Author Topic: Turn of phrase question  (Read 7757 times)

Mfitz

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on: March 13, 2007, 08:40:56 PM
Any one here familiar with the expression "Aren't you a wet puppy?" 

I heard it used lately and have no clue what it means.  I think it means something like wet behind the ears, but from the context it could be more insulting than that.



FNH

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Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 09:11:31 PM
"Aren't you a wet puppy?" 

Isn't it suggesting your looking sad and pathetic? 


Mfitz

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Reply #2 on: March 14, 2007, 01:07:04 PM
That was my thought, but my husband thought it had insulting  sexual connotations.



SFEley

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Reply #3 on: March 14, 2007, 02:17:06 PM
That was my thought, but my husband thought it had insulting  sexual connotations.

I don't read it that way.  Of course, you know the context and we don't, but FNH's "sad and pathetic" is the way I interpreted it.  (It's a new idiom to me too.)

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Mfitz

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Reply #4 on: March 14, 2007, 06:43:32 PM
It's an Appalachian slang.

The context was a man saying he mostly listened to CD's his wife purchased.

I thought it meant he was pathetic for having no musical taste of his own, my my sister-in-law though it meant he was henpecked, and my husband thought it meant castrated, which is I guess as pathetic in it's own way.



Thaurismunths

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Reply #5 on: March 15, 2007, 11:38:26 AM
Any one here familiar with the expression "Aren't you a wet puppy?" 

No, but I did find the blog of someone who's looking for the definition.
Something about an airborne mammal. *shrug* ;)

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Mfitz

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Reply #6 on: March 15, 2007, 01:13:19 PM
Long story that.

College -
sleep deprivation and caffeine inspired doodling after a tech week's worth of all nighters building sets and living on diet Dad's rootbeer and Hershy's bars in my misspent youth as a theater tech major produced the swooping cetacean, who went on to be theater club mascot for a few years and then the logo for my hand knitting business and BC walk team.


And here I thought only my husband ever visited the blog... :o
« Last Edit: March 15, 2007, 03:41:03 PM by Mfitz »



Russell Nash

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Reply #7 on: March 21, 2007, 09:55:19 PM
I think the idea is that the person seems as pathetic as a puppy straight out of the bath before it's been dried off at all.



DKT

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Reply #8 on: March 21, 2007, 10:44:23 PM
Maybe it's a reference to drowning puppies? 


Mfitz

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Reply #9 on: March 29, 2007, 02:09:53 AM
Ok,  I have another question.

In the piece I'm working on I need term for extended family and I don't want to use clan, because it just seems too pseudo-celtic-new-age-touchy-feely to me. 

Here is how one of the characters described the social unit I'm  looking to name

"Large extended Families that are more than just kinship groupings.  They are economic and political entities. Some have very specialized areas of interest, like producing pottery, others like Isjh, my family, have quite diverse holdings similar to Terran multi-national corporations."

Any suggestions?



Thaurismunths

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Reply #10 on: March 29, 2007, 02:25:49 AM
Kith
Kin, kinsmen
"... and their progeny."
Households
Commune

<edit>
Guild
« Last Edit: March 29, 2007, 12:06:32 PM by Thaurismunths »

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ClintMemo

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Reply #11 on: March 29, 2007, 11:53:47 AM
Tribe
Co-op  (not sure if that is the right spelling. "Coop" looks wrong.  I mean the first part of "cooperative")
« Last Edit: March 29, 2007, 11:55:26 AM by ClintMemo »

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Mfitz

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Reply #12 on: March 29, 2007, 12:15:06 PM
Thanks folks.

I have the same problem with tribe that I have with clan, sounds too touchy-feely-low-tech, but I may have to go with that.  I had not thought of Co-Ops.  That might work. The other option, one I'm loathe to follow, is to make up a words.  First off I'm just not linguistically talented and second, as a reader I tend to have a gut level bad reaction to made up words for existing ideas and would rather use an actual word.



ClintMemo

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Reply #13 on: March 29, 2007, 12:41:16 PM
Thanks folks.

I have the same problem with tribe that I have with clan, sounds too touchy-feely-low-tech, but I may have to go with that.  I had not thought of Co-Ops.  That might work. The other option, one I'm loathe to follow, is to make up a words.  First off I'm just not linguistically talented and second, as a reader I tend to have a gut level bad reaction to made up words for existing ideas and would rather use an actual word.

You could try making up a compound word that would have an obvious meaning, though I can't think of an example.
You could use a regular word, like cousin, but change the definition slightly, and inform the reader.

Life is a multiple choice test. Unfortunately, the answers are not provided.  You have to go and find them before picking the best one.


Thaurismunths

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Reply #14 on: March 29, 2007, 01:24:28 PM
Thanks folks.

I have the same problem with tribe that I have with clan, sounds too touchy-feely-low-tech, but I may have to go with that.  I had not thought of Co-Ops.  That might work. The other option, one I'm loathe to follow, is to make up a words.  First off I'm just not linguistically talented and second, as a reader I tend to have a gut level bad reaction to made up words for existing ideas and would rather use an actual word.

You could try making up a compound word that would have an obvious meaning, though I can't think of an example.
You could use a regular word, like cousin, but change the definition slightly, and inform the reader.
How about "Corporate Family”?
Judging by your context, I think the idea of a incorporated entity is most fitting.

Corporate
1 a : formed into an association and endowed by law with the rights and liabilities of an individual : INCORPORATED b : of or relating to a corporation <a plan to reorganize the corporate structure> c : of, relating to, or being the large corporations of a country or region considered as a unit <the latest trend in corporate America> d : having qualities (as commercialism or lack of originality) associated with large corporations or attributed to their influence or control <corporate rock music> <corporate art>
2 : of, relating to, or formed into a unified body of individuals <human law arises by the corporate action of a people -- G. H. Sabine>

Corporation
1 a : a group of merchants or traders united in a trade guild b : the municipal authorities of a town or city
2 : a body formed and authorized by law to act as a single person although constituted by one or more persons and legally endowed with various rights and duties including the capacity of succession 3 : an association of employers and employees in a basic industry or of members of a profession organized as an organ of political representation in a corporative state
« Last Edit: March 29, 2007, 01:27:20 PM by Thaurismunths »

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ClintMemo

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Reply #15 on: March 29, 2007, 02:17:15 PM
how about Familial Team?

looking up family http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/family

One definition:
a group of people related to each other, including cousins, grandchildren etc
Example: He comes from a wealthy family; (also adjective) the family home

There are a bunch of non-english words listed, for example:
Latvian:    dzimta
Czech:    rodina; rodinný

If you were looking for something ethnic, but not "pseudo-celtic-new-age-touchy-feely", you might try one of those.


Life is a multiple choice test. Unfortunately, the answers are not provided.  You have to go and find them before picking the best one.


Mfitz

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Reply #16 on: March 29, 2007, 02:34:16 PM
I thought about using some non-English term, but it's for aliens and the one doing the talking has been raised speaking "standard English" so I decided that wouldn't work either.

I don't mean to be dismissive, all this input has helped move ideas around in my brain.

Now I'm leaning toward something like Family Cooperatives, which is awkward but gets the idea across.

My husband just suggested I should use Pod, like a cetacean family group, but I think the term has been pretty much taken my podcasts and the ilk :-)



wherethewild

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Reply #17 on: April 01, 2007, 08:31:35 PM
These might have more negative associations than you´re after, but how about mafia-related terms? Mafia, Syndicate, Cabal?

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SFEley

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Reply #18 on: April 10, 2007, 12:07:24 AM
I thought about using some non-English term, but it's for aliens and the one doing the talking has been raised speaking "standard English" so I decided that wouldn't work either.

I don't mean to be dismissive, all this input has helped move ideas around in my brain.

For what it's worth, I really like Thaurismunth's "kith."  A touch exotic, but a real English word with the correct meaning.

(Much like Gene Wolfe didn't make up any words for The Book of the New Sun, but you'd swear he did.)  >8->

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Mfitz

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Reply #19 on: April 10, 2007, 07:45:49 PM
Right now I just put it on the back boiler again, and just getting on with the plot, but I'm really liking Kith. If I do ditch some form of family that's what I'll probably go with.

It would get the idea across and it sort of fits in with the other word and names I've used for the culture, it would be an English word they would be confortable with.