Thursday, May 24, 2007

Riddle Me This (2)

1) Prior to Seth's doctoral comprehensive exams:

Mom: What did you guys do last night?

Me: Well, I stayed up and read while Seth studied. He was burnin' the midnight hour, let me tell ya.

Mom: Oh, really?....?

2) After Seth passed his doctoral comprehensive exams:

Seth: Man, I am SO glad those are over.

Me: Yeah, no kidding. But I'm really proud of you. I mean, you worked hard, really put the iron to the...oh wait,
this isn't gonna be right...iron to the mill?

I caught myself that time.


Brody Harper said...

I think only people from Texas talk that way.

SandinaJ said...

Isn't it "Burning the midnight oil"?

I'm not sure what you put the iron to...but I do know you can "keep your nose to the grindstone." Or maybe he was "keeping several irons in the fire."

I love that I'm not the only one that gets idioms mixed up. That's why they created Google!

euphrony said...

Have you thought about investing in an idiom reference book?

truevyne said...

Oh, no. Not another like me. My husband says I speak my own language which he has dubbed Pamease. I say make it up as you go!

FancyPants said...

Brody, you might be on to something there.

San, "Burning the midnight oil" is correct! I think I got it confused with that song, "I'm gonna wait till the midnight hour..." or however it goes. And I really have NO idea what I meant to say for #2. Grindstone sounds right....

Euph, that's no fun.

Truevyne, make it up as you go. I like it!

kddub said...

You are texan? I thought you were british for some reason, I guess because you say, "fancied", and "bloke"

I love how you mess up those phrases! I am sure I would too if I tried to say them.... I can't quote biblical refrences because I do the same thing, but fortunately my husband just somehow knows what I am talking about.

You could always justify your phrases and say, well it's true isn't it, he's burning the midnight hours away..... oil isn't relative to now-adays anyways...

Rob said...

Had a guy at work say. "It's time we put our leg down and made them stop..."

I smiled and thought of you. :-)

FancyPants said...


That's hilarious. I'm not very British at all. I don't even sound British when I try to sound British (which I attempt on occasion....?). If I were to ever play a British character in a show, I'd have my work cut out for me.

I was born in Oklahoma and raised mostly in Texas. The British inflections in my writing must be either of two things. 1) Me being silly 2) Me being a nerd.

Both possibilities highly plausible.

FancyPants said...


San, "keep your nose to the grindstone" is what I meant! That phrase means: to continue to work very hard, without stopping.

But I got it confused with "have your axe to the grind" which means: Have a dispute to take up with someone or, to have an ulterior motive/ to have private ends to serve......which is obviously the wrong phrase.

But somewhere in the crevices of my brain, I took "grind" in "grindstone" in the proper phrase, which I then associated with "axe" from the wrong phrase, which I then associated with "iron" from my made up phrase. "iron to the mill" is an association to the book, "Life in the Iron-Mills" by Rebecca Harding Davis that I read in college.

There you have it. San, you win the imaginary prize.

KD, if you can justify "iron to the mill" you get an imaginary prize, too.

Rob, someone should correct that guy at your work. I would have been cracking. up. Was it in an important meeting or anything? THAT would have been hilarious.

kddub said...

yeah the whole british thing, I realized must be because whenever I see a word that sounds british to me I say it with that accent in my brain. I'm the nerd...

I have a friend who is from Tulsa, OK! So it's more likely that you say things like, "holler" and "yall" right?

Iron to the mill.....hmmm....yeah... that doesn't make sense.... :)

FancyPants said...




"that there"

Although I have relatives whose vocabulary is flavorful in that respect.

"y'all".....yep, you bet.