Category Archives: old sayings

BYOB and Couch: Three Sheets To The Wind!

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!  This here has got to be one of the funniest traffic stops I’ve ever seen!

Awwww man!  He’s just trying to make it up the road to his Maw-maw’s house.  And his beer is gittin’ warm!  Be reasonable!

It isn’t difficult to see that this man is already “three sheets to the wind”!

drunk squirrel

“Three sheets to the wind”;  THAT is an interesting phrase.   What does that even mean?  Well, I’ll tell ya!  Hold my beer and watch this:

The phrase “three sheets to the wind” is Sailor’s language.  Sheets are actually the ropes (or chains) fixed to the lower corner of the sails to hold them in place.  If three of these sheets are loose, the sails will flap causing the boat to wobble like a drunk sailor.  The earliest printing of this phrase, originally worded “three sheets IN the wind”, is found in Pierce Egan’s publication “Real Life In London” (1821): “Old Wax and Bristles is about three sheets in the wind.”  That is a great old sailor name!  If you want your own Old Sailor/Pirate name, you can generate one HERE.  Mine is Harriet “Thieving Magpie” Greep, The Raider of Otter Anchorage!  You can just call me Mags.

Remember folks, drink responsibly.  I will leave you with a lovely poem by the great J.R.R. Tolkien:

“Ho! Ho! Ho! To the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe
Rain may fall, and wind may blow
And many miles be still to go
But under a tall tree will I lie
And let the clouds go sailing by.”


Suum Cuique: To Each His Own!


I regrettably came across a Buzzfeed video the other day featuring Americans trying a Swedish delight consisting of fermented fish in a can.  I had to pop a peppermint in my mouth to ease the queasiness I felt just writing that sentence.  There is no way in HELL that I could be a member of that panel of tasters, unless they were OK with catching some live “cookie tossing” action on camera for all to see.  My thoughts upon seeing this video:  “Blech!”  “Omg….breathe….don’t throw up.”  “Deep breath…close video… ‘To Each His Own’ and certainly not for me.”  I have heard that phrase used my whole life, “To each his own”.  In context, it has always seemed to mean “do what you want”.

The phrase has been around for a very, very long time.  The Latin phrase “Suum Cuique” meaning “To each his own” or “May all get their due” describes the early Greek principle of justice. Socrates defines justice in Plato’s Republic (380 B.C.) as  “… when everyone minds his own business, and refrains from meddling in others’ affairs”.  Socrates further explains, ” Everyone should do according to his abilities and capabilities, to serve the country and the society as a whole.  Also, everyone should receive “his own” (e.g., rights) and not be deprived of “his own” (e.g., property).”  Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC), a Roman author, orator, and politician made the phrase famous when he said, “Justice renders to everyone his due (Iustitia suum cuique distribuit).” 

So, it seems the phrase has much more to do with serving justice than people’s food preferences.  Although, if you make the decision to scarf down a can of fermented fish on a dare, the gastro geyser that is sure to follow will be your just due.

Fool Me Once, Shame On You….


So far today, I have received about 20 calls from a variety of numbers all with the same message.  When I answer the call, an automated voice tells me, “This is a call from Direct Express.  We’re sorry, but your debit Mastercard has been locked.  To reactivate, dial one and someone will be on the line to assist you.”  20 times I have gotten this call.  20 times I have hung up.  They are persistent.  I know these calls are part of an elaborate phishing scam and I know that people fall for it.  If people did not fall for it, I wouldn’t be getting the calls all morning.  What happens when a person presses “one”?  Someone will come on the line and ask you to verify your personal information including your credit card number, expiration date, and security code.   Yeah….seems totally legit.

seems legit

It’s a shame, but as long as there are people who can be duped out of their money, there will be those willing to take advantage of them.

This reminds me of the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.”  According to George Horne, in an 1786 essay; this saying comes from an old Italian Proverb which says, “When a man deceives me once, it is his fault; when twice, it is mine.”  Most of us have been tricked at one point in our lives.  Hopefully we learn from our mistakes and are not tricked a second time.  This brings to mind a couple of other sayings with similar meaning: “Beware the person with nothing to lose” and “Once bitten, twice shy.”

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks of Great White when they hear that last saying, so here you are:

You’re welcome.

Tastes Like Chicken and Other Chicken-y Things

bionic chicken

I was reading some Weird News today and found the story of a chicken who was going to be receiving a prosthetic leg made from a 3 D printer.  The operation will cost around $2,500.  That must be a really special chicken.  Possibly it lays golden eggs?  Another story advertised next to the bionic-legged chicken was all about the new Pumpkin-Spiced Peeps that will be coming to a store near you very soon, so you can add fluffy baby marshmallow chicks to your Pumpkin Spiced Everything list.


I started thinking about how lucky the chicken is that, out of all the world’s chickens, it ended up being someone’s beloved pet instead of someone else’s beloved dinner.  I then thought about how delicious those peeps will be and how they will not “taste like chicken”.  And then, as my thoughts tend to do, I began to wonder why so many things taste like chicken.  What does fried alligator taste like?  Tastes like chicken.  What does rattle snake taste like?  Tastes like chicken.  Turkeys are just very large juicy, delicious chickens.  Not really….but…..they taste like chicken.  Here is a very professional graph that shows what all tastes like chicken:


So how long have people been using the phrase “Tastes like chicken”?  According to Howie Reith, who is not a historian but likes to answer questions on

“The earliest known documentation of the phrase ‘Tastes like chicken’ is in The Log of Christopher Columbus, describing the first time he and his group tried eating a serpent.
‘The people eat them and the meat is white and tastes like chicken.'”

Since we know that in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue…. the phrase has been around for a while. looks like a good website for people with questions.  One such question related to chicken-ness asked was, “How close are we to discovering Colonel Sanders 11 secret herbs and spices?”  Well curious person… the answer to that is: “They could tell you, but then they’d have to kill you.”  Some things are better left a secret.

A Dime a Dozen or Ten Really Important Phone Calls

"Dime Reverse 13" by United States Mint - Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

I was running a little late for work this morning, but still stopped to grab a cup of coffee on the way in.  I don’t function well without my morning coffee.  I noticed when the lady gave me my change that she shorted me a dime.  Being in a hurry, I didn’t bother bringing the mistake to her attention.  Meh.  It’s just a dime.  Right?

I started thinking about that dime and dimes in general.  I found dimes to be much more valuable back in the early 90’s before everybody had cell phones.  I called them “phone calls”.  The pay phone off Navy Rd. in Millington, TN cost a dime to make a call.  I was 17 and madly in love with a Marine stationed on the base up the road.  My parents were not crazy about my love interest and I worried my siblings might listen in on my phone conversations at home in order to gain information to use as leverage against me.  This could be easily accomplished by slowly picking up the handset of another house phone, sliding your finger over the receiver button, putting the handset to your ear, and then easing your finger off of the button.  Voila!  As long as you didn’t giggle or breathe too loudly, you could listen in on someone’s conversation without their knowledge.  I found dimes to be very valuable because of this.

For the most part, especially these days, dimes are not worth a whole lot.  That’s why we use phrases like “Those are a dime a dozen.”  What we mean is that they are easy to come by and we do not find much value in them.  I’m not sure when this phrase began to be used, but I do know it was after 1796.  1796 is the year the first dimes were minted.  A decimal based coinage system was proposed in 1783 by Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, David Rittenhouse, and Benjamin Franklin.  The dime (originally spelled “disme”) was to be one of 6 coins proposed.  The value was to be “…in weight and value, one tenth part of a silver unit or dollar”.  The word “dime” is French and means “tithe” or “one-tenth part”.   Franklin D. Roosevelt’s profile has not always been on the dime, as Mr. Roosevelt was not our first immortal President.  Some designs over the centuries include: the Draped Bust, the Capped Bust, the Seated Liberty, the Barber, the Mercury, and finally the Roosevelt dime.  One of the most sought after dimes by collectors is the 1916 D issue. They are NOT a dime a dozen!  Only 264,000 were made.  If you are interested in purchasing one of these beauties, you can make a bid on Ebay. THIS one looks nice.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure – Benjamin Franklin

benjamin franklin

Sometimes my mouth works faster than my brain.  Ever have that problem?  I’m sure I am not the only one.

This is my third week at Ateb, Inc.  New job, new people.  I’m a fairly outgoing person and enjoy meeting my co-workers.  We are an eclectic bunch. You have sales professionals on one side, IT folks down the center, accounting professionals on another side, engineers and support toward the back.  Drastically different types of people in different roles all working together under one roof.  I am the administrative support for all departments.  It’s quite an undertaking.

Today I met a guy from the back of the office.  He must have checked out my Linkedin profile or something and introduced himself as someone who also worked for Alltel Communications long ago.  As we were talking, I noticed his shirt.  “United Federation of Planets”, I suddenly read out loud.  “Are you a member, because I’d like to join?”  He gave a nervous laugh and headed on back to his department.  Eh.  Maybe it was too soon to throw out a Star Trek joke.  I mean….you should really know someone better before you talk Trekkie.


Benjamin Franklin, way back in the 1700’s  once wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  This could have many applications, but in my case, I take it to mean “think before you speak”.  Benjamin Franklin was a pretty smart ol’ chap.  Boy was that an understatement.  Benjamin Franklin was a writer, a scientist, an inventor, a diplomat, and a statesman just to name a few.  Imagine what his Linkedin profile would look like?  Probably something like THIS.

Charles Dickens includes a similar quote in his 1850 novel “David Copperfield”.  Dickens wrote, “Least said, sooner mended.”  Wise men….words to live by.

For more words of wisdom by the wonderful Benjamin Franklin, I recommend reading “Poor Richard’s Almanac” and you can browse more quotes HERE.

YOLO – You Only Live Once


YOLO.  You Only Live Once.

Here we have another recently popular saying that has a not so recent history; although the Canadian rap artist, Drake, would like to think he invented this catchy phrase (good luck trying to trademark it).  He is, however, credited with the new popularity of the phrase which can be found on all kinds of merchandise.  For all of you “Walking Dead” fans, try this on for size.

“So, if Drake didn’t come up with these words of wisdom, who did?”  Hey!  I’m so glad you asked!

This phrase can be found in slightly varying forms throughout history.  In an epistolary novel, Clarissa, by Samuel Richardson around 1747 – 1749, Richardson writes, “…we live but once in this world; and when gone, are gone from it for ever.”

In the 1860’s novel ,Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky (yay for cliff notes!), Raskolnikov uses the phrase, “I only live once, I too want.”

There was a 1937 movie starring Henry Fonda titled You Only Live Once.

There are many more versions of this popular phrase in history.  Even Schlitz Brewing Co. used the slogan during their “Gusto” campaign in 1966, “You only go around once in life, so grab all the gusto you can!”

If you think about it and will consider all variations, the poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 BC – 8 BC) in his Odes Book I uses the phrase “Carpe Diem” which most of of have learned means “Seize the day”, but is more accurately translated to mean “Pluck the day”.  Carpe diem…. pluck the day….enjoy the now…you only live once.  See?

So, this simple phrase stating a simple truth has gotten a lot of use and I am sure, as we see the popularity of YOLO wane, another version with the same meaning will be ready to take it’s place.

Carpe Diem, y’all!