Here you will find “old wives tales”, superstitions and famous sayings. From “Three is the Magic Number” to language “hooks” like “of the people, by the people, and for the people. Definition: an informal word or expression which is more suitable for use in speech than in writing
Verb. triple dog dare. (slang, US) Used to denote compounding levels of dare”seriousness”; the escalation of a double dog dare. I triple dog dare you to jump.
To “double dog dare” someone is to challenge them emphatically or defiantly, although the “challenge” is often meant humorously, or at least not very seriously: “I double dog dare you to eat the entire box of doughnuts!”
Question: What is the origin of the H. in the phrase, Jesus H. Christ? There is no great mind which has not but come to rest on this important question. It is a question which every man must consider in the course of his education, and the answers discovered are as varied as the approaches taken.
The child brought up in a home of prayer, on first hearing the expletive from his father’s lips, need only look to the words of the Our Father for the explanation: “Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, Harold Be Thy Name.”
A young man who has studied the principles of biology, in contemplating the holy mystery of the Virgin Birth in the light of reason, will inevitably conclude that the H. stands for none other than Haploid, a distinction conferred only upon God’s Son of all men, that He would not have the taint of Original Sin.
The theologian will undoubtedly be familiar with “IHS,” which stands for the Latin phrase “Jesus Hominum Salvator,” which means Jesus, Savior of Man. Note that the J, as a separate character from the I, is only a few centuries old. This trigraph is frequently found in medieval and Renaissance art.
An historian may be familiar with the tale that, before an important battle in 312, the Emperor Constantine saw vision of the cross in the sky and heard a voice saying that he would conquer “under this standard” or “in this sign.” The Latin words would be “in hoc signo,” which abbreviates to IHS.
The Greek scholar will look to the Greek letters for Jesus: “iota eta sigma omicron upsilon sigma,” which is variously transliterated IHSOYS or IHCOYC, the latter when converted to Latin letters using the common curved sigma variant. If one takes the first three letters as initials, it is not difficult to derive “Jesus H. Christ.”
The Judaic scholar can supply the reason for taking the first three letters. This is the practice of using standard abbreviations for sacred names, or nomina sacra, accompanied by a horizontal line as a warning that the words cannot be pronounced as written. The two most common forms are abbreviation by suspension, which is to use the first two letters, and abbreviation by contraction, which is to use the first and last letters.
A scholar of manuscripts noted that such abbreviations in early Christian fragments take the form IS, IH, or IHS when writing the Greek name Jesus. This would provide the basis for clever Latin writers later to make this sacred abbreviation of the name Jesus into a three letter acronym, a sort of pun, including “In Hoc Signo” and “Jesus Hominum Salvator.”
The earliest writer to speculate on the initials of Jesus is the author of the 2nd century “Epistle of Barnabas” (9:6-7). In Lightfoot’s translation, “Learn therefore, children of love, concerning all things abundantly, that Abraham, who first appointed circumcision, looked forward in the spirit unto Jesus, when he circumcised having received the ordinances of three letters. For the scripture saith; And Abraham circumcised of his household eighteen males and three hundred. What then was the knowledge given unto him? Understand ye that He saith the eighteen first, and then after an interval three hundred. In the eighteen ‘I’ stands for ten, ‘H’ for eight. Here thou hast JESUS (IHSOYS). And because the cross in the ‘T’ was to have grace, He saith also three hundred. So He revealeth Jesus in the two letters, and in the remaining one the cross.”
A man who has wondered about the origin of the sacred middle initial, who has traced the etymological thread back to its ancient spool, and who has detailed the findings of his serious inquiry, may take a moment to reflect upon the nature of the question, a question that he has expended great efforts to understand.
Jesus H. Christ!
Circumspectful meta-pondering produces ineffable epiphany. Now that we have an answer, the question is, why did we ask the question? What is it that makes a man concerned to know the details of a matter so trivial, so irrelevant so as to seem beneath the briefest consideration? I am not sure that I know the answer to this question. But at least now I know that I am not the only one who suffers from acute curiosity, for, indeed, you have read it all to the end.
“Jesus H. Christ” is a common phrase which references Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity. Considered by some to be a vulgarism, it is typically uttered in anger, surprise, or frustration, though sometimes also with humorous intent.
Known as the Number of the Beast, the number 666 is associated with Satan in Christian tradition. Accordingly, it’s seen as an omen of bad luck, to the point where Ronald Reagan changed his street address from 666 to 668 after moving out of the White House.
Fear of the number 666 is based on passages in the final book of the Bible, but according to Biblical scholars, the “beast” in Revelations doesn’t actually refer to Satan. Instead, it’s used to denote Rome, Roman emperors, and Roman forms of worship at a few different points in the book.
This has led some anthropologists to believe that the author of the text was actually referring to Emperor Nero; when the Greek spelling of “Nero Caesar” is translated to Hebrew, the letters add up numerically to 666.
I was also the number of Angels Archangel Michael had to defeat the devil.
Aside from being literally dangerous — what if something falls on your head? — walking under a ladder is considered bad luck for largely symbolic reasons. Early Christians believed that the number three was sacred for its connection to the Holy Trinity, and by extension, so was the triangle. When a ladder leans up against a wall, it forms that very shape, and walking underneath it “breaks” the Trinity. Not only was this blasphemous, but it might also attract the Devil himself. Continue reading Superstition – walking under a ladder
One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go cat go… That was Carl Perkins with Blue Suede Shoes. But where did the phrase come from?
Elvis Presley - Blue suede shoes 1956
The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes and The Phrase Finder cite a horse race poem that is likely the source of the phrase. In horse racing, the winners are termed:
The omission of “place” is noted in The Phrase Finder. This is likely poetic license, to make a short rhyme, used to start a race or event.
Excerpt from The Phrase Finder post:
In “The Annotated Mother Goose” p 259 the following rhyme is included:
I “KID YOU NOT” – Catchphrase used by Jack Paar. Paar, host of the Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962, ‘invented the talk-show format as we know it: the ability to sit down and make small talk big,’ said Merv Griffin. ‘Even youngsters sent to bed before Mr. Paar came on parroted his jaunty catchphrase, ‘I kid you not.’ From “He invented late-night talk, then walked away,” an article in the Herald-Leader, Lexington, Ky., January 28, 2004.
Grammatically both your versions are correct – “kid you” and “kid with you”
Your wording of the question suggests someone is upset about a joke you’ve played on them, so it’s more common to say
“Just kidding” rather than pose it as a question.
Herman Wouk’s Cain Mutiny
It’s quasi-archaic inversion, combined with the informal “kid” draws attention to the fact that the speaker is being definite about something.
The expression may have been used prior to 1951, but made a notable debut in print when Herman Wouk’s Cain Mutiny was published and became a Pulitzer Prize winner.
Lt. Commander Queeg said:
I am damn well responsible for anything that happens on this ship.
From here on in, I don’t expect to make a single mistake.
I won’t tolerate anybody making and mistakes for me, and I “kid you not”. And, well, I think you get the idea without my drawing you a picture.
For example: Those two are very close. They are as thick as thieves.
Thick As Thieves (1999) – movie
Two self-styled criminal masterminds find themselves in a turf battle neither much cares about in this underworld story that balances comedy against drama. Alec Baldwin plays Mackin, a career thief who picks his jobs shrewdly and carefully, and prefers to spend his downtime with his collection of rare jazz LP’s and looking after his dog. Pointy (Michael Jai White) is a young upstart gangster trying to develop a taste for refinement and the good life. When Pointy sets up Mackin, Mackin is forced to retaliate, and before long both men and their associates are in the middle of a war neither is especially interested in winning, which begins to escalate in comic fashion. The skirmish eventually attracts the attention of a female cop (Rebecca De Mornay) who’s become interested in Mackin’s method of operation. Thick As Thieves received its world premiere at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
an object with an unknown name, or whose name could not be thought of at the moment it was needed. see also thingymabob, thingymajig
hey bob, get that dohicky that changes the channel.
noun /ˈdo͞oˌhikē/ doohickeys, plural
A small object or gadget, esp. one whose name the speaker does not know or cannot recall
– a garage filled with electronic parts and other valuable doohickeys
doodad: something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or not known; “she eased the ball-shaped doodad back into its socket”; “there may be some great new gizmo around the corner that you will want to use”
an informal placeholder term used to identify an article, object, tool, part, gadget, device, contrivance, mechanism, technique, or process whose proper name is unknown or forgotten; including dingus, gismo / gizmo, thingy / thingee, thingamabob / thingumabob, thingamajig / thingumajig, whatsis …
Three shouts of hooray (Hoorah, Hurrah, Hurray etc…) given in unison by a group to honour someone or celebrate something.
Hip Hip Hooray
“Hip Hip Hooray” is the traditional response to “Three cheers for…” in many cultures, with the initiator calling out “Hip Hip” three times and each time the others responding “Hooray”. To this day, it is in common usage at children’s birthday parties in many parts of the English-speaking world.
The Toast – For he’s a jolly good fellow
For he’s a jolly good fellow, For he’s a jolly good fellow, For he’s a jolly good fellow, Which nob’dy can deny. Which nob’dy can deny. Which nob’dy can deny. For he’s a jolly good fellow, For he’s a jolly good fellow, For he’s a jolly good fellow, Which nob’dy can deny.
Function: adverb Etymology: probably by folk etymology from Middle English everich way every way Date: 1824 1 : in every direction 2 : in a disorderly manner : irregularly
For example, "How do you get thing done? The papers on your desk are scattered every which way."
Every which way idiom
In all directions, as in Papers were blowing every which way. [Colloquial; mid-1800s]
Every Which Way But Loose (1978) Directed by James Fargo. With Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis.
Title origin: The film’s title refers to the eponymous Eddie Rabbit song from the soundtrack, in which the singer complains that his girlfriend turns him "every which way but loose", i. e. he cannot bring himself to leave her although he is more of a freewheeling character. The film title is also out of the 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston where the main character Janie’s husband Tea Cake tells her about a fight he had with a man who had a knife, where in the fight Tea Cake "turned him every way but loose", i.e. fought him but did not let the man stab him.
toi-toi-toi: (an old European custom translated into words to wish you good luck). Saying toi (pronounce: toy) THREE times is derived from the custom of spitting three times over someone's shoulder for good luck. I guess it is easier to say toi-toi-toi than to actually spit.