hybrid expression?

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Wed Jun 2 12:27:44 UTC 2004

From:    "Allen D. Maberry" <maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU>

: Yesterday, on the evening edition of NPR's Marketplace, there was a
: story about the economic hardships faced by some California towns due
: to the huge deployment of US troops. At one point the reporter made
: the statement "They've got paychecks they're itchin' to burn." I've
: never heard this expression before and I first thought that it might
: be a blend of the cliches "itchin' to spend" and "burning a hole in
: one's pocket". Or alternatively, that in this case ("burn" might mean
: "spend") like the expression "blow one's paycheck on s.t." (although
: I've never heard "burn one's paycheck").  Has anyone else encountered
: this expression?

I don't know if this is a hybrid of two phrases as much as a combination of
two idiomatic single *words*, actually: "itchin'" meaning "desiring" and
"burn" meaning "waste, spend profligately".

David Bowie                                         http://pmpkn.net/lx
    Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
    house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
    chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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