Posted by Bob on July 05, 2005
In Reply to: Pea on a drum posted by Sue Hirst on July 05, 2005
: "Pea on a drum" - how did this originate?
This is interesting. It's not a familiar US phrase, as I Google it. Mostly UK. But what's interesting is that the usages fall into two camps: 1, dancing around, jumping around and 2, looking small perched on something large. (Many of the latter regarding small people on large horses, looking foolish.) What is generally understood when you hear it? Frantic, uncontrolled activity, or awkward proportions? The imagery of a pea on a drum skin, bouncing wildly, seems to support the former, but half the citations are about the latter (wearing a small hat if you're a large person, e.g.)
I have no clue to origin.