the blendoid

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Jan 13 05:09:38 UTC 2005

On Jan 12, 2005, at 3:49 PM, Grant Barrett wrote:

> On Jan 12, 2005, at 18:01, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>> uttered by our own Grant Barrett, 1/7/05, at the first WOTY discussion
>> in Oakland:
>>   ... put your balls on the table
>> this is clearly based on "put one's cards on the table" 'be open,
>> candid', but with an element of bravery and/or audacity associated
>> with
>> "balls" as in "have the balls to".
> I would add in "balls on the line" as a contributor.

ah, well, that makes things more complicated.  if "put one's balls on
the line" were an idiom, then "put one's balls on the table" would be
be a straightforward syntactic blend.

*but*... the idiom is "put one's X on the line" 'risk one's X', with X
pretty much a free variable.  so "balls" really can't be seen as coming
from another formulaic expression.  still, we have to grant <heavy
groan>  that "put one's balls on the line", as an instantiation of "put
one's X on the line", might in fact have been in gb's mind at the
moment in question.


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