Discussion:
Pay the piper
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Peter Moylan
2018-10-05 07:28:03 UTC
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Permalink
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the pudding",
but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this. It was something
to do with Russian spies, and some US official was on air saying
"They'll just have to pay the piper".

I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper two
years ago.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Lewis
2018-10-05 11:29:14 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the pudding",
but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this. It was something
to do with Russian spies, and some US official was on air saying
"They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper two
years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The Pied
Piper of Hamelin.

You can see summary here:

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pied_Piper_of_Hamelin>

Other similar sayings are "You made you bed, now lie in it" and "as you
sow, so shall you reap", among many. All of them are about facing the
consequences of your (bad) decisions.
--
'It must have been Fate that brought you here,' said Twoflower. 'Yes,
it's the sort of thing he likes to do,' said Rincewind.
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-10-05 11:45:26 UTC
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Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the pudding",
but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this. It was something
to do with Russian spies, and some US official was on air saying
"They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper two
years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The Pied
Piper of Hamelin.
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pied_Piper_of_Hamelin>
Other similar sayings are "You made you bed, now lie in it" and "as you
sow, so shall you reap", among many. All of them are about facing the
consequences of your (bad) decisions.
It's new to me. The usual use is "He who pays the piper calls the tune."
which clearly has nothing to do with the meaning you're offering.
Peter Moylan
2018-10-05 11:53:57 UTC
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Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune". Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Cheryl
2018-10-05 12:12:02 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune". Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
Me too. I don't know what the US official was thinking, but you pay the
piper first, then you control what he does. I suppose you could say "If
they want X to happen, they'll just have to pay the piper."
--
Cheryl
b***@aol.com
2018-10-05 13:44:38 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune".
Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
But the usage discussed just seems to take the metaphor one step further:
if one "pays the piper" in the regular sense, one's indeed in control of
the piper's actions. Therefore they're liable for such actions and have
to pay the price for these.
Post by Peter Moylan
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Ken Blake
2018-10-05 16:00:16 UTC
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Permalink
On Fri, 5 Oct 2018 21:53:57 +1000, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune".
Yes.
Post by Peter Moylan
Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
But yes, it apparently does. See
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/who_pays_the_piper_calls_the_tune
musika
2018-10-05 16:15:29 UTC
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Post by Ken Blake
On Fri, 5 Oct 2018 21:53:57 +1000, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune".
Yes.
Post by Peter Moylan
Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
But yes, it apparently does. See
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/who_pays_the_piper_calls_the_tune
Or not

<https://www.bookbrowse.com/expressions/detail/index.cfm/expression_number/401/he-who-pays-the-piper-calls-the-tune>

http://tinyurl.com/yaw2clkq
--
Ray
UK
Ken Blake
2018-10-05 18:29:55 UTC
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Post by musika
Post by Ken Blake
On Fri, 5 Oct 2018 21:53:57 +1000, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune".
Yes.
Post by Peter Moylan
Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
But yes, it apparently does. See
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/who_pays_the_piper_calls_the_tune
Or not
<https://www.bookbrowse.com/expressions/detail/index.cfm/expression_number/401/he-who-pays-the-piper-calls-the-tune>
http://tinyurl.com/yaw2clkq
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the person
who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To me, that
doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the piper...,"
not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific kind of
musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference to
something about a piper.
musika
2018-10-05 18:52:34 UTC
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Post by Ken Blake
Post by musika
Post by Ken Blake
On Fri, 5 Oct 2018 21:53:57 +1000, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune".
Yes.
Post by Peter Moylan
Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
But yes, it apparently does. See
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/who_pays_the_piper_calls_the_tune
Or not
<https://www.bookbrowse.com/expressions/detail/index.cfm/expression_number/401/he-who-pays-the-piper-calls-the-tune>
http://tinyurl.com/yaw2clkq
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the person
who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To me, that
doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the piper...,"
not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific kind of
musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference to
something about a piper.
I think you are being far too literal.
--
Ray
UK
Ken Blake
2018-10-05 19:33:17 UTC
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Permalink
Post by musika
Post by Ken Blake
Post by musika
Post by Ken Blake
On Fri, 5 Oct 2018 21:53:57 +1000, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune".
Yes.
Post by Peter Moylan
Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
But yes, it apparently does. See
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/who_pays_the_piper_calls_the_tune
Or not
<https://www.bookbrowse.com/expressions/detail/index.cfm/expression_number/401/he-who-pays-the-piper-calls-the-tune>
http://tinyurl.com/yaw2clkq
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the person
who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To me, that
doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the piper...,"
not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific kind of
musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference to
something about a piper.
I think you are being far too literal.
I don't, but that's life. We don't all have the same opinions.
Peter Moylan
2018-10-06 03:59:30 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the
person who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To
me, that doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the
piper...," not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific
kind of musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference
to something about a piper.
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
RHDraney
2018-10-06 04:48:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the
person who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To
me, that doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the
piper...," not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific
kind of musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference
to something about a piper.
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more Highland-y....r
bill van
2018-10-06 05:49:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the
person who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To
me, that doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the
piper...," not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific
kind of musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference
to something about a piper.
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more Highland-y....r
Most web images for "pied piper" and for "pay the piper" portray the instrument
as slim and about as long as a flute or clarinet. I like the
easy-portability element.
The next smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some such
instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your back.

bill
RHDraney
2018-10-06 09:18:53 UTC
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Post by bill van
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more Highland-y....r
Most web images for "pied piper" and for "pay the piper" portray the instrument
as slim and about as long as a flute or clarinet. I like the
easy-portability element.
The next smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some such
instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your back.
I would have guessed the harmonica, but I suppose that loses points for
being unplayable if you also want to sing at the same time....

Just three days ago, I stopped at a dollar store to pick up a couple of
household staples, and there was a woman sitting outside under the rain
awning (we were getting the remnants of Hurricane Nora that day),
playing a cello....r
Kerr-Mudd,John
2018-10-06 09:37:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by RHDraney
Post by bill van
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was
the most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply
because their instrument was one of the most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more
Highland-y....r
Most web images for "pied piper" and for "pay the piper" portray the instrument
as slim and about as long as a flute or clarinet. I like the
easy-portability element.
The next smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some
such instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your
back.
I would have guessed the harmonica, but I suppose that loses points
for being unplayable if you also want to sing at the same time....


'Unlistenable' is standard
Post by RHDraney
Just three days ago, I stopped at a dollar store to pick up a couple
of household staples, and there was a woman sitting outside under the
I (Over Here) use industrial staples, they are much stronger. I generally
buy them in packs, not just in pairs.
Post by RHDraney
rain awning (we were getting the remnants of Hurricane Nora that day),
playing a cello....r
--
Bah, and indeed, Humbug.
s***@gmail.com
2018-10-11 02:34:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kerr-Mudd,John
Post by RHDraney
Post by bill van
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was
the most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply
because their instrument was one of the most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more
Highland-y....r
Most web images for "pied piper" and for "pay the piper" portray the instrument
as slim and about as long as a flute or clarinet. I like the
easy-portability element.
The next smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some
such instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your
back.
I would have guessed the harmonica, but I suppose that loses points
for being unplayable if you also want to sing at the same time....
http://youtu.be/qfTlGMCeuDE
'Unlistenable' is standard
Post by RHDraney
Just three days ago, I stopped at a dollar store to pick up a couple
of household staples, and there was a woman sitting outside under the
I (Over Here) use industrial staples, they are much stronger. I generally
buy them in packs, not just in pairs.
A pair is generally enough for one CAT5 cable, if you aren't zig-zagging
across the room. You should use the insulated ones, though.
Post by Kerr-Mudd,John
Post by RHDraney
rain awning (we were getting the remnants of Hurricane Nora that day),
playing a cello
Need a bigger awning for some of these, but they all fit in one room:



(safe for work, expecially if you have A/C>

/dps
Jerry Friedman
2018-10-06 13:40:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by RHDraney
Post by bill van
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more Highland-y....r
The Highland pipes are pretty portable.
Post by RHDraney
Post by bill van
Most web images for "pied piper" and for "pay the piper" portray the instrument
as slim and about as long as a flute or clarinet. I like the
easy-portability element.
The next smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some such
instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your back.
I would have guessed the harmonica, but I suppose that loses points for
being unplayable if you also want to sing at the same time....
Just three days ago, I stopped at a dollar store to pick up a couple of
household staples, and there was a woman sitting outside under the rain
awning (we were getting the remnants of Hurricane Nora that day),
Rosa?
Post by RHDraney
playing a cello....r
How wello?
--
Jerry Friedman
bill van
2018-10-06 16:07:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by RHDraney
Post by bill van
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more Highland-y....r
Most web images for "pied piper" and for "pay the piper" portray the instrument
as slim and about as long as a flute or clarinet. I like the
easy-portability element.
The next smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some such
instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your back.
I would have guessed the harmonica, but I suppose that loses points for
being unplayable if you also want to sing at the same time....
I didn't consider the harmonica, which was invented in the early 19th
century. The pied piper legend goes back
to the Middle Ages.
Post by RHDraney
Just three days ago, I stopped at a dollar store to pick up a couple of
household staples, and there was a woman sitting outside under the rain
awning (we were getting the remnants of Hurricane Nora that day),
playing a cello....r
When the going gets tough, the cellists come out to play.

bill
RHDraney
2018-10-06 22:08:32 UTC
Reply
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Post by bill van
Post by RHDraney
Post by bill van
The next smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some such
instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your back.
I would have guessed the harmonica, but I suppose that loses points
for being unplayable if you also want to sing at the same time....
I didn't consider the harmonica, which was invented in the early 19th
century. The pied piper legend goes back
to the Middle Ages.
When he had his "Schickele Mix" program on public radio, Peter Schickele
did something like five full hour-long episodes examining the role of
the accordion in music (with a tagline something like "not just a solo
instrument, sometimes the entire band!")...the whole series kicked off
by mentioning the Chinese "sheng" as the basis for the class of
instruments, which instrument the relevant Wikipedia article dates to
the twelfth centure BCE....

A bit bigger than a harmonica, to be sure, but not quite as big as a set
of Highland pipes....r
s***@gmail.com
2018-10-11 02:08:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by RHDraney
Post by bill van
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more Highland-y....r
Most web images for "pied piper" and for "pay the piper" portray the instrument
as slim and about as long as a flute or clarinet. I like the
easy-portability element.
The next smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some such
instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your back.
I think the tambour of your reply is overstrung,
but I have a pair of shells you can lace together
to hide the chattering of your teeth.
Post by RHDraney
I would have guessed the harmonica, but I suppose that loses points for
being unplayable if you also want to sing at the same time....
Just three days ago, I stopped at a dollar store to pick up a couple of
household staples, and there was a woman sitting outside under the rain
awning (we were getting the remnants of Hurricane Nora that day),
playing a cello....r
In TONG, that would merit a
"Hush ... Mr B will hear you!"

(plumonym edited to reduce confusion)

/dps "and don't mention JdeP"
Tony Cooper
2018-10-11 03:32:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by bill van
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more Highland-y....r
Most web images for "pied piper" and for "pay the piper" portray the instrument
as slim and about as long as a flute or clarinet. I like the
easy-portability element.
The next smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some such
instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your back.
I think the tambour of your reply is overstrung,
but I have a pair of shells you can lace together
to hide the chattering of your teeth.
I'm not sure that the lute is the next smallest busking instrument.
This busker needs to carry around only a pair of drumsticks. A bucket
can be found just about anywhere, and need not be tuned.

The "Photoshopped Version" text is there because I altered the wall
behind the man.

Loading Image...

This instrument is pretty small, so if this girl - who is attending a
music class - decides to busk she can carry it in her pocket.

Loading Image...

At the other end of the size spectrum, this guy has one of the larger
instruments:

Loading Image...
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Snidely
2018-10-11 09:39:33 UTC
Reply
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Post by Tony Cooper
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by bill van
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more Highland-y....r
Most web images for "pied piper" and for "pay the piper" portray the instrument
as slim and about as long as a flute or clarinet. I like the
easy-portability element.
The next smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some such
instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your back.
I think the tambour of your reply is overstrung,
but I have a pair of shells you can lace together
to hide the chattering of your teeth.
I'm not sure that the lute is the next smallest busking instrument.
This busker needs to carry around only a pair of drumsticks. A bucket
can be found just about anywhere, and need not be tuned.
The "Photoshopped Version" text is there because I altered the wall
behind the man.
https://photos.smugmug.com/Current/i-QkBgtZq/0/3bcc112d/O/2018-08-30-PS.jpg
This instrument is pretty small, so if this girl - who is attending a
music class - decides to busk she can carry it in her pocket.
https://photos.smugmug.com/Candids/i-m2G9frz/0/c2f9d2cd/O/2012-03-14-85B.jpg
Also small:
<URL:http://tinyurl.com/wikiP-instrument>
Post by Tony Cooper
At the other end of the size spectrum, this guy has one of the larger
https://photos.smugmug.com/Candids/i-b43BXCk/0/9028f0d3/O/2012-12-01-14BW.jpg
He does look pleased with himself, or maybe with life.

/dps
--
I have always been glad we weren't killed that night. I do not know
any particular reason, but I have always been glad.
_Roughing It_, Mark Twain
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-10-11 09:13:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by RHDraney
Post by bill van
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more Highland-y....r
Most web images for "pied piper" and for "pay the piper" portray the instrument
as slim and about as long as a flute or clarinet. I like the
easy-portability element.
The next smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some such
instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your back.
I think the tambour of your reply is overstrung,
but I have a pair of shells you can lace together
to hide the chattering of your teeth.
Post by RHDraney
I would have guessed the harmonica, but I suppose that loses points for
being unplayable if you also want to sing at the same time....
Just three days ago, I stopped at a dollar store to pick up a couple of
household staples, and there was a woman sitting outside under the rain
awning (we were getting the remnants of Hurricane Nora that day),
playing a cello....r
In TONG, that would merit a
"Hush ... Mr B will hear you!"
We used to say that about P*rl G*rl (sometimes known as She Who Must
Not Be Named) and J*nn. I quite liked P*rl G*rl, but others didn't.

But anyway, TONG? Not the village on Shropshire, I suppose.
talk.origins news group? Probably not, as people there don't seem to
mind being heard by the crackpots: indeed, it's pretty much completely
devoted to crackpots and replies to them.
Post by s***@gmail.com
(plumonym edited to reduce confusion)
/dps "and don't mention JdeP"
--
athel
Snidely
2018-10-11 09:34:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by RHDraney
Post by bill van
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more Highland-y....r
Most web images for "pied piper" and for "pay the piper" portray the instrument
as slim and about as long as a flute or clarinet. I like the
easy-portability element.
The next smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some such
instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your back.
I think the tambour of your reply is overstrung,
but I have a pair of shells you can lace together
to hide the chattering of your teeth.
Post by RHDraney
I would have guessed the harmonica, but I suppose that loses points for
being unplayable if you also want to sing at the same time....
Just three days ago, I stopped at a dollar store to pick up a couple of
household staples, and there was a woman sitting outside under the rain
awning (we were getting the remnants of Hurricane Nora that day),
playing a cello....r
In TONG, that would merit a
"Hush ... Mr B will hear you!"
We used to say that about P*rl G*rl (sometimes known as She Who Must Not Be
Named) and J*nn. I quite liked P*rl G*rl, but others didn't.
But anyway, TONG? Not the village on Shropshire, I suppose. talk.origins news
group? Probably not, as people there don't seem to mind being heard by the
crackpots: indeed, it's pretty much completely devoted to crackpots and
replies to them.
The acronym does indeed include "news". And "the" (or maybe "that").
Post by s***@gmail.com
(plumonym edited to reduce confusion)
/dps "and don't mention JdeP"
or her appearance with Sir John and company.
--
Killing a mouse was hardly a Nobel Prize-worthy exercise, and Lawrence
went apopleptic when he learned a lousy rodent had peed away all his
precious heavy water.
_The Disappearing Spoon_, Sam Kean
Peter Moylan
2018-10-11 10:40:46 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by bill van
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a
piper was the most commonly encountered kind of street
musician, simply because their instrument was one of the
most portable.
So, like, an ocarina?...I was picturing something more
Highland-y....r
Most web images for "pied piper" and for "pay the piper"
portray the instrument as slim and about as long as a flute or
clarinet. I like the easy-portability element. The next
smallest busking instrument is probably the lute or some such
instrument, and that needs to be carried in a case or on your back.
I think the tambour of your reply is overstrung, but I have a pair
of shells you can lace together to hide the chattering of your
teeth.
Post by RHDraney
I would have guessed the harmonica, but I suppose that loses
points for being unplayable if you also want to sing at the same
time....
Just three days ago, I stopped at a dollar store to pick up a
couple of household staples, and there was a woman sitting
outside under the rain awning (we were getting the remnants of
Hurricane Nora that day), playing a cello....r
In TONG, that would merit a "Hush ... Mr B will hear you!"
We used to say that about P*rl G*rl (sometimes known as She Who Must
Not Be Named) and J*nn. I quite liked P*rl G*rl, but others didn't.
We also said it about Jay Ma... and T..-san. By now there's no point.
The Maharaj appears anyway without invitation, and Tanaka-san seems to
have disappeared into the wilderness.
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
But anyway, TONG? Not the village on Shropshire, I suppose.
talk.origins news group? Probably not, as people there don't seem to
mind being heard by the crackpots: indeed, it's pretty much
completely devoted to crackpots and replies to them.
Think "the other".
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
RHDraney
2018-10-11 15:04:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
But anyway, TONG? Not the village on Shropshire, I suppose.
talk.origins news group? Probably not, as people there don't seem to
mind being heard by the crackpots: indeed, it's pretty much
completely devoted to crackpots and replies to them.
Think "the other".
As opposed to sci.lang, TOONG....r
Mark Brader
2018-10-06 09:21:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression says "...who pays the piper...," not "...who pays
the musician..."
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I was picturing something more Highland-y.
I thought that the idea was that you were paying to hear them, not to
make them go away.
--
Mark Brader, Toronto | "Strange commas are enshrined in
***@vex.net | the US Constitution." --James Hogg
s***@gmail.com
2018-10-11 02:10:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Mark Brader
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression says "...who pays the piper...," not "...who pays
the musician..."
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I was picturing something more Highland-y.
I thought that the idea was that you were paying to hear them, not to
make them go away.
Your grace aside, some of would be doing the former.

/dps
Snidely
2018-10-11 09:40:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Mark Brader
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression says "...who pays the piper...," not "...who pays
the musician..."
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I was picturing something more Highland-y.
I thought that the idea was that you were paying to hear them, not to
make them go away.
Your grace aside, some of
us
Post by s***@gmail.com
would be doing the former.
/dps
--
But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason
to 'be happy.'"
Viktor Frankl
Lewis
2018-10-06 06:38:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the
person who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To
me, that doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the
piper...," not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific
kind of musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference
to something about a piper.
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I seriously doubt that at any time in the history of humanity the
piper was the most common musician.
--
Take my hand and I'll show you what was and will be.
s***@gmail.com
2018-10-06 06:58:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I seriously doubt that at any time in the history of humanity the
piper was the most common musician.
Not your bag?

/dps "but I don't want to beat a dead horsehide stretched tight"
bert
2018-10-06 07:41:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era
where a piper was the most commonly encountered
kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I seriously doubt that at any time in the history
of humanity the piper was the most common musician.
But quite commonly mentioned, e.g. the children referred to in
Matthew 11: 17 :- We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced.
--
Katy Jennison
2018-10-06 14:44:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by bert
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era
where a piper was the most commonly encountered
kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I seriously doubt that at any time in the history
of humanity the piper was the most common musician.
But quite commonly mentioned, e.g. the children referred to in
Matthew 11: 17 :- We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced.
A reed pipe is one of the simplest instrument to make.
--
Katy Jennison
s***@gmail.com
2018-10-11 02:13:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by bert
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era
where a piper was the most commonly encountered
kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I seriously doubt that at any time in the history
of humanity the piper was the most common musician.
But quite commonly mentioned, e.g. the children referred to in
Matthew 11: 17 :- We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced.
A reed pipe is one of the simplest instrument to make.
And bone pipes not much harder, and easier to date 10000 generations later.

/dps
J. J. Lodder
2018-10-11 09:02:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by bert
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era
where a piper was the most commonly encountered
kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I seriously doubt that at any time in the history
of humanity the piper was the most common musician.
But quite commonly mentioned, e.g. the children referred to in
Matthew 11: 17 :- We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced.
A reed pipe is one of the simplest instrument to make.
And bone pipes not much harder, and easier to date 10000 generations later.
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?

Jan
Snidely
2018-10-11 09:41:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by bert
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era
where a piper was the most commonly encountered
kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I seriously doubt that at any time in the history
of humanity the piper was the most common musician.
But quite commonly mentioned, e.g. the children referred to in
Matthew 11: 17 :- We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced.
A reed pipe is one of the simplest instrument to make.
And bone pipes not much harder, and easier to date 10000 generations later.
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
Count the rings. Ignore the necklaces.

/dps
--
Rule #0: Don't be on fire.
In case of fire, exit the building before tweeting about it.
(Sighting reported by Adam F)
b***@aol.com
2018-10-11 16:23:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by bert
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era
where a piper was the most commonly encountered
kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I seriously doubt that at any time in the history
of humanity the piper was the most common musician.
But quite commonly mentioned, e.g. the children referred to in
Matthew 11: 17 :- We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced.
A reed pipe is one of the simplest instrument to make.
And bone pipes not much harder, and easier to date 10000 generations later.
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you from the
bottom of my heart"?
Post by J. J. Lodder
Jan
RHDraney
2018-10-11 20:13:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Katy Jennison
A reed pipe is one of the simplest instrument to make.
And bone pipes not much harder, and easier to date 10000 generations later.
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you from the
bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits, not bones....r
Jerry Friedman
2018-10-12 13:32:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Katy Jennison
A reed pipe is one of the simplest instrument to make.
And bone pipes not much harder, and easier to date 10000 generations later.
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you from the
bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits, not bones....r
Except in Spanish.
--
Jerry Friedman
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-10-13 13:12:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Katy Jennison
A reed pipe is one of the simplest instrument to make.
And bone pipes not much harder, and easier to date 10000 generations later.
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you from the
bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
Post by RHDraney
not bones....r
--
athel
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-10-13 13:48:48 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Katy Jennison
A reed pipe is one of the simplest instrument to make.
And bone pipes not much harder, and easier to date 10000 generations later.
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you from the
bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
Cue innumerable jokes about stoned dates!
Jerry Friedman
2018-10-13 15:13:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
--
Jerry Friedman
RHDraney
2018-10-13 15:49:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm.  In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
Avocados too....

Listen, I just bought a little box of pitted dates at Sprouts, so I
think I know whereof I speak....r
Peter T. Daniels
2018-10-13 18:33:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by RHDraney
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm.  In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
Avocados too....
avocado seed (maybe because we know we can plant them and get results)
Post by RHDraney
Listen, I just bought a little box of pitted dates at Sprouts, so I
think I know whereof I speak....r
mmm ... dates ... all sugar
RHDraney
2018-10-13 22:30:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by RHDraney
Listen, I just bought a little box of pitted dates at Sprouts, so I
think I know whereof I speak....r
mmm ... dates ... all sugar
Yeah, I know...first I finally find a green vegetable that won't go
moldy before I get a chance to eat it, and my doctor says dill pickles
don't count...then I find a fruit that I can actually enjoy and he says
all dried fruits are *bad* for diabetics....r
Peter T. Daniels
2018-10-14 00:58:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by RHDraney
Listen, I just bought a little box of pitted dates at Sprouts, so I
think I know whereof I speak....r
mmm ... dates ... all sugar
Yeah, I know...first I finally find a green vegetable that won't go
moldy before I get a chance to eat it, and my doctor says dill pickles
don't count...then I find a fruit that I can actually enjoy and he says
all dried fruits are *bad* for diabetics....r
They shouldn't be any _more_ bad than the original versions, it's just
that they're smaller so it's easier to eat more of them. (Just once, I
found a bag of small apples that were small enough not to cause any
trouble.)

I don't think I've ever encountered a raw date; seems like there must be
a sugar syrup involved in processing them?

And raw figs only once, at a Near Eastern-themed buffet at the Oriental
Institute. Erica Reiner had to tell me what those quartered lightbulb-
shaped fruits were.
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-10-13 16:20:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
--
athel
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2018-10-13 18:03:58 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
I have met "pit" as back-formation from "pitted" in this sense:
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/pitted

(of a fruit) having had the stone removed.
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
RHDraney
2018-10-13 22:31:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/pitted
(of a fruit) having had the stone removed.
I would have thought it came from your term "pips" for the orange bits
mailed to warn victims of the Ku Klux Klan in that Sherlock Holmes
story....r
Jerry Friedman
2018-10-13 23:01:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Hm.  In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/pitted
     (of a fruit) having had the stone removed.
I would have thought it came from your term "pips" for the orange bits
mailed to warn victims of the Ku Klux Klan in that Sherlock Holmes
story....r
The OED and etymonline.com agree that "pit" of a fruit comes from Dutch
and is ultimately related to "pith". Well, the OED is sure at "pit
(n.2)" but has grave doubts at "pith".
--
Jerry Friedman
Jerry Friedman
2018-10-13 23:02:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by RHDraney
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Hm.  In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/pitted
     (of a fruit) having had the stone removed.
I would have thought it came from your term "pips" for the orange bits
mailed to warn victims of the Ku Klux Klan in that Sherlock Holmes
story....r
The OED and etymonline.com agree that "pit" of a fruit comes from Dutch
and is ultimately related to "pith".  Well, the OED is sure at "pit
(n.2)" but has grave doubts at "pith".
Nothing to do with "pip", I meant to say.
--
Jerry Friedman
Peter T. Daniels
2018-10-14 00:54:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/pitted
(of a fruit) having had the stone removed.
Why would removing the pit from a date be called "pitting," if the pit
weren't already called the "pit"?
Tony Cooper
2018-10-13 19:08:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.

The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.

But that makes me wonder if the pit, or stone, of a fruit is the
source of the expression. It could be that "It's the pits" comes from
the idea that a basket formerly containing cherries now contains only
the pits and that's a bad thing.

The good thing about a.u.e. is that someone may come along and provide
a reason "pits" is used this way, and provide some eminently logical
reason that I have not considered.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Richard Tobin
2018-10-13 20:13:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
But that makes me wonder if the pit, or stone, of a fruit is the
source of the expression. It could be that "It's the pits" comes from
the idea that a basket formerly containing cherries now contains only
the pits and that's a bad thing.
I had always taken it to refer to holes in the ground.
Post by Tony Cooper
The good thing about a.u.e. is that someone may come along and provide
a reason "pits" is used this way, and provide some eminently logical
reason that I have not considered.
The OED says it is thought to come from the use of "pits" to mean
"armpits", "though that is attested slightly later".

-- Richard
Tony Cooper
2018-10-14 00:16:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Tony Cooper
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
But that makes me wonder if the pit, or stone, of a fruit is the
source of the expression. It could be that "It's the pits" comes from
the idea that a basket formerly containing cherries now contains only
the pits and that's a bad thing.
I had always taken it to refer to holes in the ground.
Post by Tony Cooper
The good thing about a.u.e. is that someone may come along and provide
a reason "pits" is used this way, and provide some eminently logical
reason that I have not considered.
The OED says it is thought to come from the use of "pits" to mean
"armpits", "though that is attested slightly later".
So, then, in BrE, the expression is "It's the oxters"?
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-10-13 20:20:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
But that makes me wonder if the pit, or stone, of a fruit is the
source of the expression. It could be that "It's the pits" comes from
the idea that a basket formerly containing cherries now contains only
the pits and that's a bad thing.
The good thing about a.u.e. is that someone may come along and provide
a reason "pits" is used this way, and provide some eminently logical
reason that I have not considered.
OED tentatively suggests that 'the pits' refers to the smelly bits where
one's arms joins one's body. That was certainly the opinion of American
Speech in 1965.
Mack A. Damia
2018-10-13 20:24:30 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 15:08:27 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
Means "armpits" (bad odor) and nothing to do with having a layover in
Pittsburgh.
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
But that makes me wonder if the pit, or stone, of a fruit is the
source of the expression. It could be that "It's the pits" comes from
the idea that a basket formerly containing cherries now contains only
the pits and that's a bad thing.
The good thing about a.u.e. is that someone may come along and provide
a reason "pits" is used this way, and provide some eminently logical
reason that I have not considered.
Ken Blake
2018-10-13 20:57:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 13:24:30 -0700, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 15:08:27 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
Means "armpits" (bad odor)
That's apparently just one theory. According to
https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/it%27s+the+pits

The worst possible situation, as in Spending your birthday working
alone is the pits, or That job is the pits.
The allusion in this term is unclear. Some think it refers to coal
pits, others to armpits, and still others to the area beside an auto
racecourse, also called the pits, where cars are serviced during a
race.
Mack A. Damia
2018-10-13 21:23:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 13:24:30 -0700, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 15:08:27 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
Means "armpits" (bad odor)
That's apparently just one theory. According to
https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/it%27s+the+pits
The worst possible situation, as in Spending your birthday working
alone is the pits, or That job is the pits.
The allusion in this term is unclear. Some think it refers to coal
pits, others to armpits, and still others to the area beside an auto
racecourse, also called the pits, where cars are serviced during a
race.
OED:

14. the pits. (Slang, origin U.S.), the worst or most despicable
example of something; frequently applied to a person considered
particularly obnoxious or contemptible. 1965: "Amer. Speech". This
is a slang abbreviation of the term 'armpits' with the extension of
meaning to entail the idea of body odor.

Granted, there are numerous definitions - four pages of them including
the ones you have cited.
Ken Blake
2018-10-13 21:41:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 14:23:44 -0700, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by Ken Blake
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 13:24:30 -0700, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 15:08:27 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
Means "armpits" (bad odor)
That's apparently just one theory. According to
https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/it%27s+the+pits
The worst possible situation, as in Spending your birthday working
alone is the pits, or That job is the pits.
The allusion in this term is unclear. Some think it refers to coal
pits, others to armpits, and still others to the area beside an auto
racecourse, also called the pits, where cars are serviced during a
race.
14. the pits. (Slang, origin U.S.), the worst or most despicable
example of something; frequently applied to a person considered
particularly obnoxious or contemptible. 1965: "Amer. Speech". This
is a slang abbreviation of the term 'armpits' with the extension of
meaning to entail the idea of body odor.
Granted, there are numerous definitions - four pages of them including
the ones you have cited.
Granted that the OED is a much better source than the one I cited, but
my point was simply that there are several theories, and it's hard to
be certain that any one is correct.
Mack A. Damia
2018-10-13 21:43:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 14:23:44 -0700, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by Ken Blake
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 13:24:30 -0700, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 15:08:27 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
Means "armpits" (bad odor)
That's apparently just one theory. According to
https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/it%27s+the+pits
The worst possible situation, as in Spending your birthday working
alone is the pits, or That job is the pits.
The allusion in this term is unclear. Some think it refers to coal
pits, others to armpits, and still others to the area beside an auto
racecourse, also called the pits, where cars are serviced during a
race.
14. the pits. (Slang, origin U.S.), the worst or most despicable
example of something; frequently applied to a person considered
particularly obnoxious or contemptible. 1965: "Amer. Speech". This
is a slang abbreviation of the term 'armpits' with the extension of
meaning to entail the idea of body odor.
Granted, there are numerous definitions - four pages of them including
the ones you have cited.
Granted that the OED is a much better source than the one I cited, but
my point was simply that there are several theories, and it's hard to
be certain that any one is correct.
I am not disagreeing with you, M8.
Tony Cooper
2018-10-13 22:26:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 14:23:44 -0700, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by Ken Blake
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 13:24:30 -0700, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 15:08:27 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
Means "armpits" (bad odor)
That's apparently just one theory. According to
https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/it%27s+the+pits
The worst possible situation, as in Spending your birthday working
alone is the pits, or That job is the pits.
The allusion in this term is unclear. Some think it refers to coal
pits, others to armpits, and still others to the area beside an auto
racecourse, also called the pits, where cars are serviced during a
race.
14. the pits. (Slang, origin U.S.), the worst or most despicable
example of something; frequently applied to a person considered
particularly obnoxious or contemptible. 1965: "Amer. Speech". This
is a slang abbreviation of the term 'armpits' with the extension of
meaning to entail the idea of body odor.
Granted, there are numerous definitions - four pages of them including
the ones you have cited.
I am constantly reminded of how disadvantaged I am in not having
access to the OED.

The pits, in automobile racing, is where fluid is added. The
spectators, however, discharge fluid when making a pit stop.

obAUE: I labored over the "the pits...is" vs "the pits...are". I
chose "is" because the pits that I am familiar with is a single area
with designated areas for each driver. The driver goes into the "pit
area" and stops at the area where his crew awaits.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2018-10-13 22:50:42 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 13:24:30 -0700, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 15:08:27 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
Means "armpits" (bad odor)
That's apparently just one theory. According to
https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/it%27s+the+pits
The worst possible situation, as in Spending your birthday working
alone is the pits, or That job is the pits.
The allusion in this term is unclear. Some think it refers to coal
pits, others to armpits, and still others to the area beside an auto
racecourse, also called the pits, where cars are serviced during a
race.
The racecar servicing pits are so named after car servicing places with
real pits; as:
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/pit

1.3 A sunken area in a workshop floor allowing access to a car's
underside.
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
David Kleinecke
2018-10-13 22:34:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
But that makes me wonder if the pit, or stone, of a fruit is the
source of the expression. It could be that "It's the pits" comes from
the idea that a basket formerly containing cherries now contains only
the pits and that's a bad thing.
The good thing about a.u.e. is that someone may come along and provide
a reason "pits" is used this way, and provide some eminently logical
reason that I have not considered.
Just noodling - I can't get an above-ground job - it's
pits for me. Mining pits.
Tony Cooper
2018-10-13 22:55:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 15:34:37 -0700 (PDT), David Kleinecke
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
But that makes me wonder if the pit, or stone, of a fruit is the
source of the expression. It could be that "It's the pits" comes from
the idea that a basket formerly containing cherries now contains only
the pits and that's a bad thing.
The good thing about a.u.e. is that someone may come along and provide
a reason "pits" is used this way, and provide some eminently logical
reason that I have not considered.
Just noodling - I can't get an above-ground job - it's
pits for me. Mining pits.
There's another thing I wonder about. Mines are holes in the ground
called "pits". But the people in mines work on the face. I want to
think that the face should be above ground and what's in view.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Mack A. Damia
2018-10-13 23:08:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:55:03 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Tony Cooper
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 15:34:37 -0700 (PDT), David Kleinecke
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
But that makes me wonder if the pit, or stone, of a fruit is the
source of the expression. It could be that "It's the pits" comes from
the idea that a basket formerly containing cherries now contains only
the pits and that's a bad thing.
The good thing about a.u.e. is that someone may come along and provide
a reason "pits" is used this way, and provide some eminently logical
reason that I have not considered.
Just noodling - I can't get an above-ground job - it's
pits for me. Mining pits.
There's another thing I wonder about. Mines are holes in the ground
called "pits". But the people in mines work on the face. I want to
think that the face should be above ground and what's in view.
I think I read in my OED that the term "the pits" originated in the
1960s, so I doubt it refers to mines. Could be, though, as coal mines
in Britain and the U.S. were on the decline at that time.

A deep, dark hole with no use?
Peter Moylan
2018-10-14 01:18:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 15:34:37 -0700 (PDT), David Kleinecke
Post by David Kleinecke
Just noodling - I can't get an above-ground job - it's
pits for me. Mining pits.
There's another thing I wonder about. Mines are holes in the ground
called "pits". But the people in mines work on the face. I want to
think that the face should be above ground and what's in view.
The coal face is in view to the people down below. They have lights down
there.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Sam Plusnet
2018-10-14 00:56:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:20:35 +0200, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
All have stones in British English. I'd never heard of pits (in that
sense) before going to the USA.
The problem with a.u.e. is that one sees things here that makes one
wonder about things that are really not worth the wondering.
The expression "It's the pits", or otherwise using "pits" to mean "as
bad as it gets", is one - then - that must not be understood by
speakers of British English. I have never heard "stones" in an
expression with this meaning.
But that makes me wonder if the pit, or stone, of a fruit is the
source of the expression. It could be that "It's the pits" comes from
the idea that a basket formerly containing cherries now contains only
the pits and that's a bad thing.
The good thing about a.u.e. is that someone may come along and provide
a reason "pits" is used this way, and provide some eminently logical
reason that I have not considered.
Just noodling - I can't get an above-ground job - it's
pits for me. Mining pits.
Ah but.
Underground jobs attracted higher wages than those above ground in UK
mining - unless you happen to be a mine manager.
--
Sam Plusnet
Janet
2018-10-13 17:02:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
In article <ppt237$afn$***@news.albasani.net>, ***@yahoo.com
says...
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
In Br E as I know it, mines, arms and stomachs have pits.

Janet.
RHDraney
2018-10-13 22:33:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Janet
says...
Post by Jerry Friedman
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
In Br E as I know it, mines, arms and stomachs have pits.
In the US, you can add barbecue....r
Peter Moylan
2018-10-14 01:20:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by RHDraney
Post by Janet
says...
Post by Jerry Friedman
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
In Br E as I know it, mines, arms and stomachs have pits.
In the US, you can add barbecue....r
In Aus, add gravel.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Peter T. Daniels
2018-10-13 18:31:51 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
And clams have cherrystones.
Mack A. Damia
2018-10-13 20:32:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sat, 13 Oct 2018 11:31:51 -0700 (PDT), "Peter T. Daniels"
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by RHDraney
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you
from the bottom of my heart"?
Nah...dates have pits,
stones, in British English.
...
Hm. In American English as I know it, cherries, plums, peaches, and
apricots have either pits or stones, but dates and olives only have pits.
And clams have cherrystones.
Clams don't have stones or pits.

The name is just a reference to the size of the clam: A small quahog.
Snidely
2018-10-12 11:31:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by b***@aol.com
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by bert
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era
where a piper was the most commonly encountered
kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I seriously doubt that at any time in the history
of humanity the piper was the most common musician.
But quite commonly mentioned, e.g. the children referred to in
Matthew 11: 17 :- We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced.
A reed pipe is one of the simplest instrument to make.
And bone pipes not much harder, and easier to date 10000 generations later.
How do you propose to date a 100 000 year old bone?
How about "Dear Bone, age is no obstacle to romance, and I love you from the
bottom of my heart"?
I like your answer better than mine.

/dps
--
Maybe C282Y is simply one of the hangers-on, a groupie following a
future guitar god of the human genome: an allele with undiscovered
virtuosity, currently soloing in obscurity in Mom's garage.
Bradley Wertheim, theAtlantic.com, Jan 10 2013
Sam Plusnet
2018-10-11 20:15:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Swerving somewhat, but staying within the topic of street music I was
reminded of Henry Mayhew's work on London society in the mid 19th century.

http://www.victorianlondon.org/mayhew/mayhew55.htm

which starts

"I now come to the Street Musicians and Street Vocalists of London.
These are a more numerous class than any other of the street performers
that I have yet dealt with. The Musicians are estimated at 1,000, and
the Ballad Singers at 250."
--
Sam Plusnet
Lewis
2018-10-06 16:58:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by bert
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era
where a piper was the most commonly encountered
kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I seriously doubt that at any time in the history
of humanity the piper was the most common musician.
But quite commonly mentioned, e.g. the children referred to in
Matthew 11: 17 :- We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced.
Oh, they've been around forever, no doubt about that. Even common. But
MOST common? No, not buying that.
--
there were far worse things than Evil. All the demons in Hell would
torture your very soul, but that was precisely because they valued souls
very highly; Evil would always try to steal the universe, but at least
it considered the universe worth stealing. But the grey world behind
those empty eyes would trample and destroy without even according its
victims the dignity of hatred. It wouldn't even notice them. --The Light
Fantastic
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-10-06 20:20:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lewis
Post by bert
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
The expression is likely to have come from an era
where a piper was the most commonly encountered
kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I seriously doubt that at any time in the history
of humanity the piper was the most common musician.
But quite commonly mentioned, e.g. the children referred to in
Matthew 11: 17 :- We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced.
Oh, they've been around forever, no doubt about that. Even common. But
MOST common? No, not buying that.
So what manner of musician was?
J. J. Lodder
2018-10-06 07:56:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the
person who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To
me, that doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the
piper...," not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific
kind of musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference
to something about a piper.
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
I seriously doubt that at any time in the history of humanity the
piper was the most common musician.
Fiddlesticks!

Jan
Janet
2018-10-06 12:48:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
In article <pp9bv3$i39$***@dont-email.me>, ***@pmoylan.org.invalid
says...
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the
person who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To
me, that doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the
piper...," not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific
kind of musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference
to something about a piper.
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
To Brits, "piper" = plays bagpipes.

Janet.
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-10-06 13:49:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Janet
says...
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the
person who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To
me, that doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the
piper...," not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific
kind of musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference
to something about a piper.
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
To Brits, "piper" = plays bagpipes.
Not to anybody with any understanding, it doesn't. Scotland was
possibly the last place on Earth to even get bagpipes. Versions
of the instrument are found across Europe and Asia dating back
millennia before the Scottish bagpipes were born. Mentions of
pipes in folk songs, carols etc. certainly do not refer to the
Scottish bagpipe but to any of hundreds of versions of recorder
like instruments, pan pipes, etc. or to the pumped instruments
such as the Northumbrian smallpipes of which Kathryn Tickell
is a virtuoso, or the Uilleann pipes. Ask a folkie to name a piper
and I can guarantee that it won't be an exponent of the tartan
terror inducer. Even in Wikipedia's list of bagpipers the instrument
plays second fiddle (if that makes sense)!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bagpipers
Peter T. Daniels
2018-10-06 21:50:07 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
Post by Janet
To Brits, "piper" = plays bagpipes.
Not to anybody with any understanding, it doesn't. Scotland was
possibly the last place on Earth to even get bagpipes. Versions
of the instrument are found across Europe and Asia dating back
millennia before the Scottish bagpipes were born. Mentions of
pipes in folk songs, carols etc. certainly do not refer to the
Scottish bagpipe but to any of hundreds of versions of recorder
like instruments, pan pipes, etc. or to the pumped instruments
such as the Northumbrian smallpipes of which Kathryn Tickell
is a virtuoso, or the Uilleann pipes. Ask a folkie to name a piper
and I can guarantee that it won't be an exponent of the tartan
terror inducer. Even in Wikipedia's list of bagpipers the instrument
plays second fiddle (if that makes sense)!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bagpipers
I've generally imagined a double-reed instrument, oboe-like.
Snidely
2018-10-11 09:46:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Madrigal Gurneyhalt suggested that ...
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
Post by Janet
says...
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the
person who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To
me, that doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the
piper...," not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific
kind of musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference
to something about a piper.
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
To Brits, "piper" = plays bagpipes.
Not to anybody with any understanding, it doesn't. Scotland was
possibly the last place on Earth to even get bagpipes. Versions
of the instrument are found across Europe and Asia dating back
millennia before the Scottish bagpipes were born. Mentions of
pipes in folk songs, carols etc. certainly do not refer to the
Scottish bagpipe but to any of hundreds of versions of recorder
like instruments, pan pipes, etc. or to the pumped instruments
such as the Northumbrian smallpipes of which Kathryn Tickell
is a virtuoso, or the Uilleann pipes. Ask a folkie to name a piper
and I can guarantee that it won't be an exponent of the tartan
terror inducer. Even in Wikipedia's list of bagpipers the instrument
plays second fiddle (if that makes sense)!
Not sure it does (scrunches face in thought)
Post by Madrigal Gurneyhalt
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bagpipers
Would finding some who banded together be easier for most people?
Perhaps if the music was regimented carefully?

/dps "but the first 3 on the list weren't Bulgarians"
--
"That's a good sort of hectic, innit?"

" Very much so, and I'd recommend the haggis wontons."
-njm
Katy Jennison
2018-10-06 14:46:46 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Janet
says...
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the
person who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To
me, that doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the
piper...," not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific
kind of musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference
to something about a piper.
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
To Brits, "piper" = plays bagpipes.
To Scots, perhaps. To an Angle who was brought up among people who
played the pipe and tabor, not so much.
--
Katy Jennison
Ken Blake
2018-10-06 14:51:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sat, 6 Oct 2018 13:59:30 +1000, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the
person who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To
me, that doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the
piper...," not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific
kind of musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference
to something about a piper.
The expression is likely to have come from an era where a piper was the
most commonly encountered kind of street musician, simply because their
instrument was one of the most portable.
Yes, perhaps so. And perhaps the story about the pied piper of Hamlin
has the same origin.
Jerry Friedman
2018-10-06 13:49:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by musika
Post by Ken Blake
On Fri, 5 Oct 2018 21:53:57 +1000, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune".
Yes.
Post by Peter Moylan
Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
But yes, it apparently does. See
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/who_pays_the_piper_calls_the_tune
Or not
<https://www.bookbrowse.com/expressions/detail/index.cfm/expression_number/401/he-who-pays-the-piper-calls-the-tune>
http://tinyurl.com/yaw2clkq
OK, maybe not. However that page says "... that is to say, the person
who pays the musician has influence over what he plays." To me, that
doesn't make sense. The expression says "...who pays the piper...,"
not "...who pays the musician..." Since it says a specific kind of
musician--a piper--to me it suggests that it's a reference to
something about a piper.
The expression is also found with "fiddler".

I suspect that the preference for "piper" in this one and in "They who
dance must pay the piper" results mostly from alliteration.
--
Jerry Friedman
Lewis
2018-10-05 17:52:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune". Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
That is entirely different.
--
In other news, Gandalf died. -- Secret Diary of Boromir
Harrison Hill
2018-10-05 18:02:34 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune". Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
That is entirely different.
Indeed. Entirely different from the people of Hamelin, who refused to pay
the piper. I have a distant memory of the "Pied Piper" story dating from
the mass exodus of young males to the Crusades?

John de Joinville on a disastrous late crusade here - Chapter 14 is the
"quick" link to click:

<http://web.archive.org/web/20081011222823/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/WedLord.html>
Quinn C
2018-10-05 18:20:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Harrison Hill
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune". Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
That is entirely different.
Indeed. Entirely different from the people of Hamelin, who refused to pay
the piper.
From which we hopefully learn the lesson that you better pay the piper.
--
Trans people are scapegoated for the impossibilities of this two-box
system, but the system harms all of us. Most people have felt ashamed
of the ways we don't conform to whatever narrow idea of man or woman
has been prescribed onto our bodies -- H.P.Keenan in Slate
Jerry Friedman
2018-10-05 21:59:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Harrison Hill
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune". Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
That is entirely different.
Indeed. Entirely different from the people of Hamelin, who refused to pay
the piper. I have a distant memory of the "Pied Piper" story dating from
the mass exodus of young males to the Crusades?
Wikipedia mentions some interesting theories.
Post by Harrison Hill
John de Joinville on a disastrous late crusade here - Chapter 14 is the
<http://web.archive.org/web/20081011222823/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/WedLord.html>
With no connection to the Pied Piper, right?
--
Jerry Friedman
Lewis
2018-10-06 02:34:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Harrison Hill
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune". Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
That is entirely different.
Indeed. Entirely different from the people of Hamelin, who refused to pay
the piper. I have a distant memory of the "Pied Piper" story dating from
the mass exodus of young males to the Crusades?
Maybe. It certainly predates 1300, but I don't think the origin is
really known.
Post by Harrison Hill
John de Joinville on a disastrous late crusade here - Chapter 14 is the
<http://web.archive.org/web/20081011222823/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/WedLord.html>
--
The hippo of recollection stirred in the muddy waters of the mind.
J. J. Lodder
2018-10-06 07:56:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune". Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
Much shorter and more general in Dutch:
'Wie betaalt bepaalt' (lit. who pays decides)

Jan
Quinn C
2018-10-08 15:23:42 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune". Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
'Wie betaalt bepaalt' (lit. who pays decides)
Nice rhyme, but very literal - (regional) German "Wer zahlt, schafft
an." (The payer makes the buying decisions.)

Another, probably more common expression uses music to focus on the
other side of the equation:
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wes_Brot_ich_ess,_des_Lied_ich_sing>
"Whose bread I eat, their song I sing", don't bite the hand that feeds
you.
--
Do not they speak false English ... that doth not speak thou to one,
and what ever he be, Father, Mother, King, or Judge, is he not a
Novice, and Unmannerly, and an Ideot, and a Fool, that speaks Your
to one, which is not to be spoken to a singular, but to many?
-- George Fox (1660)
J. J. Lodder
2018-10-08 19:18:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune". Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
'Wie betaalt bepaalt' (lit. who pays decides)
Nice rhyme, but very literal - (regional) German "Wer zahlt, schafft
an." (The payer makes the buying decisions.)
A mistake based on your German-only.
Better translations of 'bepalen' are 'bestimmen' 'anordnen',
festsetzen, so more general, and much stronger.
Post by Quinn C
Another, probably more common expression uses music to focus on the
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wes_Brot_ich_ess,_des_Lied_ich_sing>
"Whose bread I eat, their song I sing", don't bite the hand that feeds
you.
Also nearly the same, but also more strongly in Dutch:
'Wiens brood men eet diens woord men spreekt',
and with superior almost-rhyme too.

Jan
Quinn C
2018-10-08 20:42:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Quinn C
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune". Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
'Wie betaalt bepaalt' (lit. who pays decides)
Nice rhyme, but very literal - (regional) German "Wer zahlt, schafft
an." (The payer makes the buying decisions.)
A mistake based on your German-only.
Better translations of 'bepalen' are 'bestimmen' 'anordnen',
festsetzen, so more general, and much stronger.
I didn't try to translate the Dutch. I quoted a German saying that's
similarly literal. AFAIK the region where that German saying is most
common is the region farthest from the Netherlands.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Quinn C
Another, probably more common expression uses music to focus on the
<https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wes_Brot_ich_ess,_des_Lied_ich_sing>
"Whose bread I eat, their song I sing", don't bite the hand that feeds
you.
'Wiens brood men eet diens woord men spreekt',
and with superior almost-rhyme too.
And here I almost forgot that it's all about superiority.
--
"Bother", said the Borg, as they assimilated Pooh.
Snidely
2018-10-11 09:19:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the
pudding", but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this.
It was something to do with Russian spies, and some US official was
on air saying "They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper
two years ago.
"Pay the Piper" refers to the main character in the fairy tale, The
Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The familiar saying I'm used to is "He who pays the piper calls the
tune". Nothing to do with the Pied Piper.
'Wie betaalt bepaalt' (lit. who pays decides)
Shorter, but less poetic. I like images.

/dps
--
Rule #0: Don't be on fire.
In case of fire, exit the building before tweeting about it.
(Sighting reported by Adam F)
Jerry Friedman
2018-10-05 13:49:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the pudding",
but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this. It was something
to do with Russian spies, and some US official was on air saying
"They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper two
years ago.
There's a story that after the Boston Tea Party, as the protestors
disguised as "Mohawks" marched home, one Admiral Montague told them
something like "You have had your sport, but tomorrow you will have to
pay the piper."

https://books.google.com/books?id=fU9KAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA467

http://www.boston-tea-party.org/mystery.html

I had enough trouble finding examples that I suspect it's been removed
from the history books as apocryphal. But the expression was presumably
reinforced by "The Pied Piper of Hamelin", and I'd guess that in the
U.S. "pay the piper" means "pay the consequences" more often than "call
the tune".

By the way, he earliest version I found is from Mason Weems's biography
of George Washington, but he uses the phrase as a paraphrase of the
British attitude without ascribing it to anyone.

"As that most undutiful child [Boston] had always led off the dance in
outrage and rebellion against the parent state, it was determined that
she should pay the piper for /old and new/...that her purse should
answer for all the tea that had been destroyed..."

https://books.google.com/books?id=6tc56rgYE1YC&pg=PA68

[Ellipses in original]

I wonder the admiral got into the story from an imperfect memory of
Weems's book.

(Weems is now best known as the source of the anecdote about George
Washington and the cherry tree.)
--
Jerry Friedman
Jerry Friedman
2018-10-05 14:16:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the pudding",
but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this. It was something
to do with Russian spies, and some US official was on air saying
"They'll just have to pay the piper".
...
Post by Jerry Friedman
By the way, he earliest version I found is from Mason Weems's biography
of George Washington, but he uses the phrase as a paraphrase of the
British attitude without ascribing it to anyone.
"As that most undutiful child [Boston] had always led off the dance in
outrage and rebellion against the parent state, it was determined that
she should pay the piper for /old and new/...that her purse should
answer for all the tea that had been destroyed..."
https://books.google.com/books?id=6tc56rgYE1YC&pg=PA68
[Ellipses in original]
Apparently "pay the piper" (or the fiddler, or the music, or in French
/payer les violons/) was an established proverb for paying for one's
pleasures. It seems to have gotten lost in Australia and Britain.
Post by Jerry Friedman
I wonder
whether
Post by Jerry Friedman
the admiral got into the story from an imperfect memory of
Weems's book.
...
--
Jerry Friedman
Madhu
2018-10-06 15:45:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the pudding",
but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this. It was something
to do with Russian spies, and some US official was on air saying
"They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper two
years ago.
There's a story that after the Boston Tea Party, as the protestors
disguised as "Mohawks" marched home, one Admiral Montague told them
something like "You have had your sport, but tomorrow you will have to
pay the piper."
[...]
Post by Jerry Friedman
I had enough trouble finding examples that I suspect it's been removed
from the history books as apocryphal. But the expression was
presumably reinforced by "The Pied Piper of Hamelin", and I'd guess
that in the U.S. "pay the piper" means "pay the consequences" more
often than "call the tune".
I've come across the phrase (can't remember where) a few times, and the
context had always about payments withheld for services rendered. The
implied threat was you would face loss if you do not keep your part of
the promise and commitments

[snip]
Jerry Friedman
2018-10-06 16:06:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Madhu
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Peter Moylan
We've had to get used to people saying "the proof is in the pudding",
but today on the TV news I heard a new variant of this. It was something
to do with Russian spies, and some US official was on air saying
"They'll just have to pay the piper".
I thought that in the US the Russians had already paid the piper two
years ago.
There's a story that after the Boston Tea Party, as the protestors
disguised as "Mohawks" marched home, one Admiral Montague told them
something like "You have had your sport, but tomorrow you will have to
pay the piper."
[...]
Post by Jerry Friedman
I had enough trouble finding examples that I suspect it's been removed
from the history books as apocryphal. But the expression was
presumably reinforced by "The Pied Piper of Hamelin", and I'd guess
that in the U.S. "pay the piper" means "pay the consequences" more
often than "call the tune".
I've come across the phrase (can't remember where) a few times, and the
context had always about payments withheld for services rendered. The
implied threat was you would face loss if you do not keep your part of
the promise and commitments
[snip]
I'm not sure I've heard that. It sounds more like the Pied Piper than
the extended meaning that Jim Mattis had in mind.
--
Jerry Friedman
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