Monday, 19 March 2007

I'll go for a P, Bob*

You know, 'piss' is an unlikely word to be so useful but, even if it's just a touch vulgar (like me, innit?) it has so many meanings.

In just the blogs I've read this weekend, several people have been pissed off - the off may be omitted by the Americans, but that seems to deprive them of the useful alternative meaning of pissed, meaning affected by alcohol.

This morning, I looked out at the sleet and commented that it was pissing down. Then there's an easy task, which is a piece of piss. You can, if pissed off, tell someone to piss off - a nice difference there.

Then there is the original and real meaning of piss, which I presume is an example of French onomatopoeia.

Half an hour later Now I'm giving the matter some thought (well, it's a Monday morning, what else is there to do?), there are lots more expressions.

Taking the piss. Pissing in the wind. Full of piss and vinegar. On the piss (on your way to being pissed, of course)**. Murph suggests, for a tall thin person, a long streak of piss, but I think he's making that one up***.

A bit later again - ooh, how about piss-poor - is that, so poor you don't have a pot to piss in or, alternatively, really pretty awful.

Several hours later thank you all for enhancing my vocabulary. A wicked pisser (pronounced "pissah") is New England for very good or very bad. If used without the indefinite article "This is wicked pisser" it's excellent. With the ind. art., "This is a wicked pisser" it's bloody awful. Oh, excuse my language, please.

Martin reminds me that if you can piss you can paint and petrified streak of piss - is that another tall thin person, Martin? I'm neither, by the way, another clue to my appearance. Oh, there's a photo of me in this blog somewhere, if you look for Venice photos.****

Wendz just pissed her pants, I fear. At least she pissed herself laughing, so it was worth the zig-zag puddle as she ran for the loo.

I worry what all this will do for my reputation in the search engines.

This one is still running - it's now Tuesday morning and I should be getting ready to go to Norwich. From Stegbeetle - "There's always what I did with any money I had during my teens and early twenties - pissing it up the wall. Obviously derived from the consequences of bulk intake of beer but meaning "to waste something". And Martin contemptuously adds I would not piss on them if they were on fire, which is, of course, another fine use of the splendid subjunctive.

Tuesday night - what did I start here? Murph knows a mean (in the parsimonious sense) bugger who "wouldn't give you the steam off his piss."

Thursday afternoon - how silly of me - I've only just thought of this one! Mind you, none of you got it either - he couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery!

*I suspect only British readers will get this reference.. Ooh, at 8.30 pm, yet another update Yay! Here's a link!!(!). It has the signature tune and everything!!(!)*****
**I'm assuming you don't need definitions for these, do you?
***Murph, I apologise. I just checked it out on Google. It is entirely valid.
****I digress
*****JonnyB has, of course, the copyright on !! and a repeat of the second !. It is more than my life saving's worth to put !!!******
******D'oh.

31 comments:

Murph said...

Bob (his) Holiness!

He was so thin they referred to hima s a "long streak of piss"!

Z said...

There's pissing in the wind, too, isn't there. Hm. Maybe I need to add to this.

You're too young to remember the programme, surely, Murph. Sign of a misspent puppyhood, watching television at 5.15pm

A wildlife gardener said...

Murph's correct...an expression used regularly by Billy Connolly to describe a tall thin person, no doubt often directed at the slim comedian himself.

Z said...

I shouldn't have doubted Murph for a moment. I hope he'll forgive me.

dharmabum said...

i must admit this was very funny, and whats more, i learnt a couple of things about piss :)

i've finally completed ur tag, btw, and it was great fun - thanks!

Imperatrix said...

Such language, z! ;-)

*I certainly don't know the exact program you're referring to, but there's one here in the US that has been on for ages called "Wheel of Fortune". You buy letters (actually, you guess consonants and buy vowels) and try to figure out phrases.

badgerdaddy said...

Streak of piss isn't for the skinny - it's for the tall AND skinny.

For example, the ultimate streak of piss lives on my street. 6' 8", he looks like a daddy longlegs when he tries to play football.

When not playing football, he just looks like a big long streak of piss.

Kim Ayres said...

Don't forget "it's a piece of piss", meaning it's really easy to do. I have no idea where it originated from though.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment on my site, by the way :)

Kim Ayres said...

Sorry, I just re-read your post and see you already included that one

*cough*

jen said...

or as my bostonian MIL says, that's a wicked pisser.

martin said...

There is another one " If you can piss, you can paint".
Not as in Constable, but a front door.

And I think the correct usage is " A petrified streak of piss" this was how my Grandad used to use it. Another of his was "If you can't fight wear a big hat".
What a guy.......

Wendz said...

And I am pissing myself laughing.

Only you Z. heh heh heh....

PI said...

I can't find the first asteric but then I'm not seeing as well as I did.
When Americans use it they never seem to get it quite right. This isn't critical - some of my best friends...

Z said...

Dharmabum, I'll always be glad to spread a little useful knowledge. Thanks for doing the meme, I had a quick look and will go back later.

Imperatrix, it was a programme some years ago called 'Blockbusters'. 16-18-year-olds used to answer general knowledge questions and had to track a path across a board. Each hexagon had a letter on it and the kids thought going for a P was hilarious. The great Bob Holness was the q-master - he was getting on a bit even then.

BD, yes, tall and thin, I will amend. As always, I appreciate a deserved reprimand ;-)

Kim, I've been lurking for a while on your blog, as you appreciate I am a shy little thing and took my time to leave a comment.

Jen, I had to Google that one. I particularly like the fact it is pronounced 'wicked pissah'.

Martin, your grandad was a great man.

Wendz, how could I have missed that one? Another few updates, it seems.

Pat, the first asterisk is in the title. Could be us who are getting it wrong perhaps? Nah, 'course not.

Chris said...

This is a fabulous post for a Monday!

Z said...

Cheers, Chris. I've been lurking with you for a while as well, but I don't - honestly, folks - always comment everywhere.

Steg said...

There's always what I did with any money I had during my teens and early twenties - pissing it up the wall. Obviously derived from the consequences of bulk intake of beer but meaning "to waste something".

martina said...

I've heard all of these comments except the paint and steak ones.Mom never liked me to use the word piss, so I made up the word piffed...miffed and pissed... Oh you know how wacky us/we Americans are...

martin said...

Anoter acme to mind last night, what have you started ?.

" I would not piss on them if the were on fire ".

Z said...

II had a strangely unmisspent youth, Steg (does that mean I had a 'spent' youth? Hm, sounds dodgy) and you have the advantage of me here.

Martina, do you in America use 'sugar' as a euphemism for 'shit'?

Martin, I'm sure you would.

martin said...

Following on from " If you can piss, you can paint ".
Pissarro........... and one for Wendz " pissoir "
That's it now........

Murph said...

You are mining a profirable streak of piss here, Z. I haven't seen so much piss on a post since the one outside our front gate!

If somebody is really tight with their money I have heard "He wouldn't give you the steam off his piss".

stitchwort said...

Following the idea of the euphemisms, if *tiddle* takes the place of *piddle*, *tiddly* therefore means *pissed*, only in a very ladylike manner.

And why do cats get called Tiddles?

The Boy said...

I think you're takin ghte piss with all this Z. Look at all those comments!

I for one, am non English and understood the Bob reference. However I am an unusually talented and knowning trivial things...

PI said...

Drat if someone had already said it but I woud say you are well nigh Pissed Perfect (as opposed to Past Perfect)

badgerdaddy said...

Murph, that 'steam off his piss' comment is brilliant. Made me laugh out loud!

Z said...

Fabulous, thanks everyone and I'll be back later. Off to Gardening Club (isn't country living marvellous?)

hey bartender said...

Fantastic! A very useful word, and one of my favorites. We just got a documentary today called F**K. It is a history of the F word and I am really looking forward to it. Isn't language wonderful?

Z said...

Martin, you give me fond memories of Clochemèrle.

Murph - another good'un there, which will be added to the collection.

Stitchwort, the only derivation I can find of 'tiddly' is Cockney rhyming slang, 'tiddly wink' = drink, stretched to mean drunk. But I think your suggestion is better.

Boy, how long have you lived in England though? Not that I'm suggesting you do not have unusual talents, however.

I certainly had no idea what I was starting!

Pat - genius!

BD - me too

Bartender - it is an excellent word and I'll appreciate it all the more, now that I have new usages for it. I trust that you will have useful expressions for us once you've viewed your documentary.

JonnyB said...

I'm watching you...

Z said...

JonnyB, I could come and play duets with you outside the village shop in reparation? Clarinet and banjo, classic blend of sounds.

Ah. We're trying to keep the shop open.

Can I promise not to play, instead?