Turns of Phrase That Caught My Attention (Part 3)

Here are a few of the latest phrases or words I’ve encountered and found curious. This first one is probably not even true and is more likely the product of clever marketing. But, regardless, when I read it in a news feed, I laughed out loud.

Andrew Lloyd Webber was so ’emotionally damaged’ by the ‘Cats’ film, he had to get a therapy dog.”

Lately, we’ve been watching two different YouTube channels, published by guys in Scotland. They have some interesting, unfamiliar phrases and words, some of which are influenced by their Gaelic roots. I’ve included some in a previous post, but here is another interesting expression:

“I need to stop faffing about…

Faff is synonymous with fuss or dither and has existed since around the 1800s. It is more common in British English than in American English.”

I had never heard the word “clag” before. The YouTube hiker uses the term to describe the fog clinging to the ground in an atmospheric inversion. We descended back into the clag as we made our way down the mountainside.

clag (uncountable)

  • glue or paste made from starch.
  • Low cloud, fog or smogquotations ▼
  • (railway slang) Unburned carbon (smoke) from a steam or diesel locomotive, or multiple unit.
  • (motor racing slang) Bits of rubber which are shed from tires during a race and collect off the racing line, especially on the outside of corners (c.f marbles). He ran wide in the corner, hit the clag and spun off.

– from Wiktionary

And in learning about clag, I stumbled on this rich bit of verse about clegs (large stinging flies):

1870 J. Nicholson Idylls o’ Hame 10: 
Whaur the midges mazy dance, Clegs dart oot the fiery lance.
– from Dictionaries from the Scots Language

And the final expression is from my mother. She kept what she referred to as her “tin of buttons and whatnots”. In fact, here is a picture of it: