June 24, 2006

American idioms

America has some weird idioms once you figure out where they come from. For example.

Going off half cocked came from the Kentucky rifle, when if you half cocked the firing hammer, it'd be very likely to strike the flash powder zone and fire your weapon when you didn't want it to. Cocked and loaded, is also related. Same as Lock, Stock, and Barrel. A kentucky rifle has a lock, that holds and hits the blackpowder primer, a stock to be used as a shoulder rest, and a barrel.

Beat around the bushes and cut to the chase, seems to me to mean basically that you should stop having the beaters beat around in the bush to flush out the prey, instead cutting to the chase of that prey. HUnting terms basically. Cut to the chase, forget all this beating around the bushes to flush the prey.

That's all I can remember, the non-literal vernacular idioms. Pretty sure there are more.

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