Mar 2 2010

Overheard: 45 year old female

“My niece, she ain’t slow or nothin’, like artistic.”

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Jan 27 2010

Like pulling hen’s teeth

That’s got to be the greatest mixed metaphor ever, a combination of “rare as hen’s teeth” and “like pulling teeth.”

It’s kind of humorous, but I suppose it still could still be descriptive: not only is a task difficult, but it’s difficulty is now compounded by scarcity.

The only direct application I can think of would be for sasquatch wrestling, for not only must you wrestle the beast, you must first locate one.

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Aug 25 2009

Put your John Henry on this

One malaprop that drives me crazy is when people say, “Put your John Henry on this.”

What they intend to say is, “Put your John Hancock on this.” This idiom comes from John Hancock, the last signer of the Declaration of Independence, who signed his name in a large, flourishing script.

John Henry, however, is a folk hero from 19th century America, contemporary with Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan. He was a large black man with amazing strength who drove railroad spikes with a sledge hammer.

I’m just warning you: the next time I hear someone say, “Put your John Henry on this,” to someone who is not personally named “John Henry,” I’m busting out my hammer.

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