When you tell someone to “break a leg,” you’re not referring to the literal sense, unless you secretly get the utmost satisfaction over watching that person fail. Breaking a leg hurts a lot, which makes it all the more curious as to why this particular phrase became associated with wishing someone good luck.
If you’ve ever read a detective or spy novel, you‘re probably familiar with the term ‘red herring.’ A red herring is a clue or some piece of evidence that intentionally leads the investigator, or the reader, further away from the truth.
So, how exactly did this term come into existence?
For a lot of people these days, the job market is still a pretty gloomy affair. Temporary jobs, part-time work and freelancing have all been on the rise. Well, for those of you who make your bread and butter by freelancing, you can take heart. You’re in the company of proud, if somewhat immoral, warriors.
When you tell someone, “please pardon my French,” you are in fact apologizing for your offensive language. When French people speak French, they don’t say, “pardon my English” when they want to cuss someone out.
So what’s going on here? Do the French have better curse words than we do?
It all starts the same — you and your buddies are pounding down beers at your favorite bar, and before you know it, you’re running down the street in your girlfriend’s dress while your friends are passed out on the sidewalk. It may be fun to party real hard like this sometimes, but it’s actually illegal to replicate this scenario somewhere in the US… the dress part, anyway.
When something gets done ‘in the nick of time,’ it means the clock is about run out, and whatever needed doing almost didn’t get done at all. In the movie ‘The Hangover,’ the guys have a wild bachelor’s party weekend in Las Vegas, and only make it back to Los Angeles for the groom’s wedding ‘in the nick of time.’
But where exactly does this oft-used expression come from?
Nothing could be more American than sitting down with your friends, in a restaurant or during the big game, and enjoying a great big glass of Coca-Cola, right? Coca-Cola means Santa Claus, family outings and summertime fun… in other words, pure Americana.
So, what does Coca-Cola have to do with America’s war on drugs?
When you hit the streets and tell everyone you’re gonna “paint the town red,” what you really mean to say is that you and your compadres are planning a no holds barred evening (and maybe early morning) of heavy drinking, dancing and all around bacchanalian excess.
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