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Seasoned Spo-fans know I regularly pepper my prose with certain expressions. Novice Spo-fans find these puzzling. One of the innocents recently wrote to me asking me to explain them how I made them up.

First of all I should elucidate I do not make them up.* I am like the English language that borrows, adopts, and in a few instances hijacks sources far and wide in order to create a colorful lexicon.

Here is a exordium of some of my favorites ejaculations along with their origins. If I have forgotten some of them please let me know in the comment section so I may add to the roster.

Alas Babylon!  This interjection is the title of a work of science fiction from the 60s about nuclear war. A set of brothers use the expression (from the Old Testament) as code to alert each other of a pending bomb drop. I use it prior to dropping a disappointment.

An it please you. This one derives from Dickens. I forget what character who adds this to the beginning of her conversations. It means ‘That is how it is and I hope you are OK with it but frankly if you are not OK with it I don’t care as it is what it is so lump it’.

And yes I said yes I will Yes. This is the last line of “Ulysses”  It is a lovely expression to convey an agreement of much fervor.

An orchestra of scorched cats. Another one from my pal Dickens. “Can you deny when this juicy little scandal is made public the next meeting of the stockholders will resemble an orchestra of scorched cats?”  Charles wrote some good ones!

Avoid curried snacks. I recall reading this one in a travel guidebook. I didn’t understand it then nor now. It sounds like good advice though so I pass it on whenever people are traveling.

Can you imagine?   Was used by Mark at his blog. He used it lieu of ‘Can you believe this stuff?”  I borrowed it after he closed his blog; I think of him whenever I use it.

Dear me! More Dickens.  It’s sprinkled throughout his omnibus.

The dear!  The Best Friend adds this when he is talking about someone especially when he is about to deliver a major dish or tongue lashing on said dear.

Holy Gus!  Grandmother used this as a substitute for Holy G-d!

Hot puppies!  Taken from a Harvard Lampoon rendition of the Hobbit books “Bored of the Rings”. I remember howling out loud with laughter at this satire. Hot puppies! is the interjection/ejaculation of the Halflings whenever they realize food is pending. Thanks AM!!

Keep it sweet!  My brothers and I still use this  to tell each other to stop saying being naughty or uncouth or to can the gossip. It is short for ‘Now you keep it sweet, beet!” which is taken from an argument among singing vegetables on the “I think we are all bozos on this bus” album by the Firesign Theatre.

Like my men.  In the movie ‘Airplane!’  a boy tries to flirt with a young girl. He offers her coffee. He asks if she would like cream. She replies no she likes her coffee black – like her men.  It is near impossible for me now to list three adjectives without adding ‘like my men”.

No rubbish!  I confess I don’t remember where I got this one – and it’s one of my favorites!  – Something British that’s certain. I remember reading a letter in ‘The Screwtape Letters”:

“My dear Wormwood when I told you not to fill your letters with rubbish about the war I meant of course your rather infantile rhapsodies on the destruction of cities..”  

May that’s where I got it.

Obviously I am behind on my drinking.  This is another movie quote although I forget what movie. It takes place in Restoration England when women on stage were played by men. Some wicked old screw (more Dickens!) isn’t sure if the ‘ladies’ before him are truly women. They dick him about. He finally concludes in his confusion “Obviously I am behind in my drinking”.  I use it to convey I haven’t the foggiest what is happening or what I am reading.

Oh the pain!  This is NOT from Lost in Space as some imagine but from The Rubyann Boxcar Recipe books. In them her dotty grandmother has added terrible recipes.  It means how embarrassing something is.

Patience above!  More Ulysses.  This is Molly’s explanation when her menses suddenly start. I use it as substitute fir ‘Heavens!” or “Oh lord!” or “what the f-k!”

Please don’t feed them buns and things.  This is another piece of advice from the same travel book. I think this  refers to feeding the local animals but it may be a reference to the locals?

Sooner I’d eat Rats at Tewkesbury. If there was one Spo-expression to take to the desert island it is this one.  It is from “Shakespeare’s Dog”. William Shakespeare says it as he would rather do that than change a diaper.

Well darling you go on thinking that if it comforts you.  Noel Coward said this in a play to his lady friend who had the belief their mutual friend (obviously gay) had true bond with her.

Well over four feet. Groucho Marx was one of the most funny men of the twentieth century. Do not dare to question this (Judy Tenuta!). He added this to his tales. “Last week I ran into Greta Garbo in the elevator. She was well over four feet.”

Why, you’re no fun you fall right over!  Another expression from the Firesign Theatre. It is often said when someone is deemed a disappointment or a fuddy-duddy. Sometimes it is used when someone is actually falling over. 🙂



*The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections thought it a good idea I fess up right away lest there is a copyright lawsuit. I thought this a slim chance as Joyce and Dickens are quite dead but you can not be too careful.

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June 2019

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018