Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday WOLF

I'm up over on From the Write Angle with a little insight on how being a bitch can be bad for you. So check that out, because we all need to learn how to wrangle with Inner Bitch and come out on top.

Also - my AgentQueryConnect buddy Michele Simkins is offering a free service to you writerly types that happen to be botanically challenged. Got a plant question? Need something poisonous but pretty? Does lavender grow in the woods, no matter how badly your plot needs it to? Ask her, she knows!

And - another AQ buddy is running a contest on her blog. A.M. Supinger who has guest posted before, has a fun challenge for you on her blog: write a 1k or less story that takes place entirely underwater. Characters can't break the surface or come up for air. If you can do this, and do it well, you might just win yourself a nice ol' stack of books. Check it out!

I've got another fun idiom for you today. Ever tell someone who is getting overly excited or irritated to keep their shirt on? If you're like me, you then instantly wondered why the hell you just said that, because obviously they're not going to start spontaneously disrobing.

Turns out, "Keep your shirt on," is an American saying used to tell someone to calm down, stemming from the fact that a long time ago people only had a few changes of clothes, if any at all. When a man was about to get into a fight, he would take off his shirt so that it wouldn't be ripped or stained. If someone was trying to stop a fight in the hopes that it could be still be settled with words, they told the would-be fighters to "keep their shirts on."

So my brawlers, remain decent. Remember, we're writers. Surely we've got something to say that can settle it before we strip down.

14 comments:

Matthew MacNish said...

Hah! I love this. What a great idea. Not exactly etymologies, but close.

Kathryn Elliott said...

I’ll pop over – definitely need to wrangle my inner bitch. And no one wants to see my shirt off; two kids left me hanging – literally.

A.M.Supinger said...

You rock! Thanks BBC!

Anita Grace Howard said...

Ha! Excellent WOLF today. :) And go you for giving props to two of my fave peeps in the blogasphere.

Matt Sinclair said...

I was unaware of the origin of that phrase.

Mindy McGinnis said...

Matt - yeah, I know. Once I got started I was like, well, word origins are fun... but idioms are like a party!

Kathryn - I think women mostly hit each other with gossip and rolling pins back then, giving rise to the phrase, "on pins and needles." (NOT TRUE! TOTAL BS!)

A.M. - No prob, lady.

A.G. - Their coolness radiated onto my blog :)

Matt - You should tell everyone you know. Spread the knowledge! Bore your friends!

E.R. King said...

Ha! Thanks for the description of "keep your shirt on." I don't say it often, but when I do I always feel ridiculous.

Bethany C. said...

I think Michelle grows things that could get me in trouble. That's all I'm saying...

Nice post ;)

greenwoman said...

Oh, I did not know this! How awesome!

AND, thanks for the shout-out. You rock, belly button girl.

greenwoman said...

AND Bethany C, everything I grow is perfectly legal. Humph.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

love this! especially when you start thinking about when people "lose their shirts."
so much fixation on shirts!

Masako Moonshade said...

That's a really neat factoid. It reminds me of a threat I've heard among African American women in this town: "Don't make me take my earrings off!" Because when those go down, you know there's gonna be trouble.

verboseveracity said...

I dunnooo, I think for some of us ladies, stripping would stop the fight too :)

Mindy McGinnis said...

E.R. - I don't say it terribly often, but what prompted the post was saying it and then thinking, "Huh..." Just an inner glimpse of how my brain works.

Bethany - The il/legality of MSim's garden is not something I can speak of with authority. Don't misread that and think I said I can't speak of it with authorities.

Green/Msim - I'll shout out about you anytime, lady! And don't touch my belly button!

Terry - Absolutely. When I first started in with the idioms I was going to do mostly cat related idioms, but so many of the cat ones have no reliable explanation for their source. So I branched out.

Masako - I LOVE IT! Don't make me take my earrings off! The best threat I ever overheard was, "I'll roll you down a hill!"

Verbose - Oh, well. Uh. Yeah. Probably like a dead silence kind of thing would occur.