Some interesting turns of phrase


Introduction

This post continues my habit of blogging interesting turns of phrase. I’ll provide attribution if I can, but many are “lost in the mists of time” (I should add this one into this post).

“As much use as a dead marine”

Attribution:
Google failed to fish an attribution for this on. I’ve an inkling that it comes from a US General during the invasion of Japan at the end of  WW2. But, I could be completely wrong in this.

Meaning:
Something which is useless. I usually use this phrase when describing inanimate object which are broken, and cannot perform the function which they exist for.

“Rule 303”

Attribution:
This one comes from Breaker Morant,, specifically his
Court martial of Breaker Morant. To paraphrase the Wikipedia entry, he took the prisoners out and shot them.  The 303 “referring to the .303 calibre Lee-Enfield rifles the Carbineers carried.” Wikipedia – Court martial of Breaker Morant.

Meaning:
Used to describe something thing which needs to be “terminated”. I usually this phrase to describe computer systems which should be replaced, and the current, “taken out behind the shed” (and shot). 

“A bus drivers holiday”

Attribution:
This one’s source “lost in the mists of time”. Google could not find an attribution for this one. There is an implied, end to the phrase which is “drove around the country” or “went on a coach tour”.

Meaning:
Doing what you do for your work on your holidays. I use it to describe me building software for fun on my days off.

“Lost in the mists of time”

Attribution:
Not sure on this one either. Google turned up on quote from Margaret Thatcher (but I doubt she coined the phrase).

Meaning:
Something that happened so long ago, that people have forgotten it happened.

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