Families all have their little linguistic quirks. My kinfolks have more than can possible be normal. As far back geographically as I can trace the brothel Madams and stage couch drivers on Dad’s side of the family is Coffee County, Kansas. The whole kit-and-caboodle of Fosters lit out for California right about the time of the War Between the States, there being more rustlers than patriots in that side of the family.
At any rate, Dad was the official king of odd phrases and peculiar analogies. Today, with the temperature predicted to reach well over one hundred degrees in the shade, the family saying that has popped into my mind is:
“Whew! It’s hotter’n a billy goat out there.”
Really? A billy goat? I mean, randy as a billy goat. Okay, I get that. But, how hot really could a goat of any gender be?
Another version of this billy goat theme and heat is:
“Whewie. It’s hotter’n ole billy hell out there.”
While you ponder on the origins of such linguistic wonders, let me just tell you that my mother’s all-time favorite instruction was:
“Well, now, Pamela, you’ve got to remember, it’s a doggie dog world.”
What hope, really, did I have of growing up to be anything but a wordsmith?