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Whatever gets you out of bed in the morning

I'm looking for phrases to use when you see someone who has a strong passion the appeal of which you just cannot understand--a passion that appears to be one of the things the person lives for, one of the things that gets them out of bed in the morning. (I'm looking for secular passions, not religious ones.) Funny is good but not required. [more inside]
posted by early one morning on Oct 11, 2014 - 52 answers

Don't Let Them Get to You - But better phrasing?

Trying to come up with inspirational sayings for boundary enforcement, something that can be embroidered or engraved. Some sort of physical embodiment of this saying will be created. The idea should be you can't save everyone, you need to not take on the pain of the world, everything is not on your shoulders, you can say no, et cetera. [more inside]
posted by RainyJay on Jul 10, 2014 - 26 answers

An Inspiring Mantra to Start My Morning?

Do you have a poem, quotation, or mantra you read each morning that puts things in perspective, and inspires you? I'm looking for one to help with motivation when waking up each morning. So far no luck. [more inside]
posted by ratherbethedevil on Mar 4, 2014 - 20 answers

What are your favorite quirky sayings?

I find certain sayings particular endearing and would love to add more into my repertoire. A few examples of saying I use are: Mary Beth is as sweet as pie (meaning, I think she's just a swell girl). That new baby is as cute as a button. Spending my weekends as the park makes me as happy as a pack of puppies. I've also been known to say someone "drinks like a fish" and/or "smokes like a chimney." Your favorite sayings don't need to be analogies, I just want to know what sayings you use regularly. I am an english speaker in the us of a, if that helps at all. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by Stan Grossman on Nov 19, 2013 - 144 answers

inversions of common sayings in specific subcultures/fields?

Cyclists say, "What goes down must come up," meaning if you have a nice long downhill going out, you'll have to climb the same height to get back home. Contra dancers say, "Better never than late," meaning if you don't have enough time to do a figure properly then just skip it and make sure you're ready for the next. What other subcultures or fields have domain-specific inversions of common sayings?
posted by d. z. wang on Oct 3, 2013 - 32 answers

Is this really an "ancient Chinese proverb"?

I very much like the sentiment of this quotation, which an acquaintance informs me is an ancient Chinese proverb. But I'd appreciate any thoughts on its actual provenance, especially because I have no idea whether this statement (or something like it) is an ancient Chinese proverb or not. "The faintest stroke of ink in a record-book is more illuminating than the most vividly-recalled memory." Thanks for any suggestions!
posted by Mr. Justice on Aug 29, 2013 - 11 answers

What does "a fish on a stick" mean?

Everyone's talking about "waving a fish on a stick" - but no-one can explain what it means or where it comes from. Can you? [more inside]
posted by girlgenius on Aug 25, 2013 - 12 answers

Looking for simple rules/sayings that your three-year-old knows

I'm compiling a list of simple, abstract rules that three-year olds are likely to know, along the lines of "green means go" or "a smile means they're happy". I need some more rules/patterns/abstract properties that kids this age in the US usually know about. [more inside]
posted by heyforfour on Jun 25, 2013 - 23 answers

Do people actually live in basements?

I'm sure you've all heard the phrase "living in your parent's basement." I was just wondering if it is common or if young adults/people actually live in basements or if it's just a saying. Where I'm from (southern california), I've never actually heard of anyone living in a basement, usually they will have a room in the house.
posted by nathanm on Jan 22, 2013 - 63 answers

Where does the phrase "Flippin' Henry" come from?

Where does the phrase "Flippin' Henry" come from (to express exasperation)? [more inside]
posted by chill on Oct 12, 2012 - 4 answers

Sucking on Words

Does anyone know if 'sucking on words' is an idiom or common phrase? If so, what is the meaning?
posted by Le pest on Jun 26, 2012 - 10 answers

Pie chops?

We were at the local watering hole this weekend and one of the servers brought us a comment card that a customer had filled out. In the comment area, the customer put "This place is pie chops!!!" No one could figure out what this could possibly mean. Any ideas? We tried googling the full phrase and just pie chops, but came up empty. The customer seemed happy so we assumed it was a compliment.
posted by jshort on Feb 27, 2012 - 11 answers

Lesser known amazing foreign phrases?

I'm looking for obscure but beautiful or amazing sayings or phrases or words in languages or dialects other than American English. [more inside]
posted by jitterbug perfume on Feb 7, 2012 - 32 answers

"Three little sentences will get you through life. Number 1: Cover for me. Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss! Number 3: It was like that when I got here." Homer Simpson

Does your profession or hobby have a pithy saying that encapsulates the work or its ethics? For example, "Make no little plans" (Daniel Burnham) resonates with city planners. Perhaps "First do no harm" (or Primum non nocere) might be an example related to physicians and other health care workers... or is it just outsiders who think so? What about "Serve and protect" for law enforcement? The quotes can be funny, ironic or sincere... it doesn't matter so long as they are short (think something that could be engraved on a charm) and people in the profession recognize the phrase as somehow emblematic of their work. Thanks in advance!
posted by carmicha on Dec 29, 2011 - 136 answers

What if...I'm lacking inspiration?

Need some good "what if...?" sayings! [more inside]
posted by sprezzy on Dec 2, 2011 - 30 answers

Find a published citation source for Chesterton's famous "I am" what's wrong with the world.

Q: What's wrong with the world? A: I am. - G. K. Chesterton... really? Verified citation please? [more inside]
posted by KMH on Aug 17, 2011 - 16 answers

95% of success is...your guess is as good as mine

Is there a saying that goes something like "95% of success is confidence"? [more inside]
posted by oceanview on Jun 26, 2011 - 15 answers

Take my cow... please!

Can you help me pin down an old saying from Westerns (or at least from the American Old West) along the lines of "the second cow is free"? [more inside]
posted by argonauta on May 4, 2011 - 4 answers

I'm good

Where does the colloquial English phrase "I'm good" come from, and has it suddenly exploded in popularity? [more inside]
posted by bad grammar on Sep 28, 2010 - 32 answers

Fill in the blank!

"If [blank] were [blank(s)] then [blank] would be [blank]." Have you heard this before? Like, is this a particular saying with specific words in the [blank]'s? Or are there different permuations? I've had this general pattern in my head all day and I can't for the life of me remember how I've heard it go. Please fill in the [blank] and help me get it out of my head.
posted by hegemone on Sep 20, 2010 - 53 answers

How to write LOVE on my arms?

What inspirational quotes/mantras will fit on my forearm? [more inside]
posted by karminai on Sep 19, 2010 - 29 answers

I'm H"app"y for you?

So my boyfriend posted his first app to the Android Marketplace. I want to get him a cookie cake thing to celebrate it. But I need a witty and Androidy related phrase to have written on it. I'm not witty. The best(i use that word in the lightest sense) I've come up with is "Condroidulations!" That is stupid. Please help! Portmantos(obviously) welcome!
posted by Epsilon-minus semi moron on Sep 8, 2010 - 32 answers

Heard a "saying." Is it real?

Does this "African saying" actually exist? [more inside]
posted by Buffaload on Aug 9, 2010 - 3 answers

Grandma doesn't know what she's saying.

Polish(?) Language Filter: My grandma often says something that her mom used to say that sounds like this: "Yat-skoo, Yat-skoo, Spee-yet-o-gah-me!" Help us figure out the language and meaning of this phrase so we know what she's actually calling us! [more inside]
posted by thorny on Jun 14, 2010 - 6 answers

Don't drink the Kool Aid!

The phrases "Don't Drink the Kool Aid" or "Drinking the Kool Aid" are references to the 1978 cult mass-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Though the origin of the saying is awful and unfortunate, sometimes the current phrase as it is used now just fits the situation. What are some other widely used phrases in American culture that have their origin in an unfortunate historical event?
posted by angiewriter on Jun 12, 2010 - 102 answers

What are some good self-reminders to be generous and compassionate?

What are some short quotes or sayings that can be used to remind yourself to treat others with compassion and generosity? I'm looking for quick reminders (maybe one-liners) to be used on the fly during the day. Thank you!
posted by jenmakes on May 29, 2010 - 53 answers

Help me resolve the stupidest idiom-related argument

Is the saying "fifth wheel" or "third wheel"? [more inside]
posted by Bleusman on Jan 16, 2010 - 44 answers

Polish Translation for "I have nothing"?

Polish translation for "I have nothing"? [more inside]
posted by rickim on Oct 6, 2009 - 1 answer

I Haven't Had So Much Fun Since the Pigs Ate My Brother

"I Haven't Had So Much Fun Since the Pigs Ate My Brother." Aside from this post, what year and where was the first time you heard this phrase? [more inside]
posted by eccnineten on Aug 23, 2009 - 11 answers

pulsus a mortuus equus

I'm looking for a Latin translation of an American colloquialism (knowing that such translations are at best approximations/don't work because the idiom never existed in Latin.) [more inside]
posted by usonian on Aug 12, 2009 - 5 answers

I'm wearing dog tags, but I'm not some dog on the internet...

What quotations / sayings have you found to be helpful to you in getting through daily life? [more inside]
posted by titantoppler on Jun 18, 2009 - 88 answers

Too much time make lady go crazy.

"Time on his hands and himself on his mind". This is a real saying, right? [more inside]
posted by Emilyisnow on Mar 15, 2009 - 7 answers

How would an Indian say "Oh my gosh"?

What would a good Indian expression of suprise be? Specifically a pleasant suprise, such as the realisation that one is going to make a large amount of money, possibly from someone who is none too reputable. The Hindi (or other language) version and a literal translation would be most useful.
posted by Artw on Dec 27, 2008 - 6 answers

Help me remember this phrase, if it exists!

Is this phrase or saying real? Something along the lines of "The play never changes, only the players". [more inside]
posted by rivenwanderer on Dec 19, 2008 - 14 answers

parents say the darndest things

Help me compile a list of vintage hokey parental catchphrases. [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd on Oct 14, 2008 - 158 answers

The Mad Menagerie Manager

"The Mad Menagerie Manager imagined that he managed an Imaginary Menagerie"--who wrote this? [more inside]
posted by emhutchinson on Sep 21, 2008 - 2 answers

Who said it first?

Where did the saying "It's 5 'o Clock Somewhere" originate? [more inside]
posted by applemeat on Jul 30, 2008 - 13 answers

when you say jump, i say stfu?

I'm looking for sayings/proverbs/idioms etc. that convey or state, of one refusing to be told what to do (or think, or say). "When I say jump, you'll ask: 'how high?'" -- the *opposite* of something like this. [more inside]
posted by raztaj on Jul 22, 2008 - 35 answers

As slow as ... what?

What are some good - or bad - similes for slowness? (Like "As slow as molasses in January" but not so archaic.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Jul 16, 2008 - 40 answers

The gig/jig is up

MajorDomesticDebateFilter : What is up? She says jig. I say gig. Google is undecided. [more inside]
posted by vizsla on Apr 25, 2008 - 37 answers

Satisfaction brought it back

What are retorts for some common sayings? For example, when people say: "The early bird gets the worm", you could retort "The second mouse gets the cheese". Which other ones are out there?
posted by markovich on Mar 14, 2008 - 80 answers

That Atlanta airport saying

Isn't there some saying about "before you die/live life, you'll connect through Atlanta", referring to ATL being a huge hub airport? How does it go exactly? Google-fu failing and all that.
posted by tinkertown on Feb 6, 2008 - 9 answers

2 Good 2 Be 4 Gotten

I'm compiling a list of popular bon mots of the kind that are usually written in yearbooks, memory books, autograph books, etc. Things that are typically written by adolescents and teenagers to their friends and classmates. [more inside]
posted by amyms on Dec 13, 2007 - 50 answers

Hey, it's a free country

Do other non-U.S. countries/cultures use the phrase "It's a free country?" [more inside]
posted by ALongDecember on Oct 26, 2007 - 31 answers

Things About Fruit

I'm looking for phrases, sayings, anything that incorporates a fruit. For example: "Apple of my eye" or "Cherry on top." Thanks!
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Oct 23, 2007 - 45 answers

Origina of "Local Boy Makes Good"

What is the origin of the phrase "Local Boy Makes Good"? I Googled it and see that it was a Mervyn LeRoy movie from 1931, so it's at least that old.
posted by abbyladybug on Sep 11, 2007 - 4 answers

Who coined this phrase?

What is the origin of "Nothing about us without us"? [more inside]
posted by beelover on May 15, 2007 - 3 answers

I hope that you all succeed at solving my problem

What's a good alternate well-wishing statement to "good luck" that doesn't have anything to do with luck, fate, deism of any kind, or assorted other superstitions that still conveys good wishes? [more inside]
posted by ChrisR on Apr 17, 2007 - 76 answers

Whence the beatings?

What is the origin of the phrase "the beatings will continue until morale improves". Google has failed me on this, only the hive mind will save me.
posted by bumpkin on Mar 30, 2007 - 12 answers

What is the origin of the phrase, "Carving nature by its joints"?

Does anyone know the origin of the term, 'carving nature at its joints' when used to describe the process of dividing up a territory into its constituent parts? I believe it goes back to Ancient Greece, but I don't know much more than that...
posted by barbelith on Mar 6, 2007 - 5 answers

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