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PostedCOLON Fri 28 Feb, 2014 9:30 pm
by jdbythesea
I've heard Americans (on TV) use the expression "he bought the farm". I could never really understood that one though.

PostedCOLON Fri 28 Feb, 2014 9:35 pm
by Johnny39
tilly wrote:
One I remember is popped his clogs Has in did you know so and so popped his glogs anyone else heard this.?


"Popped his/her clogs" meant they had died and his/her clothes and belongings had been pawned by relatives.

PostedCOLON Sat 01 Mar, 2014 11:15 am
by shutthatdoor
Just reading through these posts, some of which I've not heard of but one that does come to mind as an expression is "Croaked". Don't know the origin though.

PostedCOLON Sat 01 Mar, 2014 2:17 pm
by Steve Jones
shutthatdoor wrote:
Just reading through these posts, some of which I've not heard of but one that does come to mind as an expression is "Croaked". Don't know the origin though.


It is rather macabre because it refers to the "death rattle" sometimes heard on someone's last breath somewhat resembling a frog croaking.

PostedCOLON Sat 01 Mar, 2014 5:30 pm
by Johnny39
jdbythesea wrote:
I've heard Americans (on TV) use the expression "he bought the farm". I could never really understood that one though.


Apparently "jd", as you say, it's an American expression and according to Google it was a term used when American airmen crashed in their aircraft. If they crashed on a farmstead the owner would sue the government and the compensation would usually be enough to cover the mortgage. Must admit it wasn't a term that I'd heard before.

PostedCOLON Sat 01 Mar, 2014 5:47 pm
by raveydavey
"Gone for a Burton" could have a Leeds link:

From wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_for_a_Burton

My wife, who was in the WAAF during World War II, tells me that the RAF took over some billiard halls above the Montague Burton shops as medical centres and consequently the excuse "he (or she) has gone for a Burton" originally meant no more than absence for a medical inspection, inoculation, etc.    ”

My father, Norman Geare from Bournemouth, told me his certainty of the origin. He and I often discussed the often obscure linkages that others were ascribing to the expression. He volunteered for the RAF in late 1939 or early 1940. This was before the RAF had expanded its training camps to accommodate the tens of thousands of conscripts. In those early war years, the RAF used B&Bs and small hotels in Blackpool as billets for the RAF recruits. They were marched up and down the prom, and then given technical and procedural training in cinemas and theatres. A significant element of that was radio and Morse code. Before leaving their basic training in Blackpool, the recruits were tested on their radio/Morse ability. Those that passed would be designated as radio operators - either airborne or ground based. Those that failed would go on to General Duties - including training as Air Gunners. Even in those early years, the recruits knew the life-expectancy of bomber-crew gunners was very short. The test was held in a large room above Burtons the Tailors in Blackpool. So, to go for the test and fail was almost a fate too terrible to contemplate. "He's gone for a Burton" simply meant its odds-on he'll be a tail-gunner in a Wellington, and dead in a few weeks! My father passed the test and served throughout the war as a ground-based Radio Direction Finder. His experience of the expression was very early on in the war, and he carried it with him thereafter. It is quite understandable that others, especially RAF, picked up the expression and applied it in a similar context.

More specifically, during WWII the RAF's Aircrew Reassignment Office was located above the Montague Burton shop in High Holborn and it was here that aircrew who had failed their flying training were re-assigned to a ground trade within the RAF, or transferred to the Royal Navy or, more usually, the Army. Hence anyone who had "Gone for a Burton" was a loss from the RAF's aircrew community.

PostedCOLON Sat 01 Mar, 2014 6:51 pm
by jdbythesea
Johnny39 wrote:
jdbythesea wrote:
I've heard Americans (on TV) use the expression "he bought the farm". I could never really understood that one though.


Apparently "jd", as you say, it's an American expression and according to Google it was a term used when American airmen crashed in their aircraft. If they crashed on a farmstead the owner would sue the government and the compensation would usually be enough to cover the mortgage. Must admit it wasn't a term that I'd heard before.



Thanks Johnny: that does sound like a plausible explanation to me.

PostedCOLON Sat 01 Mar, 2014 8:52 pm
by Johnny39
The Monty Python "Norwegian Blue" parrot sketch gives a pretty extensive selection of terms for the casting-off of this mortal coil.

PostedCOLON Sat 01 Mar, 2014 9:41 pm
by Leodian
Johnny39 wrote:
The Monty Python "Norwegian Blue" parrot sketch gives a pretty extensive selection of terms for the casting-off of this mortal coil.


That is one of the classic Monty Python sketches. Regular Smiley This is a link to it on YouTube:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vuW6tQ0218

PostedCOLON Sat 01 Mar, 2014 10:29 pm
by Jogon
Shuffled off, another Dissapointed