View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:08 am



Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
A Turn of Phrase 
Author Message

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 538
Post A Turn of Phrase
Was re-reading parts of "Double Star." Early on, in Chapter 1, Dak says "Why do you think I went around Robinson's barn to get you out of there and over here?"

"Around Robinson's barn" didn't register when I read the book before, but it did this time. I don't remember ever hearing the phrase used otherwise. This post and the one immediately following it give some good background.


Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:47 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:33 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Evanston, IL
Post Re: A Turn of Phrase
Interesting, BillMullins. That phrase has gone right past me in multiple readings of Double Star.

I wonder how many other now-obsolete or obscure idioms lurk in RAH's earlier works?

_________________
Tom Kendall
www.mostlyclassics.net
tom.kendall@mostlyclassics.net


Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:33 pm
Profile

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:59 am
Posts: 9
Location: Kansas
Post Re: A Turn of Phrase
Could be a regionalism from Heinlein's youth. Once I worked for a boss who tasked me with dealing with an elderly, cantankerous customer, who was just a lonely old fart and he loved to have somebody to talk to and I was his designated listener. He was fond of the phrase "dopes with dinner buckets," which made me go, "What'd you say?" He said it was a sympathetic term for the working class, as in working men who carried lunchboxes. [Offtopic: there is a wonderful Indian movie which came out last year called "The Lunchbox," because over in the SubContinent that's a thing like it was here in the 1940s and 1950s.] I said it doesn't sound all that sympathetic to me as to me "dopes" is not a flattering way to describe a group of people these days. But he assured me it was benign, and it probably was - my Dad used to use the term "queer" to mean not specifically gay but more like eccentric. I remember one Heinlein book where the protagonist went to the future and a man almost beat him up for saying a vulgar term in front of the man's wife, and Heinlein's next sentence was "The word was 'kink'. That's Heinlein - the 1940s era public chivalry combined with keen insight!


Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:53 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:55 pm
Posts: 71
Location: San Francisco
Post Re: A Turn of Phrase
I find it interesting, as I don't even recall where I learned of "Robin Hood's / Robinson's Barn", butI didn't find it unusual at all, and still don't. However, I've never heard "Dopes with dinner buckets".

Not sure about regionalism, either. I've lived in a dozen different states, and since I can't think of when / where I learned it, it's hard to say. I do recall the Robin Hood's Barn phrase was discussed at length in an episode of "A Way With Words", a language program distributed on NPR and many podcast apps.

_________________
Bruce


Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:43 pm
Profile

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:59 am
Posts: 9
Location: Kansas
Post Re: A Turn of Phrase
Airgetlam wrote:
I find it interesting, as I don't even recall where I learned of "Robin Hood's / Robinson's Barn", butI didn't find it unusual at all, and still don't. However, I've never heard "Dopes with dinner buckets".

Not sure about regionalism, either. I've lived in a dozen different states, and since I can't think of when / where I learned it, it's hard to say. I do recall the Robin Hood's Barn phrase was discussed at length in an episode of "A Way With Words", a language program distributed on NPR and many podcast apps.


I grew up in Texas, but never heard it there; of course, I grew up in Urban Texas. My in-laws however are from East Texas, AKA South Arkansas. The first time my younger brother met my younger brother-in-law, when they were both in their mid-teens, my B-I-L referred to something as being "over yonder" and my Brother asked me, "What's 'yonder'?"

And the guy who said "Dopes with Dinner Buckets" was a transplanted New Yorker.


Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:14 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 5 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF