Help for Spain - a UK postscript & the aftershave connection

Posted by TheFallen on April 18, 2003

In Reply to: Help for spain posted by bella on April 17, 2003

: Hello! You will almost certainly receive some responses which are more detailed, but the essential meanings are:

: "Fancy Dan"---Dressed-up, formal, "showing off a bit" as opposed to casual blue jeans.

: "Shag-all"--Not much, bits and pieces, "we need to go grocery shopping, there isn't a lot here".

: "a mad splurge (spending spree, buying a lot) of "Go On You Devil Justification"--Devil is also a commonly used slang word, once used in admiration ("He's a devil with the ladies") with the "divil" spelling hinting that it is an Irishman speaking, and the sentence meaning talking yourself into something you know you shouldn't do, like buying the last chocolate eclair at a bakery!

: "Old Space"--I do not know, unless it refers to an old TV show, for example here in America we used to have a show, original episodes in the early '60's, called "The Twilight Zone", and the theme music (signature tune) is often hummed when weird things happen.

: "On-Again", et cetera-- a*** is that upon which you sit, "the south end of a north-bound mule", usage is "go away".

: "Hot on the Heels"--So close your heels are burning, as if someone has lit a match and put in in your shoe.

: Hope this helps!

Bella and Bob have nailed down most of these for you. Your problem arises from all of the expressions being UK or most likely Irish English slang. To clarify briefly on a few of the questions you raise:-

Shag all - to shag is British/Irish vulgar slang for to have sex with. It's very similar to "f***" but perhaps not quite as crude. Shag here is being used as a dismissive intensifier, so "shag all" means "absolutely nothing".

Old Space - now I'm making a guess here, but I'd bet you that this is a typo and that the real phrase is "OLD SPICE". Old Spice is a well-known aftershave/cologne, and is best-known in the UK and Ireland for a long-running TV commercial a few years ago, featuring a guy surfing, accompanied by the music "O Fortuna" from Carl Orff's Camina Burana. This somewhat threatening piece of music brings to mind satanic horror films like "The Exorcist" and "The Omen" and hence fits in with the "malevolent expression" that you quote. (There's another tie-in here with a British TV situation comedy called "Only Fools & Horses", but it's just too trivial to explain).

On-again-off-again-I'll-just-get-my-head-out-of-my-arse-if-you'll-give-me-a-second - this is quite a complex mix of expressions that I imagine has been strung together to give a feeling of being rushed, hurried or put under pressure. "On again, off again" means continually stopping and starting in a frustrating manner. "To get one's head out of one's arse" means to stop wasting time and to become productive or useful - arse is mildly vulgar slang for the buttocks, or "culo" would, I believe be the Spanish equivalent. Basically the entire expression means "if you'll just stop continually bothering me, I'll be able to get on and attend to the task in hand".