Category Archives: Humor
Euphemisms… we use them daily, whether we realize it or not. They abound in English, multiplying like rabbits in every dark corner of life. In fact, they hardly ever multiply in the sunny spots, because we don’t require them there. The very definition of the word confirms that notion: “The use of a word or phrase to replace another with one that is considered less offensive, blunt or vulgar than the word or phrase which it replaces.”
Every generation creates new ones, because a parent’s euphemism becomes the general term which is then too close to the original meaning, and so the children get creative with words, and so on. There are a few euphemisms that have remained unchanged over centuries, such as passed away, which came into English from the French “passer” (to pass) in the 10th century; others shift gradually, such as the word “nice”: When it first entered English from the French in the 13th century, it meant foolish, ignorant, frivolous or senseless. It graduated to mean precise or careful [in Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”, Anne Elliot is speaking with her cousin about good society; Mr Elliot reponds, “Good company requires only birth, education, and manners, and with regard to education is not very nice.” Austen also reflects the next semantic change in meaning (which began to develop in the late 1760s): Within “Persuasion”, there are several instances of “nice” also meaning agreeable or delightful (as in the nice pavement of Bath).]. As with nice, the side-stepping manoeuvres of polite society’s language shift over time, giving us a wide variety of colourful options to choose from.
Recently, my husband and I were talking about the topic, and the specifics of the word stupid came up; so without further ado, here’s a round-up of ways of getting around describing someone as stupid, dumb, or, well, an ass:
- Thick as a post
- Doesn’t have both oars in the water
- Two sandwiches shy of a picnic
- A beer short of a six-pack
- A brick short of a load
- A pickle short of a barrel
- Has delusions of adequacy
- Has a leak in their think-tank
- Not the sharpest knife in the drawer
- Not the sharpest tack in the box
- Not the sharpest pencil in the box
- Not the sharpest tool in the shed
- His belt doesn’t go through all the loops
- His cheese has slipped off his cracker
- The light’s on but nobody’s home
- If you stand close enough to them, you’d hear the ocean
- Mind like a rubber bear trap
- Would be out of their depth in a mud puddle
- Their elevator is stuck between two floors
- They’re not tied to the pier
- One prop short of a plane
- Off his rocker
- Not the brightest light in the harbour
- Not the brightest bulb in the pack
- Has a few loose screws
- So dense, light bends around them
- Their elevator/lift doesn’t reach the top floor
- Dumber than a bag of rocks
- Dumber than a hammer
- Fell out of the family tree
- Doesn’t have all the dots on his dice
- As slow as molasses in winter
- As smart as bait
- Has an intellect only rivalled by garden tools
- A few clowns short of a circus
- Silly as a goose
- A few peas short of a casserole
- Isn’t playing with a full deck of cards
- Has lost his marbles / isn’t playing with all his marbles
- Has bats in his belfry
- A dim bulb
- He’s got cobwebs in his attic
- Couldn’t think his way out of a paper bag
- Fell out of the Stupid Tree and hit every branch on the way down
- If brains were dynamite, he couldn’t blow his nose
I’m sure there are dozens more! If you know of any that haven’t made this list, please put them in a comment below!
Even though the Coronavirus is no laughing matter, humans will find a way to laugh through difficulties. So I hope these brighten your week! Stay safe, stay self-isolated, and choose to see the positive side.
I hope you’re all staying in, and staying safe! Once in a while, however, you may find that you need to go out for groceries and supplies. Studies have shown that a person touches their face 16 times per hour on average; so if you go out for an hour’s worth of shopping, you’ve probably touched your face several times; in the best of times, this is no big deal and we don’t even think about it (ask Mark Rober, below); right now, however, it could be lethal.
A great video that illustrates how germs spread in a fun, vivid way is by Mark Rober (NASA engineer involved in designing hardware on the Mars Rover) – check it out here.
With facemasks in short supply, and hand sanitizer as rare as hen’s teeth, we need to find solutions we can make at home.
Hand sanitizer is simple enough: Mix rubbing alcohol (or something with at least 60-70% vol. alcohol content) and a bit of aloe vera gel with a few drops of essential oil for scent. Make sure to keep your hands moisturized, too – washing your hands more than usual, and using alcohol-based products when out and about, will dry your skin out – and cracked skin will give another opening for germs to get in. The best way, as I’m sure you’ve all heard, is to wash your hands for 20 seconds; please turn OFF the water while you’re lathering up – don’t waste water! And since you’re soapy anyway, lather down the faucet before rinsing off your hands… cleaning two birds with one bath, so to speak.
Face masks can be a bit trickier, especially if you don’t sew. So I’ve rounded up a few simple ideas for DIY facemasks; some are with sewing, and some without; some with cloth and some are simply paper towels and a minute of folding. Keep in mind that these will not stop bacteria from getting through; they will simply keep you from touching your face while out in public, which will be better protection than nothing. Always remove face masks by the ear straps, not by the “muzzle”.
Just click on the images below to watch the link’s tutorial:
This is a simple 2-layered cotton mask, of which I’ve made a few already, with elastic earloops and a metal wire across the nose bridge; the wire can be a pipe cleaner, a bread wrap wire, or a thin piece of florist’s wire (a paperclip would also work in a pinch, though it will be less pliant):
This is a straight-edged, no-pleat, simple sewn mask with one tie at the back of the head, nose bridge wire, as well as an inner pocket to insert disposable filters; I made one today – it’s fast and simple:
This next mask is a no-sew solution using things you likely already have in your home, using a piece of cloth (T-shirt scrap, bandana, scarf or piece of cotton material of any kind), 2 rubber bands (either the office variety or a hair elastic band); as an added layer of protection, you could use a coffee filter tucked into the layers, too:
This last mask is the simplest – a one-use, cheap alternative – you could even draw a smiley face on the outside! All you need is a paper towel or two, a paperclip, tape, a stapler, and 2 rubber bands:
Stay safe, everyone! Look for the creative, the beautiful, the cheerful and the interesting in each day!