- ABYSSINIAN MEDAL
Military slang, introduced after the Abyssinian War, for a button in the abdomen area “gone astray from its buttonhole.” This is probably what happens to your vest-wearing uncle after a hearty Thanksgiving meal.
- AMEN CORNER
A California term for a church.
- BASKET OF ORANGES
This phrase, which referred to a pretty woman, originated in Australia before making its way to England. “A metaphor founded on another metaphor,” author Andrew Forrester writes, “the basket of oranges being a phrase for the discovery of nuggets of gold in gold fields.”
- BEER BOTTLE
Not something you drink out of, but a street term for “a stout, red-faced man.”
- CAN’T YOU FEEL THE SHRIMP?
Cockney, from 1877, meaning “smell the sea.”
“Blushing or turning red in the face rather from the meanness of another than your own.”
- CUT A FINGER
A lower-class phrase meaning “to cause a disagreeable odor.”
- DAMNED GOOD SWINE UP
A term from 1880, “suspected to be of American origin,” for a loud quarrel.
A street term meaning “smart, active, adroit. One of the alliterative phrases with absolutely no meaning.”
- FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE
A Lancashire term for “swearing followed by kicking.”
A street term for scolding, as delivered by a woman.
- NURSE THE HOE-HANDLE
A term from agricultural American meaning “lazy.” You’re not being a lump on your couch—you’re nursing the hoe-handle!
- RAKED FORE AND AFT
Desperately in love.
- SPONGE IT OUT
This term, used beginning in 1883, meant “forget it.”
- START A JOLLY
To lead applause. The next time you do the slow clap, tell everyone you’re starting a jolly.
Woah. That is bizarrely fitting.
ALL of this. Encourage people to try new words, to mess them up, to experiment with vocabulary, to learn complicated adjectives and verbs and nouns, because words are fun.
Also, don’t be a jerk.
Little Free Library by stereotank
“Sections in the bookstore
- Books You Haven’t Read
- Books You Needn’t Read
- Books Made for Purposes Other Than Reading
- Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong to the Category of Books Read Before Being Written
- Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered
- Books You Mean to Read But There Are Others You Must Read First
- Books Too Expensive Now and You’ll Wait ‘Til They’re Remaindered
- Books ditto When They Come Out in Paperback
- Books You Can Borrow from Somebody
- Books That Everybody’s Read So It’s As If You Had Read Them, Too
- Books You’ve Been Planning to Read for Ages
- Books You’ve Been Hunting for Years Without Success
- Books Dealing with Something You’re Working on at the Moment
- Books You Want to Own So They’ll Be Handy Just in Case
- Books You Could Put Aside Maybe to Read This Summer
- Books You Need to Go with Other Books on Your Shelves
- Books That Fill You with Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified
- Books Read Long Ago Which It’s Now Time to Re-read
- Books You’ve Always Pretended to Have Read and Now It’s Time to Sit Down and Really Read Them”
|—||Italo Calvino; If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler (via wordpainting)|