It’s Just an Expression…
It has come to my attention that some members of the younger generation might not understand what I’m talking about when I use what, to me, is a pretty common expression. Like “You kids need to get your ducks in a row before you try building a zip-line in the backyard.” When they respond by looking down at their feet for the actual waterfowl, you know there’s a failure to communicate! (Someone in their mid-20’s probably missed that “Cool Hand Luke” reference there, and that’s a shame. Look it up, kids.) Anyhoo, someone fed Gen Z’ers a bunch of old-school sayings to see if they knew what they meant or not. Over 40% said they sometimes hear older people use phrases that make no sense to them. Here are the top ten they’re least likely to know . . .
1. “Beating a dead horse.” It means wasting time, or continuing to debate something that’s already settled.
2. “Rule of thumb.” A general guideline for how to do something.
3. “Back to the salt mines.” To go back to work, especially if you’ve got a demanding boss.
4. “Take the bull by the horns.” To deal with a difficult situation head-on and take control.
5. “You don’t cut the mustard.” You’re not good enough, or aren’t meeting expectations.
6. “What’s your beef?” It means, “Why are you upset?” or “Why do you disagree?”
7. “Let sleeping dogs lie.” Don’t interfere in a situation if it’s not causing you any harm.
8. “Burn the midnight oil.” Staying up late to keep working or studying.
9. “Throw in the towel.” To give up or admit defeat. It’s an old boxing term.
10. “Bite the bullet.” To deal with something tough that you’ve been avoiding. (from patients biting down on something hard to deal with the pain of surgery before anesthesia was a thing.)
Maybe next time we’ll explore the many words and expressions Gen-Z uses that completely confound the older set. But now…nap-time approaches and I’m ready to throw in the towel on this workday!
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