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Dead methaphors

  1. Mar 7, 2005 #1

    Mk

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    This thread is here to point out the great, yet underated dead metaphors in the English language... A ''dead metaphor'' is a metaphor that through overuse has lost figurative value.

    Like understand, mantel, running out of time, grasping an idea...

    I'll think'a some more...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2005 #2

    BobG

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    Good idea, Mk. Just be sure you give it the whole nine yards!

    On second thought, no one seems to care about this topic. People aren't exactly going balls to the wall in rushing to post here.

    Probably afraid someone will respond to their post by going postal (okay, most probably know what this means, but it will soon join those other sayings where you had to be there to understand how the saying came about).

    My favorite saying (regardless of dead or living metaphor):

    Don't try to teach your grandma to suck eggs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2005
  4. Mar 7, 2005 #3

    brewnog

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    Surely "running out of time" is as alive as it ever has been?

    Anyway, "Going postal"? What's that all about?
     
  5. Mar 7, 2005 #4
    It referes to when postal workers would go kinda nuts and carry around bombs wrapped as mail, then threaten people and stuff. So it means to act kinda crazy... least that's what i knew it to mean.
    how about... i didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday... thats really overkill at my house..
     
  6. Mar 7, 2005 #5

    brewnog

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    Wow, you have some pretty crazy postmen. They should just keep their shirts on.
     
  7. Mar 7, 2005 #6

    loseyourname

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    The US Postal Service is notorious for being an extremely stressful and demanding workplace. In the mid-90's, there were a series of incidents in which recently laid-off postal workers came back to work with guns and mass murder ensued. Ever since, "going postal" has been synonymous with the act of snapping under the weight of that last straw and flipping out (though not necessarily becoming murderous).
     
  8. Mar 7, 2005 #7

    BobG

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    See, its roots are already becoming obscure. It refers to violence in the workplace. There were a couple incidents where postal employees went over the edge and shot their boss and/or coworkers. The incidents happened pretty close together, hence coining a new term for going violently insane.

    (Interestingly, my workplaces's firewall won't let me search for 'postal employees' and 'workplace violence' in the same search. Great, I've probably triggered some alarm that will result in me being constantly monitored for signs of instability.)

    Another fairly recent metaphor that will wind up in this category:

    "Houston, we have a problem."

    Plus an old one that many on GD would appreciate:

    "One over the eight."

    And one more:

    "Put a sock in it." (Old gramaphones didn't have a volume control, so a sock was used to make the music quieter).

    Edit: I don't think the OP was referring to metaphors that are no longer used. I believe he meant metaphors that have become separated from their root - a metaphor where your meaning is clear even though the metaphor makes little or no sense if taken literally.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2005
  9. Mar 7, 2005 #8
    "Hey, hip cats."
    "Don't have a cow, man."
    "Those are some nice shades, cool daddio."
    "You're from coolsville."
    "Waddup homez?"
    ...:devil:
     
  10. Mar 7, 2005 #9

    Gza

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    "Hey, hip cats."
    "Don't have a cow, man."
    "Those are some nice shades, cool daddio."
    "You're from coolsville."
    "Waddup homez?"


    those aren't metaphors :)
     
  11. Mar 7, 2005 #10
    Meh.. I'm pretty tired.. but what about the second and third? (And perhaps the fourth?)
    Or calling someone a "chrome dome"?
     
  12. Mar 7, 2005 #11
    I still say "whaddup homez?"
     
  13. Mar 8, 2005 #12

    Mk

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    "Hey, hip cats."
    "Don't have a cow, man."
    "Those are some nice shades, cool daddio."
    "You're from coolsville."
    "Waddup homez?"

    The first, second and forth are.

    "Heavy metal" perhaps?
    "Walking on air"
    "Tajikistan" In Persian, taj means "crown" and ik means "head," "people wearing a crowns on their head."
    "Run (machine)" Run originally came from either the Sanskrit rin' ati meaning "causes to flow", or probably the Latin rivus, meaning stream... so runny nose is actually the right way to use it, whereas "the car is running" is not... is a metaphor responsible for this?

    ArrrrrrrrGgggggggggggggg!!

    Heh, I burst out laughing... again! It happens everytime...
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2005
  14. Mar 8, 2005 #13

    loseyourname

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    Coolsville is only metaphorical is you're referring to a state of being. If you're referring to an actual geographical location as "Coolsville," then it's just a hepcat adjective.
     
  15. Mar 8, 2005 #14
    You people should quit beating a dead horse. :smile:
     
  16. Mar 9, 2005 #15

    Mk

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    What's that?
     
  17. Mar 9, 2005 #16

    BobG

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    What else are we supposed to do?

    You can't lateral a horse.
    (I'm shocked this one never caught on. It's roots are two interesting stories about blunders a couple of radio sports anouncers made.)
     
  18. Mar 10, 2005 #17

    Mk

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    "Thread killers"
    "Thread"
    "Post"
    "String"
     
  19. Apr 10, 2005 #18
    Beat around the bush
     
  20. Apr 10, 2005 #19
    I'll buy that for a dollar
    All that and a box of rocks
    daddy needs a new pair of shoes
    soylent green is people! (perhaps not a metaphor but I like to yell it loudly at inopportune times, hospitals, movie theathres, coitus)
    the check is in the mail

    Actually I might say any of these things at any time. Its entertaining to thingk of the possibilities.
     
  21. Apr 10, 2005 #20
    As a "rule of thumb", you shouldn't beat a dead horse, just your wife.
     
  22. Apr 10, 2005 #21

    Danger

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    Given the weather around here, I've had to explain to most of my younger friends when I've complained of nearly being trampled by a flock of brass monkeys running for cover. :biggrin:

    And yeah, I still use 'balls to the wall' all the time. Strangely enough, nobody's asked about that one.

    There's one you never hear because I coined it (well, mixed metaphors): You can lead a horse to fire, but you can't make him smoke. :confused:
     
  23. Apr 11, 2005 #22

    Math Is Hard

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    Last week, my 20 yr old brother was expressing his anxiety about applying for jobs, and my Mom told him, "Don't worry, honey. Everybody goes through that - so you don't have to feel like the Lone Ranger."
    My brother instantly replied, "Who's the Lone Ranger?"
    :rofl:
    I've been teasing Mom about this quite a bit. Yesterday I was telling her "yeah, y'know, there's plenty of people in the same boat as I am, working full-time and going to school, so I don't feel like the Lone Ranger.. whoever the hell that is." :biggrin:
     
  24. Apr 11, 2005 #23
    Hi-Ho Silver Away!!!

    And goodnight once again,
    Huck
     
  25. Apr 11, 2005 #24

    Mk

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    Oh really? What did the original metaphor mean?
     
  26. Apr 11, 2005 #25

    Monique

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    I was just thinking about this thread today when someone said she "feeled like crap" :uhh:
     
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