Friday, August 03, 2012

Thick as hops

Rain again during the night. the turnip patch keeping coming up, thick as hops. I wonder why we say that ,we have never grown hops or been near where they do?
Fleta is on her way to Tennessee after posting some bad jokes about Betty dying while she was gone.
I found this about hops and so now I know why we say thick as hops........

Q From Michael Turniansky: In Patchwork Girl of Oz (L Frank Baum, 1913), I came across the expression mad as hops. Is that the forerunner of hopping mad? And what is so mad about hops?
A There are indeed a number of old expressions using the word hops in the sense of the plant. One was as thick as hops, referring to the dense mats of creeper you can get when hops grow wild and unchecked, and another was as fast as hops, because the plant dies back in winter and then grows very rapidly from its base each spring. These were both known by 1630 at the latest. The phrase hopping mad also dates from the seventeenth century, but it uses a different sense of hop, the one of jumping up and down on one foot, in other words of being so angry that one is literally unable to keep still. It seems that sometime in the nineteenth century in the US somebody punned by combining these phrases to create as mad as hops. The expression is first recorded inHarper’s Magazine in 1884, but is probably older. So there’s nothing mad about the plant at all.
Thick as thieves.... for Betty...
Thick as thieves” is a bit more recent than “pearls before swine,” first appearing in print in the early 19th century (“She and my wife are as thick as thieves, as the proverb goes,” 1833), although it was certainly in oral use long before that (thus the reference to “proverb” in that citation). The original form of the idiom was “thick as two thieves,” “thick” in this case meaning “close, sharing confidences, intimate and familiar by association,” as two criminals working together would be forced to conspire and operate in isolation from normal social life. This “thick” is found in several other phrases meaning “very close, intimate” that were common during the 19th century (“as thick as glue,” “as peas in a shell,” “as thick as three in a bed,” et al.). All of these phrases involve a figurative use of “thick” in the sense of “closely packed, crowded” also found in such phrases as “thick on the ground,” meaning “very numerous; common” (“I see you’re some kind of general. They’re pretty thick on the ground here,” 1919).


The 4th Sister said...

You can find anything on the net..

Sister--Three said...

how about
as thick as theives?