problem with them in my old co-op. They are little mite-like things that travel with birds. They get into your house and bite you, but they hate human blood so they just leave a nasty welt and then scurry away. But they aren't smart, so they keep biting night after night. Damned near impossible to eradicate, too.

"F.U.C.K." (not sure if this one is true or not) In ancient England, sex was illegal except for procreation. To boink your wife, you had to get official permission. Hence, you would hang a sign on your door to announce that you were Fornicating Under Consent of the King.

"Hooker" While many words for "prostitute" have been invented to describe this most ancient profession (the word "whore" is found in Shakespeare's works), the word "Hooker" is one of the most recent. During the U.S. Civil War, one of the Generals, General Hooker, had an issue with a great number of prostitutes following his regiment around. Apparently, his men were good customers or something. People would point to one and say "That must be one of Hooker's girls."

If I think of more, I'll let you know.

[ 28. January 2003, 17:20: Message edited by: MikeGinny=Lightning ]


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Fire_Emanator


member
Location: Australia

Total posts: 96
Posted:"Hotter than Georgia Asphalt!"-Sailor Ripley! aka Nicholas Cage, Wild at Heart!

I beleive this originates from the fact that is is hot in Georgia, and the asphalt being black, gets hot, hot enough to become worthy of reference when describing something hot!


Free your mind and your ass will follow!

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Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London

Total posts: 2211
Posted:Pele,

There are a plethora of Irish phrases I have not heard of before. A lot of the origins of phrases and indeed legends and stories are now sadly lost though as phrases /stories etc were passed on orally and not written down and so much is lost But what there is is still fun!

As I Mullingar woman its not nice being compared to a heifer though

Does anyone know where the expression 'Hair of the dog {that bit you}' originates from?


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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JeStEr
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne Australia

Total posts: 214
Posted:No, but I've got a furball at the moment.
*cough cough*
Ah another drink and i'll be dandy.


Trying to play the Akashic records,
but my turntables not compatible.

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SteelWngs
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

SteelWngs

member
Location: Malden, Massachusetts United S...

Total posts: 169
Posted:Bedlam
A chaotic, noisy place or situation.

This word comes from the Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem in London, a lunatic asylum founded in 1547. In order to raise money, members of the general public were allowed to visit for a two pence admission fee. Visitors ridiculed the patients who were also beaten, chained and generally ill-treated by the keepers for the amusement of the sightseers!



The hair of the dog (that bit you)
Alcoholic drink as a cure for a hangover.

This comes from the ancient belief that if you were bitten by a dog, the best way to prevent infection was to place a hair of the dog that bit you on the wound.



Once in a blue moon
Very rarely.

Major volcanic eruptions happen very rarely and during the great explosion on the island of Krakatoa in Indonesia in 1883 the volcanic dust in the air made the moon appear blue for some time.



To pass the buck
To give a difficult problem to someone else although it should really be your responsibility.


The word "buck"here does not refer to the dollar, but to the buckhorn knife, which was used in card games and placed in front of the player whose turn it was to deal the cards and be the "banker".
Harry S. Truman, President of the USA (1945 - 1953) also coined the phrase - "the buck stops here", meaning the person speaking must take the responsibility for making decisions and not "pass the buck"to somebody else.



Freelance
Independent, skilled people doing specific pieces of work for different organisations rather than being employed by any one single company.


Originally, freelances were mercenary soldiers in Europe in the Middle Ages, who sold their services and their lances to any master who paid them.



Posh
Expensive, sophisticated, high quality.

During Colonial times the most expensive cabins on the long sea journeys to India and the Far East were the coolest ones which faced north. The shipping companies used the abbreviated form for bookings for the rich -P.O.S.H. - cabins which were on the Port side Outward, and the Starboard side Home.



To get the sack
To be dismissed from one's job.

This is believed to come from the days when workmen carried their tools in a sack, which they left with their employer. If they were dismissed, the employer would give them back the sack.



To peter out
To reduce gradually until nothing is left.

This expression comes from the American goldfields during the first half of the 19th. Century. "Peter"is Greek for rock and was also used for the vein of gold, which after being worked at until there was no more gold, was said to have "petered out".



A white elephant
Something that has cost a lot of money but is completely useless, expensive and difficult to get rid of.

The Kings of Siam used to give a white elephant to anyone who displeased them. Elephants were considered sacred and could not be killed, and since they were so expensive to keep, anyone who received one was doomed to destitution.



Touch wood
Said when hoping for a good result or good luck.

In ancient times trees were considered sacred and believed to be the home of guardian spirits. To touch a tree showed respect for these spirits and was a way of preventing bad luck. Nowadays people touch any piece of wood, and if there's none handy, they humorously touch their heads!


Blessings to all,
Peter
When you find yourself in the company of a halfling and an ill-tempered Dragon, remember, you do not have to outrun the Dragon ...you just have to outrun the halfling.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Cool..lots of fun ones. Very interesting how they are so different globally.

And technically Mike...F.U.C.K. is a legal term (did you know I took several semesters of law classes? I walked into Constitutional Law one day to see this written on the board . God I love that Judge! )

The term was originally adopted by the courts when there was an onslaught of murders committed by merchant marines, "military" and sales travellors who would leave their wives at home and come back to find they had taken up with someone else. To disuade the vigilante mindset, these laws were created so that an adulterous couple would be "interrogated" (stripped and examined) and then put on public trial For Unlawful Carnal
Knowledge. The penalties were anything from a steep fine (for the rich offender) to death, depending on who was accusing and who was on trial. Slanted, as most old laws were, to be sure. The women, if their husbands chose to "keep" them were little more than trash (a la Scarlett Letter's Hester Primm), and if the husband chose to not maintain the marriage, she was essentially chased from the community.
Of course these laws were only valid if the woman cheated, it was still perfectly fine at that point for men to have mistresses/concubines/courtesans.

In some places, these laws, though no longer enforced, are still on the books. It spurned some really interesting cases though in history!
Whew...I knew that class would come in handy someday!

Thanks all...and damn Steel...sounds like you retain trivia knowledge the way I do! LOL


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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shads


member
Location: WA

Total posts: 36
Posted:blue moon
There are numerous stories about the origin of the blue moon. Steels is one. Another is that a blue moon is the second full moon in a single calendar month. it is still rare, though in 2000 I believe we had 2 of them. But because of the 30/31 day month cycles we have, a blue moon is the second full moon in a 28 day cycle to appear in one month.

I always found the differing meanings for origins of phrases fascinating. I used to have a book all about them, but it disappeared in one of my many house moved.


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