Saturday, June 17, 2006

Great etymological disasters of the 21st century

In the Times, Jeanette Winterson roos the day she ever admitted to thinking there was such a think as a damp squid:
I feel very sorry for the child who nearly choked on his biblical cord, and for the gentleman who feels "out on a limbo". I think we have all felt out on a limbo sometimes, perhaps especially the lady who "has a milestone round her neck".

Her mother is, as always, the champion of the spoken word:
Mrs Winterson used to talk about an interfering madam she disliked as a "proper Cleopatra". On further inquiry I discovered she had "a rod up her asp". When I asked what this meant, Mrs Winterson replied: "she won’t let sleeping snakes lie."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you mean "rues".

Kelly G said...

Er ... yes - that's supposed to be a really hilarious joke.

Anonymous said...

think?

Kelly G said...

I guess irony just doesn't translate sometimes.