One-Way Words

March 22nd, 2019 § 2 comments

Ever notice there are words we seldom hear and when we do hear them they are always used in the same exact way? These words are usually part of a well-known term, phrase or saying. If we heard these words outside of their common term, phrase or saying, it would probably be alarming, and even cause for pause. So I say let’s break these words out of their common phrase captivity and let them roam our English language.

The phrase that initially comes to my mind is, ‘not too Shabby.’ Other than the new interior decorating category called Shabby Chic, we just don’t hear the word ‘Shabby’ used anywhere else. For instance, we never respond to the common inquiry, ‘How are you feeling?’ with ‘I’m Shabby thank you’ or ‘I’m way past Shabby’ or how bout, ‘absolutely Shabby (Ab-Shab).’

Another term that falls into this category is ‘overWhelmed’ and it’s opposite ‘under Whelmed’. Can we not just simply be ‘Whelmed’ by something or someone? Can’t something have a ‘Whelming’ influence? As in, “The kids were going crazy but that movie magically Whelmed them.”

For the sake of brevity I’m going to list the rest of my ‘one-way words’ with alternate (and perhaps alarming) uses for each word:

‘run Amok’ > can we ‘walk Amok’ or just be ‘Amok’ or‘stuck Amok’?

‘Bane of my existence’ > wouldn’t ‘Bane in my ass’ work perfectly here?

‘Bated breath’ > ‘Bated joy’ or ‘Bated anger’ or even ‘Bated orgasm’

‘Beck and call’ > ‘give me a Beck sometime’ or ‘Beck me back’

‘kit and Caboodle’ > ‘the whole Caboodle’ or ‘filled to the Caboodle’

‘Catbird seat’ > ‘sitting Catbird’ or ‘stop Catbirding me’

‘if I had my Druthers’ > ‘tell me your wildest Druthers’

‘Foregone’ conclusion > ‘Foregone verdict’ or ‘my fate was Foregone’

‘wreak Havoc’ > ‘unleash Havoc’,‘absolute Havoc’ or ‘Havoc becomes you’

‘Intents and purposes’ > ‘I’ve got many intense Intents’

‘the cut of his Jib’ > ‘check my Jib in the mirror’ or ‘she’s got the Jib I like’

‘Piping hot’ > ‘hurl a Piping fastball’ or ‘a passionate Piping kiss’

‘Pomp and circumstance’ > ‘in all her majestic Pomp’ or ‘Pomp and polish’

‘good Riddance’ >since there’s no bad riddance, ‘we appreciate his Riddance’

‘the whole Shebang’ > ‘just short of a Shebang’ or ‘it grew into a Shebang’

‘blown to Smithereens’ >‘clean up all the Smithereens’ or ‘I fell to Smithereens’

‘I take Umbrage’ >can we ‘give Umbrage’ or just ‘have Umbrage’?

Go out there and give these One-Way Words some alternative use. You probably won’t be 100% grammatically correct but you will alarm some folks. -PR



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