phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: El Stinko!!

Posted by Smokey Stover on June 22, 2004

In Reply to: El Stinko!! posted by Vidhya on June 21, 2004

: What do the foll mean:
: El Stinko, "she's no prize", deadenders, wire-brushed,
: dunned, "the more things change the more they
: remain the same", rained down, take the gravy
: train.

: Thanks everybody!!

Not seeing any context, my off-hand stabs at these are subject to improvement. "El stinko" is a humorous way to describe something which smells bad either literally or figuratively. This particular expression is patently fake Spanish. Another such jocular fake Spanish (or fake Latino) expression is "El Cheapo," describing a thing or a person most obviously characterized as cheap.
She's no prize. Not the girl you'd like to see turn up in your box of Crackerjack. Not the one you'd like to take home to Mother. Not usually a terribly cruel remark, since it is said most often out of earshot of the one who is thus characterized. Often said of a female who has made ill-considered remarks about other females.
Deadenders, people headed for a dead end, that is, an ending in the road before they have really gotten anywhere. Losers.
Wire-brushed, most often used literally to mean (having been) brushed with a wire-brush, that is a brush of which the bristles are short lengths of wire. One uses this brush usually to clean or burnish objects made of metal. Figurative, it would probably refer to the hair of someone sporting a brush-cut (hair sticking straight up). But context would help a lot.
Dunned, past or past participle of "to dun," to pester or importune, especially for money owed; to make demands. (See OED.)
The more things change, the more they remain the same. This is a direct translation of a French phrase. OED: "In full, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. [Fr., 'the more it changes, the more it stays the same'.] A semi-proverbial phrase, expressing the fundamental immutability of human nature, institutions, etc. Hence plus ça change-ness nonce." First cited from 1859.
Rained down. Fell down like rain. Could be objects, could even be insults or imprecations.
Take the gravy train. I can't phrase this very well, but to take or get on the gravy train means to choose to join those who are making a lot of money, presumably in questionable ways. Said especially of corrupt politicians. I welcome amendments to these mostly rough-and-ready definitions from my fellow phrase-heads. SS

See also - other French phrases in English.