Monday, December 19, 2011

Birth of an Idiom

Years and years ago I was teaching a lesson about figures of speech.  The class and I were brainstorming idioms that we knew.  We had the usual it's raining like cats and dogs, break the ice with someone, and being on edge.  Then one of my young friends raised her hand and said, "Get your cow socks on."  Instead of looking at her like everyone in the class was (with that mix of she's crazy/I'm annoyed),  I asked, "What does that mean?"  She relayed that it meant to hurry up because you are dawdling and her dad used it all the time.  So I wrote it down.  Then I retold the story to my DH who thought it was funny enough to begin using.  So now, it is actually an idiom we use in our house.  That's not the point of this story though.

On Saturday night, my family had it's Birthday for Jesus celebration.  My parents, my sister's family and my family get together for pizza, birthday treats and presents every year.  After the Bible story and before the real gifts we play a game called Whackadoodle (someone made that name up, clearly).  You may know it as Chinese Christmas, except for in this game no one knows the contents of the gifts because they are grab bag gifts purchased from the Amish store just down the road.  The gifts are always ridiculous nicknacks or just plain weird.  Well this year, my mom cheated and put in three that she wrapped herself.  One of them was a set of pink flamingoes.  We played through the game and my family wasn't in possession of the blush-colored birds (though we are now the proud owners of a full set of punch cups minus the bowl).  All was well.  Our party proceeded fairly uneventfully (unless you count the cutthroat game of LeftCenterRight).  Around 9:45 or so, it was time to head home.  When we opened the back of the truck to load up the gifts, there they were.  THE FLAMINGOES!  So what did we do?  Plotted our revenge.  That's what.

The next day after church, we swung by my sister's house with a mission.  Flamingo the yard in broad daylight (it was much easier not to get caught because they weren't home, but we were still very sneaky).  We put the pair right in the middle of their front yard.  I ran back to the truck yelling, "GO GO GO!" As we were pulling away, the Cubscout shouted, "How's it feel to get flamingoed?" to no one in particular.  The Clover was all like, "Oh yeah, we just flamingoed them."  And that dear friends is how a new idiom is born.  Because now, when the teacher is asking for examples of idioms it will be my children who cause the question marks in the eyes of their peers after they raise their hands and say, "Get your cow socks on" AND "You just got flamingoed," as their examples.

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