The Southern idiom tear the rag off the bush has been used when scandalous relationships are revealed, but it’s also applicable to anything surprising. It’s similar to “Don’t that beat all?” and “Doesn’t that take the cake?” Its etymology is uncertain, although it may have to do with old-fashioned shooting contests in which someone would drape a rag on a bush as a target. The winner would be the one who knocked it off. This is part of a complete episode.
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- Nyello 01/02/2017: Responding to our conversation about concluding a phone call with mmm-bye, a listener offers an example of a humorous telephone greeting: "Nyello!" This is part... [more]
- Alte Kacker, Old Cocker 01/02/2017: A Tallahassee, Florida, listener heard an interview in which actor William H. Macy referred to old cockers, apparetly meaning "old fellows." Although one meaning of... [more]
- Words of the Year 2016 01/02/2017: Words of the year for 2016 include bigly, a mishearing of big-league; hygge, a Danish word that has to do with coziness; and Brexit, a... [more]