English – how is that again?

Firstly, apologies, I’ve been a bit remiss in not updating as much. Simply too much to do with this adoption and not enough time to do it all in.

Anyway, idle thoughts time!

I’ve noticed there are some weird phrases that we use day to day that just don’t seem to make much sense – either that or their origins are now dim and distant. While we know what is intended by these phrases, if you actually look at what you are saying they don’t really make much sense.

For instance ‘Fast Asleep”. How can you be Fast asleep? As opposed to what? Slow asleep? Accelerating asleep? Or my favorite, stopped asleep. I know it means sleeping soundly, but it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Then there’s the phrase “Hapless and Feckless” (more in use in the UK than in the colonies I think). So, what exactly is a Hap and a Feck, and how many are you supposed to have? Would you know it if you saw one? Can you have too many? Can you borrow one from a friend? Or is that just weird? Again, we know what is intended when the phrase is employed, but what on earth does it actually mean?

Molly Coddled. Who’s Molly and what’s she being coddled with? Doesn’t coddling mean you actually have to be coddled with something? Not much in the way of sense there.

Here’s a favorite – “Hand over Fist”. What an imagine that one conjours up. What does it mean exactly? I know the context, but so what? Where does it come from?

What exactly is the difference between Flammable and In-Flammable? They are used to describe the same thing, but in a literal sense they are completely opposite? That doesn’t seem right does it?

English is a strange language isn’t it?

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