[Ads-l] chicken salad

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Mon Oct 3 17:06:25 EDT 2016


Me neither -- I originally assumed the reference was to Mrs. Beaton's, "First
catch your chicken."

(I'd also by default understand "chickenshit" as cowardly, or possibly some
trivial thing, and I'm not even American.)

R.

> 
>     On 03 October 2016 at 21:56 Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> 
>     On Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 12:06 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
>     wrote:
> 
>     > Is there anyone who can't complete the "metaphor"?
> 
> 
>     I can't. Well, I couldn't till after I had read the thread. Back in The
>     Lou, _chickenshit_ had some occasional use in the meaning, "cowardly." In
>     the military, the word was probably used at least once a second in the
>     abstract meaning, "any and all of those aspects of life in the military
>     that the speaker finds irksome." E.g., at the old Fort Devens, in
>     Massachusetts, enlisted feet were not allowed to touch the hardwood floor
>     of the Headquarters building. EM were obliged to stand on a special, long,
>     rubber mat, _unless_ they were waxing and buffing the floor.
> 
>     Since _all_ floors everywhere on any post were waxed and buffed daily by
> us
>     - or should that be, "by we"? - EM, in those days, it was (all too) often
>     said that the Army's coat of arms should consist of crossed floor-buffing
>     machines on a field of chickenshit.
> 
>     --
>     -Wilson
>     -----
>     All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
>     come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>     -Mark Twain
> 
>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>     The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> 

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


More information about the Ads-l mailing list