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Phrases People Use But Don't Make Much Sense  
User currently offlineFlexo From St. Helena, joined Mar 2007, 406 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 15328 times:

I thought I'd start a thread about phrases that make you laugh or roll your eyes because they obviously make little sense but are still widely used.

I'd start with a few:
- "Being the third wheel"
Why is the third wheel so much worse than the second? It is still pretty important! It should say "the fifth wheel"

- "The cat is going to the bathroom"
Of course the cat really isn't, it is merely going outside to take a dump in the dirt, makes me laugh to hear it

- "The store is open 24/24"
Ok, that is probably not that common but a friend of mine uses it all the time and I have even seen it written down in a store that is open 24/7

What else should be on the list?

75 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAero145 From Iceland, joined Jan 2005, 3071 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15302 times:

I haven’t heard of any of those - it this German?

Tschüü,
DAE


User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8471 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15302 times:
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The one that makes the least sense to me.... "bite me"


After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2878 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15295 times:



Quoting Aero145 (Reply 1):
I haven’t heard of any of those - it this German?

Yeah I haven't heard of any of those either.

How about "your mom" and "that's what she said" for everything you say, even though it has no connection at all?  rolleyes 


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7719 posts, RR: 21
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15287 times:

Many a mickle makes a muckle.


✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3708 posts, RR: 34
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15264 times:
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Americans when they say "I could care less" when what they mean is "I COULDN'T care less"

[Edited 2009-01-17 08:55:41]

User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1001 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15251 times:

"Below par" - shouldn't that be a good thing?  Wink

User currently offlineCptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15240 times:

Dfw...I was thinking similar..."She's feeling below par today", or, She's not feeling up to par today."

How did the exact oposite of meaning come to be so common? ...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineMham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3733 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15240 times:

"Can't have your cake and eat it too".

Why can't I?

Actually I heard an explanation of that but have it didn't make much more sense either.


User currently offlineFlexo From St. Helena, joined Mar 2007, 406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15237 times:



Quoting Aero145 (Reply 1):
I haven’t heard of any of those - it this German?

Nah, all from my American friends

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 5):
Americans when they say "I could care less" when what they mean is "I couldN'T care less"

Good one, I know a lot of people who say that!
I guess kind of like using "irregardless" instead of "regardless" although that is not really a phrase


User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3602 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15230 times:



Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 7):
How did the exact oposite of meaning come to be so common? ...jack

Par means "standard" or normal and was a term long before golf. Below par is good for golf because the less strokes than the standard, the better.

Below par on a test is bad because the more points, the better.


User currently offlineDon81603 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 1185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15231 times:

Irregardless. Huh? Actually means Without not looking?
Colder than hell. Isn't hell supposedly very warm?
I need that like I need a hole in the head. Say what?
Done like dinner. Okayyyyyyy
Off like a herd of turtles...
Shitting a brick. OUCH!
A blithering idiot... How exactly does one blither?
24/7/365. Is the 365 really neccesary?
Drunk as a skunk. Huh?
Man, is the rain ever coming down. Would look stupid going up...
Drinking like a fish. Do they actually drink?
Brass buttom popped up, never came down. My grandmother used this a lot. Brought our brains to a screeching halt.And there I was... GONE! Again, huh?
Free gift. As opposed to?
So and so has a body to die for. Why would you want that?
An ugly divorce. Never seen a pretty one...
And the one that drives me around the bend...  
Unthaw, which actually means to freeze.

[Edited 2009-01-17 08:57:03]

[Edited 2009-01-17 08:59:30]


Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
User currently offlineSeb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11816 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15225 times:

"Good to go" is like hearing fingernails on the blackboard. I also don't undrstand why we are shorthanding our language. Is it really that hard to say "24 hours a day" that we have to say "24/7?"


Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7444 posts, RR: 62
Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15212 times:
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One word:


Irregardless.



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineVirgin744 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 919 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15210 times:

I cant stand the American term for through to or until.

They just say through. I.e Good though Jan31


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7719 posts, RR: 21
Reply 15, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15210 times:



Quoting Seb146 (Reply 12):
Is it really that hard to say "24 hours a day" that we have to say "24/7?"

Different things. One means 24 hours a day, the other means 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
Irregardless. Huh? Actually means Without not looking?

No such word. An erroneous combination of regardless and irrespective.

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
Drunk as a skunk. Huh?

Obviously silly, but it rhymes.

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
An ugly divorce. Never seen a pretty one...

Some are more amicable than others.

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
A blithering idiot... How exactly does one blither?

No, I like that phrase - a blithering idiot is an idiot who is going on and on and not making any sense or saying anything of worth. Basically, the opposite of what I do.  duck 

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 5):
Americans when they say "I could care less" when what they mean is "I COULDN'T care less"

I wholeheartedly agree. It's nonsensical and defies logic. If you couldn't care less then you care so little about something already that it would not be possible to care any less even if you tried. If you could care less then it means that you could stand to care less than you currently do.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineCptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 15187 times:

DLPMMM: Thanks! Looked it up for my own interest. I've learned something today!

Regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5527 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 15183 times:



Quoting Flexo (Reply 9):
"irregardless"



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 13):
Irregardless.



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 15):
No such word.

 checkmark 

Haven't a clue how that word (which really isn't one) got started.



You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7719 posts, RR: 21
Reply 18, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 15177 times:



Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 17):
Haven't a clue how that word (which really isn't one) got started.

Like I said -

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 15):
An erroneous combination of regardless and irrespective.




✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineJessb From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 15177 times:

Here's a Welsh saying that makes no sense.

'I'll be there now in a minute' or ' I'll do it now in a minute

Jess B


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7719 posts, RR: 21
Reply 20, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 15165 times:



Quoting Jessb (Reply 19):
Here's a Welsh saying that makes no sense.

'I'll be there now in a minute' or ' I'll do it now in a minute

Jess B

That is funny. Reminds me of the South African "I'll do it just now" which could mean sometime in the next two minutes or possibly even sometime this year.

Also, in Russian, as many know 'da' (да) means 'yes' and 'nyet' (нет) means no, but you can sometimes answer a question with да нет. It in fact means a slightly more emphatic 'no' but it always amused me. The Russian word for 'probably' is 'наверное'. It is also possible to answer a question with 'да нет, наверное'. Go figure!



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineStokes From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 27 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 15160 times:

Heard this one yesterday:

"For all intensive purposes ..."

So what do you do, correct and come off like a snob nerd, or condone the thing?

Contra Mham001, "Can't have your cake and eat it too" is actually a useful phrase to those of us with small children: once you eat your cake, you don't have it anymore. Choices have consequences.


User currently offlineShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 15148 times:



Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
I need that like I need a hole in the head. Say what?

The way I've heard that was "I need that like I need another hole in the head.

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
Off like a herd of turtles...

I've never heard that, but it does make sense, that is if you are making a sarcastic observation.


User currently offlineQantasistheway From Australia, joined May 2008, 316 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 15148 times:

Two I absolutely hate.

Ginormous - Come on, it's either giant or enormous, chose one.

and

Guesstimate - How can this be both?

By the way, both of these are registered in spell check.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21525 posts, RR: 53
Reply 24, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 15144 times:



Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
Off like a herd of turtles...

Nice image!  rotfl   bigthumbsup 

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 11):
Drunk as a skunk. Huh?

A nicer sounding extension of "stinking drunk", which can be quite literally true, unfortunately...!  yuck 


25 YYZflyer : Anything that uses double negatives that mean the opposite of what the person is saying. i.e. 'I didn't do nothin' I've noticed a lot of Americans use
26 Post contains images Klaus : All examples of "additive logic" being applied. The brain likes to work that way, language rules be damned!
27 Yellowstone : If you think about it, it should really be 24/7/52.
28 Post contains images Aero145 : Of course they do! I wholeheartedly agree! Reminds oneself to always take double negatives as double negatives, and if somebody asks if ”you didn
29 Klaus : No, 24/7/365 actually makes some sense: - 24: all around the clock - 7: every day of a regular week - 365: even on special holidays, not just on regu
30 FutureSDPDcop : I was reading the Spirit Magazine on a Southwest flight last week about how we add a new word to our language every 98 mins and ginormous was one of
31 Luckyone : Or "not up to snuff." Armenians have a similar expression. Bear in mind for those of you who speak Armenian my spelling is completely improvised and
32 David L : It makes perfect sense in Scots, where it comes from. It's like saying "many a penny makes a pound" and means the same as the English expression "if
33 UltimateDelta : Blind as a Bat- Bats aren't blind!
34 HAWK21M : Probably referring to a Two wheeler regds MEL.
35 RussianJet : Yup, I know what it means, it's just that it sounds like nonsense. Anyway, aside from the fact that we know the general meaning of the phrase, can yo
36 RGElectra80 : There were some things that I thought were really bizarre when I first moved to Texas, and from what I know are pretty much exclusive to this state: "
37 Metroliner : I hate it when people don't understand 'near miss'. It means that it was near, but it missed. Not that they 'nearly missed' or collided. It can be bot
38 DocLightning : "I could care less." Wouldn't it make more sense to say "I COULDN'T care less?"
39 RussianJet : Indeed it would, as already stated.
40 US330 : I get that--means I don't need it, since I don't need a hole in the head That's the point--it's gonna hurt coming out... Did the person know that the
41 LTU932 : What about leap years? Does the 29th of February not count?
42 Post contains images Klaus : Hair splitting duly noted! February 29th should generally be covered by the "24/7" part already.
43 EWRCabincrew : Although, if you a really religious, like Hassidic, wouldn't it be 24/6?
44 Post contains images Klaus : You'd be beyond help and beyond reason anyway in that case.
45 Yellowstone : I still disagree with you. The pattern is clear: 24 hours per day 7 days per week 52 weeks per year Each number goes up one level. On the other hand:
46 Tesko : When someone finds what they were looking for and says "it was in the last place I looked!"
47 StasisLAX : I have a "nails on the chalkboard" response to the bizarre phrase: "Ya feeling me?" instead of "do you understand me"....
48 SpeedBirdA380 : "Its raining cats and dogs"
49 Andz : we also have "now-now" which is even more vague! In Afrikaans they say "ja-nee" which is "yes-no" Someone repeating what they thought they heard some
50 TSS : If you'd ever watched a skunk going about it's skunky business in the wild, you'd have probably noticed that they tend to follow a very meandering, a
51 Oly720man : My wife was a teacher in Ilford and one teenager saying this to another was a regular way to start a fight. The unspoken insult being what "your mom"
52 RussianJet : Ah yes, except it's your MUM!
53 Zkpilot : IMO it is like an educated guess, or a guess which is likely to be more accurate than just a random guess.
54 David L : Well, of course, if you're not familiar with that dialect. I don't know what "mickle" and "muckle" are precisely or if they ever had precise meanings
55 Swiftski : You sure it wasn't "all intents and purposes"
56 Post contains images Klaus : On the formal, logical level I see what you mean, but the human brain works in more complex ways. "24/7" is like a macro, a closed symbol that's bein
57 US330 : Don't laugh, but up until my teens, I thought there was some logic to the statement. Whenever I lost something, I would think, where is the last plac
58 Comorin : Yo eleets, be done dissing my peeps!! Youse all with the fancy-schmanzy ejoocashun, enough smirk-smirk. Anyhooz, bro, don't hate on us or y'all be rid
59 EA CO AS : One phrase that's always bugged me is when someone says, "Let's see if we can't do this." Wouldn't you rather see if you can instead?
60 David L : If you do one, you do the other since they're mutually exclusive.
61 AirPortugal310 : My buddy sent me an email entitled "Life in the 1500's" and this was mentioned: "Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood under
62 RussianJet : That was the point - it should have been, what it wasn't.
63 SpeedBirdA380 : It sure does Thankyou very much. Its quite amazing to find these phrases have surived for hundreds of years and are still being used today.
64 Don81603 : "Give 'em the whole nine yards" This saying made no sense to me until my grandfather explained it to me. It started during the war, when ammo belts we
65 Silver1SWA : This one is for our members in California...more specfically, northern California... "Hella" Before I moved to So Cal, I used to use that word in ever
66 Swiftski : Yes I've since realised that I misread that post.
67 EasternSon : "Head over Heels" - Is my head not always over my heels? -or- "Ass over Tea Kettle" - I understand what it means, but am curious of the origin.
68 Luckyone : That's very funny considering I first heard the expression from a song by No Doubt.
69 RussianJet : I first heard it in an episode of South Park where Cartman wouldn't stop annoying everyone by constantly using the expression, particularly "hella co
70 Luckyone : Your story is much cooler than mine!
71 787seattle : How about the rest of the country?! That's a word every American (I'm sure elsewhere) teenage girl uses at least once in their lives. I hear that a l
72 Silver1SWA : Well, it must have spread over the past few years. I don't hear it anymore, except when I go home to visit. When I was in Dallas for ramp training 5
73 Texan : When people, explaining their internal reactions, say, "And I thought to myself..." Well of course you thought to yourself. Who else would you think t
74 HSVXJ : I love the Family Guy episode "Lois Kills Stewie" where, when Stewie is president, he reveals his new laws including, "Anyone who uses the terms irreg
75 Post contains images Kalakaua :
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