[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.)


>     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