When you tell someone, “please pardon my French,” you are in fact apologizing for your offensive language. When French people speak French, they don’t say, “pardon my English” when they want to cuss someone out.
So what’s going on here? Do the French have better curse words than we do?
It all starts the same — you and your buddies are pounding down beers at your favorite bar, and before you know it, you’re running down the street in your girlfriend’s dress while your friends are passed out on the sidewalk. It may be fun to party real hard like this sometimes, but it’s actually illegal to replicate this scenario somewhere in the US… the dress part, anyway.
Nothing could be more American than sitting down with your friends, in a restaurant or during the big game, and enjoying a great big glass of Coca-Cola, right? Coca-Cola means Santa Claus, family outings and summertime fun… in other words, pure Americana.
So, what does Coca-Cola have to do with America’s war on drugs?
If someone has you ‘over a barrel,’ it’s never a good sign. This phrase means you’re in an extremely vulnerable position, and another human being (most likely not a friend) is taking advantage of that vulnerability.
When you say, “I’ll take a raincheck,” you’re telling someone that you can’t accept his or her offer or invitation now, but you’d be happy to accept it down the road. The phrase can also be used sarcastically, by letting someone know you’d prefer to delay something unpleasant until the future, or as a promise for out-of-stock goods.
But how did this expression make it into our lexicon?
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