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Daylight, dead-enders?

Posted by ESC on August 25, 2003

In Reply to: Today's Phrases. posted by kathaab on August 24, 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"

: 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
- point-blank adverb

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