Posted by Sauerkraut on October 09, 2000
In Reply to: A slate loose posted by Derek Gribble on October 07, 2000
: I believe this is a Lancashire saying for describing
: someone who is a little simple. I can't see the relationship with 'a slate loose' and some poor unfortunate person. Can anyone enlighten me?
Thin sheets of slate were used in roofing. Thus if a slate was loose, the roof would be slightly defective. This is another example of the many phrases used to describe a person who is a bit simple. Others that come to mind are: a brick short of a load ... his elevator doesn't go to the top floor... a marble short of a bagful ... half a bubble off level ... and on and on. I've heard hundreds of these in daily use.