phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

There is, of course ...

Posted by Bob on February 24, 2004

In Reply to: Thank you very much ESC posted by Miri Barak on February 23, 2004

: : : : : "She is like the *purple elephant".

: : : : : Does anyone knows why it is considered as a compliment?
: : : : : then he says she has a wonderful personality.

: : : : : Thanks a lot

: : : : Hard to say without more context, but there is a common remark about "the elephant in the room," something it is impossible to ignore. A purple elephant, in this context might mean someone so larger-than-life, so unusual, that one cannot possibly ignore it. Or her.

: : I paged through a few children's poems and rhymes books on the off chance that there was a purple elephant poem. No luck. Maybe I'll write one.

: thank you and if you do write let us know and read.

There is, of course the Purple Cow, product of the fertile brain of Gilette (sp?) Burgess:
I never saw a purple cow,
I hope I never see one.
But I can tell you anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.

The little rhyme became wildly popular, which caused Mr. Burgess to pen a follow-up ode:

Ah yes, I wrote the Purple Cow,
I'm sorry now I wrote it.
But I can tell you anyhow,
I'll kill you if you quote it.

Mr. Burgess was also the coiner of two words in the English language, including blurb, a wonderful word that needed to be invented, and bromide (short for bromidiom) somewhat less successful. Nevertheless, those two (out of a whole book full) took root.