Posted by EAH on August 26, 2003
In Reply to: Re: Daylight, dead-enders (fixing typos) posted by Bob on August 25, 2003
: : : : hi..Today's list..Thank you very much.
: : : : 1.and by golly
: : : : 2.That would keep the Army's head count flat
: : : : 3.Army is stretched too thin
: : : : 4.There's no daylight between him and me on this issue
: : : : 5.have caught someone literally "off guard"
: : : : 6.run the risk of having people vote with their feet.
: : : : 7.dead wrong
: : : : 8.his negatives are creeping up
: : : : 9.has come home to roost
: : : : 10.have called on the president to face up to the need for more boots on the ground
: : : : 11.Saddam's "dead-enders".
: : : : 12.refuses point blank to say anything.
: : : Dictionary references are from Merriam-Webster online.
: : : 1. and by golly. Subsitute for mild oath: "by God."
: : : Main Entry: gol·ly
: : : Pronunciation: 'gä-lE
: : : Function: interjection
: : : Etymology: euphemism for God
: : : Date: 1775
: : : -- used as a mild oath or to express surprise
: : : 2.That would keep the Army's head count flat. Head count would refer to number of people. But I don't know if it means people in the Army or a body count of people killed. "Flat" would mean stay the same, no rise or fall.
: : : 3. Army is stretched too thin. There are too few people to do the work.
: : : 4. There's no daylight between him and me on this issue. I'm not sure. It could mean their opinions are similar. But it could also mean the opposite.
: : : 5. have caught someone literally "off guard." If it truly is "literal," then someone guarding something was caught by surprise.
: : : 6. run the risk of having people vote with their feet. People expressing an opinion by leaving or not participating. In other words, their actions are their "votes."
: : : 7. dead wrong. Absolutely, totally wrong.
: : : 8. his negatives are creeping up. I don't know. Never heard this one.
: : : 9. has come home to roost. Short for "chickens coming home to roost."
: : : CHICKENS HAVE COME HOME TO ROOST, THE -- Chickens scratch around in the barnyard, in the fields and woods during the day. But at night they come home to the hen-house to roost. This saying is comparing a person's evil or foolish deeds to chickens. If a person does wrong, the "payback" might not be immediate. But at some point, at the end of the day, those "chickens" will come home to roost. "One has to face the consequences of one's past actions. In English, the proverb goes back to Chaucer's 'Parson's Tale' (c 1390). It was also know to Terence (about 190-159 B.C.) First attested in the United States in the 'Life of Jefferson S. Batkins' . The proverb is found in varying forms: Curses, like chickens, come home to roost; Sooner or later chickens, come home to roost..." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).
: : : 10. have called on the president to face up to the need for more boots on the ground. Asked that the president admit and address the need for more soldiers.
: : : 11. Saddam's "dead-enders". I don't know.
: : : 12. refuses point blank to say anything. Bluntly refusing to say anything at all. See meaning No. 2:
: : : Main Entry: point-blank
: : : Pronunciation: 'point-'bla[ng]k
: : : Function: adjective
: : : Date: 1591
: : : 1 a : marked by no appreciable drop below initial horizontal line of flight b : so close to a target that a missile fired will travel in a straight line to the mark
: : : 2 : DIRECT, BLUNT
: : : - point-blank adverb
: : 4. No daylight. His position and mine are so similar, that there is no room to find a difference between us. Think of two people standing side by side so closely that no sunshine can be seen between them.
: : 8. His negatives are creeping up. In opinion polls, citizens are asked how they feel about people and issues (something politicians pay VERY close attention to.) There are positive numbers (approval ratings) and negative numbers (disapprovals). When "his negatives are creeping up" he is seen unfavorably by a gradually increasing percentage of people.
: : 11. "Dead-enders" a pet phrase of American Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who dismisses the resistance to American occupation in Iraq as the work of a few Sadaam loyalists who would follow him to the dead end. He hopes to convey by this phrase that they are few in number, doomed in a lost cause, and of no great importance. Of course, this is the same arrogant blowhard who believed Iraqis would greet U.S. invaders with flowers and song. Often wrong, but never in doubt.
2. "head count (also written as one word headcount) flat". On USA fiscal charts, growth is shown as a diagonal from lower left to upper right. Decline as a diagonal from upper left to lower right. If there is no change, or the growths and declines balance each other, the line is straight or "flat".
A flat headcount for a business describes the situation where the number of employees remains constant. The number of newly hired individuals is the same as the number of those leaving the company by retirement, layoffs and personal reasons.
3. "stretched too thin"...if army units are spread too far from each other, they cannot support each other from enemy attack.
9. "come home to roost"
A legendary Russian queen was "royally ticked off" - apologies, I couldn't resist using that phrase meaning "annoyed/angried" - when she learned that her husband had been killed. The queen tracked the murderers back to their hometown. Instead of demanding their heads, she requested one hen from each family living there, a very modest compensation. The townspeople rejoiced and went to sleep drunk. That evening the queen's men tied smoldering sticks to the legs of the chickens and released them. The chickens returned to their roosts. The roosts caught fire. These fires spread and all the inhabitants died.