When I make use of old sayings or adages (such as the title of my last post, DOLLARS TO DOUGH-NUTS), I sometimes hesitate to do so because I’ve observed that (unlike my generation) many people these days don’t know them….which, in turn, means that the reader probably “doesn’t get it” and my wordplay didn’t work. You might claim that’s because my generation was around when most of these old sayings originated, so naturally I’m familiar with them. Very funny.
DOLLARS TO DOUGHNUTS, for example, is a 19th century pseudo-betting phrase implying short odds (dollars are valuable but doughnuts aren’t), as in this sentence in a February 1876 Nevada newspaper: Whenever you hear any resident of a community attempting to decry the local paper…it’s dollars to doughnuts that such a person is either mad at the editor, or is owing the office for subscription or advertising.
Well, I’ve got news for you — I wasn’t around in 1876, but I still knew the phrase. How familiar are you with old sayings such as these (just to make it interesting, all but one of the following have a slightly altered word or two; if you can make the appropriate corrections, I’ll admit that you came up smelling like a tokus — I mean, like a rose):
1. A bird in the hand is worth two in the blue.
2. It ain’t over, still the fat lady sings.
3. It’s all over but the shooting.
4. The best laid plans of mice and men oft go oy vey.
5. A stitch in time saves a dime.
6. A picture is worth a thousand turds.
7. All good things come to those who can’t wait.
8. All is fair in love and divorce.
9. Behind every Dodge Stratus there’s a Silverado.
10. Better late than whatever.
11. He who hesitates is last.
12. Neither rhyme nor treason.
13. Blood is thicker than liquor.
14. Don’t change houses in the middle of the storm.
15. No rest for the wicked.
And now, if you’ll pardon me, it’s time for my nap.