Thursday, June 01, 2006

The things you find out

As I drove home from the vet's a little while ago with the cats singing a duet of post-shots protest in stereo (one in the back seat, one in the front), I heard something on the radio that made me blush for shame at my own ignorance. Apparently 'drop kick', when used as a noun, is rhyming slang for, well, you know.

I'd always thought it was a particular kind of figure of speech (and I'm sure there's a name for it in classical rhetoric, but I am too lazy to look it up), referring to what one would like to do to the person in question. Whenever I've called someone a drop kick in the past, I've had this very satisfying mental picture of dropping them onto my sturdy boot and punting them out into the traffic. Whenever I say it in future, all I'll have a mental picture of is, well, you know.

8 comments:

The Daddy said...

Hmmm, I don't figure it.

As in "Punt"?

Pavlov's Cat said...

No, no, nothing so complex. As in 'prick'.

(Or so I assume.)

Ampersand Duck said...

I think of your original mental image too, and I'll continue to do so, no matter what the etymology. Much more satisfying.

Mary Bennet said...

I sympathise Pavlov. I've been using the term indiscriminately since highschool and I winced when the ocassionally reliable Crikey insisted that it was short for "drop kick and punt".

I refuse to believe!

Pavlov's Cat said...

Oh dear. Perhaps the Daddy was right.

I remember being devastated once after I'd been going round for years saying 'You berk!' to people and was then told it was rhyming slang, short for the Berkshire Hunt. I would have liked to refuse to believe, but that one really has got the ring of truth.

elsewhere said...

I'm sure they said things like that in the Famous Five, as in: 'I say, you're a bit of a flop, Dick!' etc.

Perhaps I'm a bit lost here but I always thought it was a footy reference -- someone passed you the ball and you dropped it when really you should have kicked a goal.

cristy said...

I always had the kicking image in my head when using that expression and shall also stubbornly continue to. I had to read your comments in order to understand what the "well you know" was referring to.

Sometimes I lead a sheltered life.

JahTeh said...

I'm really going to show my age, I always thought it meant the same as a sandwich short of a picnic.