Chester Drawers – Chester Drawers is not a person. It's not the name of the actor in the movie to the left. Chester Drawers is also not furniture, despite what you might say when describing a dresser. A chest of drawers is what Americans commonly refer to as a dresser. It holds clothing, it’s three words. (Submitted by my sis Anna)
Two of the best pieces of information about chester drawers and others can be found in these two articles by Allison Burkette: The Story of Chester Drawers and The Lion, The Witch, And The Armoire: Lexical Variation In Case Furniture Terms.
Cerebral Parsley – This conjures all kinds of images in my head but mostly I think of a person with a giant wig of parsley, and thus, cerebral parsley. The correct word is of course palsy and it’s possible that the person’s tongue, from whence this utterance came, was suffering from some palsy. (Submitted by the wife)
Let’s Go Raise the Flagpole – Spoken by the co-worker who gave us “train of events”; comes this wonderfully vigorous euphemism: let’s go raise the flagpole. Of course, the common phrase is “let’s send this up the flagpole”, referring of course to a flag. The original statement from the 50’s "let's run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it" means "to present an idea tentatively and see whether it receives a favorable reaction." I’d like to think that this person meant the idea was going to take so much work to get across to management that we not only needed to run it up the flagpole, but we needed to raise the flagpole first. Of course, that would be giving this person way too much credit. (Submitted by S.H.)
Smores & a Barn Fire – The beach is a fine place. One can swim there, play in the sand, or just relax. Often groups go there in the evening and build giant bon fires. They roast hot dogs and often make smores by melting chocolate and putting it betwixt some graham crackers. They do not, as a recent church member declared, go to the beach for smores and a barn fire. While still tasty, this event would not doubt be marked by emergency response, the 10 o’clock news, and some hefty fines. (Submitted by G.K.)
Maturity Leave – My wife saw this in an advertisement for a job. It said "position is a temporary assignment for a 6-month maturity leave". I’ve heard of paternity leave and maternity leave, but never maturity leave. Where was this when I graduated from college? Can you imagine your employer giving you six months off to mature? Paid?! I can think of a few cases where this would apply and plan to use this term sparingly at key moments in conversations with co-workers who are apt to complain about some annoying minutiae they’ve encountered. I imagine it would go something like this:
Co-Worker: “First the copier, now the water filter, I hate this office!”
Me: “You know, you should check the benefits section of the company intranet, I think they have something new called maturity leave, I think you’d really benefit from it.”
Soverinity – This was submitted as a comment to a previous post from my friend P.B., but I thought I’d point it out. The real word is sovereignty, pronounced sov-rin-tee. Don't go adding sylables willy nilly wherever you want or you might end up in a forthcoming blog post, Mispronunciations That Vix Us 3.0.
From the "Best" Minds of America’s Youth
My wife teaches online courses and just between us, most of these people are not the cream of the crop. The following are a few examples of their IQ and or writing acumen.
Essay Statement: "When describing these two animals, cats and dogs, they have a lot of similarities. They both were masticated from wild animals." (They of course meant domesticated, but extra credit for coming up with something imaginative, if not correct.)
Essay Statement: "Bare with me". (Unpossible, you’re writing is clearly unbareable.)
Essay Statement: “In fact, California is home to the highest peak in the continental United States, Mount Whitey.” (Which is opposite Mt. Blacky of course. They meant Mount Whitney.)
Essay Statement: "This statement is over exaggerated." (Clearly)
Essay Title: "People That Are In Love To Ones That Aren’t" (My head hurts trying to understand this; I’m taking a mulligan on my typical annotation. Ah heck, I'm all in. Clearly this person was referring to people who are in love with someone who doesn't feel the same way, about them. They are the aren't, and the writer is the people.
And haven't we all been the aren't at sometime in our life? Haven't we all been the people? If you're the aren't, it's an awkward position, and this person has no doubt had some awkwardness in their life, as evidenced by that essay title.)
And finally, seen by the wife in a Craigslist Advertisement: We are seeking “13” people for our new San Juan Wellness Center opening September 15th, 2010. (Which begs the question, so how many people do you really need?)