Words, phrases & rhetorical questions

Not quite derelict
Not quite derelict

I believe I was west of Linden when I took this picture. I know that I had to zoom at maximum to get this shot. I tried taking it from a slightly different angle, but I kept getting the barbed wire fence too high in the frame. This one worked out pretty well.


A term that I like, though I’m not quite sure I understand the concept completely: Jingle bobs. Not to be confused with the word jinglebob, which is a steer’s ear that has been slashed to mark the steer. I understand that. No, jingle bobs are added to a cowboy’s spur, or spurs as an adornment and to make a jingling sound. And here I thought that spurs (alone) jingle jangle jingled as the cowboy went merrily along. Onomatopoeia anyone? It’s too bad that the term is so specific to a culture for so few people. But, if it were an everyday term, I would probably get tired of hearing it. As it is, I only hear it in cowboy songs.


 My dad used the expression “Ye gods and little fish cakes.” I have never heard anyone else use the expression, and I wasn’t quite sure I understood the “little fish cakes” section. Google wasn’t overly helpful. They only had one citation for it in a copy of Trucking Business, Volume 25 from July of 1920. It was used in an article titled Do Horses Laugh? Listen! I did note that there were citations for the simpler “Ye gods and little fishes.” That seems to have originated in the United States in the 1800’s, but I could find no explanation for the entire term. As a fallback, I checked real books in my library (Heavens To Betsy & Other Curious Saying by Charles Earle Funk, and Listening To America by Stuart Berg Flexner) but found no mention of the term. So, I still don’t know where my dad got the expression. But I like it. Perhaps I’ll start using it.


Finally, Curmudgeonly Norm wants to know when “exact same” became part of Standard American English. Is it really so difficult to add two syllables and say “exactly the same?”

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