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Just the Kind of Hairpin I Am

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Kathy from Wichita, Kansas, says her mother was a practical joker who’d laugh off her pranks by saying That’s just the kind of hairpin I am, which means “That’s just the way I am.” The phrase goes back at least to 1874. In his 1889 volume Americanisms, Old and New: A Dictionary of Words, Phrases and Colloquialisms (Bookshop|Amazon), John S. Farmer calls the phrase “an inane exclamation.” The phrase likely stems from the idea of something bent like a hairpin, as in the description of someone’s tendencies, as in That’s my bent, and later the idea of having a crooked or criminal bent. This is part of a complete episode.

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