I Poured Myself A Drink

The idea is that I keep typing until the glass is empty and then stop. It’s one way to galvanise myself when more than a week has passed since my previous post and I can’t think of what to write.

Not that there’s nothing to write about. If anything, there’s too much. I mean, where do you start? And anyway, my pesky inner critic continues, what good will it do when the world is already awash with unread words and you can barely bring yourself to read any of them – much less actually add any of your own to the swirling soup?

Ah, what does he know? He doesn’t get out much.

Besides, I don’t have to write about anything. All I need to do is follow one word with another. A sprinkling of commas and full stops (periods over the Pond) and Bob’s your uncle!

“Bob’s your uncle” is a phrase commonly used in United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries that means “and there it is” or “and there you have it.” Typically, someone says it to conclude a set of simple instructions or when a result is reached. The meaning is similar to that of the French expression “et voilà!” or the American “easy as pie” or “piece of cake“.  (Wikipedia)

Hmm, this is easier than I thought it was going to be! With so many words online, there’s no danger of me running short. And now that I’ve mastered Cut & Paste, well, ain’t no stoppin’ us now …

Hey, better and better! This interweb thingy’s outasight! Ya don’t have to get bogged down in present-day doom-and-gloom when you can still party in more innocent days gone by!

Maybe I should take my tune from a social media acquaintance whose one contribution to the Brexit, er, Debate is to post cheery stuff from 1972 – the year before we joined The Common Market, as it was then called. Ah, happy daze … well, happy if you’re a victim of arrested development … gee, remember when songs off commercials went to Number One instead of the other way around?

Wow, just to think, three or four sips ago I was in the throes of a colossal communication breakdown and now I’m well and truly plugged into where it’s hot and happening! I’m even starting to discover a youth I never had. Is there no limit to my potential cultural reach? Running out of words? I should cocoa …

Question:  Perhaps you can help Americans with a phrase, I should cocoa, that at least one of us finds rather bewildering.

Answer:  Since few Americans know of or use rhyming slang, that isn’t surprising. It originally stood for “I should say so!”, a sarcastic exclamation to express disbelief, derision, scorn or indignant negation. You might also render it as ““You must be joking!” “Not on your life!” or “No way!” …

… It appeared in London in the 1930s but became more widely known in the 1950s through its use on the BBC radio programme The Billy Cotton Band Show. Many people were reminded of it as a result of the Supergrass hit with that title in 1996.

It’s an odd example of the type, since it’s a straight rhyme of cocoa with “say so” without the bipartite phrasing usual in terms like apples and pears (for stairs), daisy roots (boots), or plates of meat (feet) that leads to their being abbreviated as — for example — plates, as a further level of in-crowd obfuscation. Though it has been recorded in the longer forms coffee and cocoa and tea and cocoa, these look like afterthoughts, attempts to force an existing saying into the standard mould (if these were genuinely the original forms, one would expect to hear coffee and tea as short forms, but one never does).

My thanks to World Wide Words for that informative infusion of wise words. But let’s not be picky. Any kind of words gratefully received, as it happens, and with at least a  mouthful of beer in my glass who knows where I’m going next? Time and space are as nothing to a cybernaut like me who’s just remembered how to fly … eat your heart out, Orville!

Not, of course, to be confused with the early aviation pioneer and brother of Wilbur:

Wilbur and Orville Wright were American inventors and pioneers of aviation. In 1903 the Wright brothers achieved the first powered, sustained and controlled airplane flight; they surpassed their own milestone two years later when they built and flew the first fully practical airplane.

Well, that’s quite enough excitement for now!

Besides, I’ve swigged the rest of my beer …

 

16 thoughts on “I Poured Myself A Drink

    1. It certainly helps the flow – though with an ABV of 3.8%, I think it was having to finish before the last sip that drove me on. Though I have to confess to adding some style tweaks the morning after. So much for spontaneity!

      Agree totally about language! And I’m with this guy:

      “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  1. Nice breakdown of the psychology of language and writing. Actually some of us Amerikanskis do know the expression ‘Bob’s your uncle’, but I’ve never heard “I should cocoa’, reminds of some linguistic thing they do in Argentina of reconstructing words by syllable, such that ‘tango’ becomes
    ‘gotan’, the name of a well-known musical group. I think this is the longing of monolingual cultures for another language–something! anything! Got to be better than reciting the same old lines, time after time, or maybe I’m just imagining…

    1. Thanks, Hardie, good to be reminded that language is a creative force everywhere – makes me wonder if the urge towards new words is partly driven by the margins of class and identity, to escape the dominant monoculture and come up with something new. Now there’s a thirst …

  2. Well, that beer certainly did the trick. What a journey, most enjoyable.

    Orville was named for Orville Wright? Of course! Why did that never occur to me? Possibly because I switched off as soon as the irritating voice and lyrics came on… I should cocoa, indeed.

    I love the idea of someone blogging cheery stuff from 1972, though, and those songs… Feels just like we’ve shared that pint!

    1. Really glad you liked it, Cath! Sometimes good just to go with the flow without worrying about direction, purpose, making sense etc. I think the 1972 thing also represents a return to a world before ‘political correctness’ where you could still be rude about minorities and disadvantaged groups. And sentimental about infantile green ducks …

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