The Shannon Family Forum

Our members originate from Monaghan, Kilkenny, Galway. Affiliated with our Shannon Family are Dooley, Burke, Martin & more. Currently spread around Monaghan, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Dublin, Galway, London, Holland, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia

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The Cat's Pyjamas


Part of the furniture
Part of the furniture

Book Kiss of death

Post by CathyCat on Mon 10 Apr 2017 - 13:10


This phrase derives from Judas Iscariot's kiss given to Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane before he betrayed him (Luke 23:48 and Matthew 26:49).  It's also known as a 'Judas kiss', meaning an insincere act of courtesy or false affection.

In Mafia circles, a kiss from the boss may indeed be a fatal omen.

The phrase is often used today in political or business contexts, meaning that certain associations or actions may prove to be the undoing of a person or organization, or the downfall of a plan or project.

Part of the furniture
Part of the furniture

Book To lie on a bed of nails

Post by CathyCat on Mon 17 Apr 2017 - 16:24


A situation or position, usually self-inflicted, that is fraught with a multitude of difficult problems.

The phrase refers to the spiked bed of the Hindu sadhu (ascetic or holy man), on which he chooses to sleep as a mark of spiritual devotion.  But while the spikes may not hurt the sadhu, they would be unbearable for most normal mortals.

The saying is sometimes used in its variant form, 'to lie on a bed of thorns'; both are used to describe painful situations that people have created for themselves.

Part of the furniture
Part of the furniture

Book As mad as a hatter

Post by CathyCat on Fri 28 Apr 2017 - 20:31


A renowned simile ever since Lewis Carroll's (1832-98) Alice in Wonderland (1865), although it can be found in W.M. Thackeray's (1811-63) Pendennis (1850) and is recorded in America as early as 1836.

The likely reason for linking hat-makers with madness is that hatters used the chemical mercurous nitrate in the making of felt hats, and its side effects can produce trembling symptoms such as those suffered in St Vitus's Dance.

It is believed that Lewis Carroll based his character on Theophilus Carter, a furniture dealer who was known locally as the 'mad hatter' because he wore a top hat and devised fanciful inventions such as an alarm-clock bed which tipped the sleeper to the floor when it was time to wake up.

It has also been suggested that the original mad hatter was Robert Crab, a seventeenth-century English eccentric who gave all his belongings to the poor and ate only dock leaves and grass.

Part of the furniture
Part of the furniture

Book Make hay while the sun shines

Post by CathyCat on Tue 9 May 2017 - 20:54


To act promptly when the opportunity presents itself and make use of favourable circumstances. It has a similar seize-the-day meaning to the phrases 'one today is worth two tomorrows', and, as seen on a postcard, 'there's many a lemon dries up unsqueezed.'

The phrase originated when many people worked on the land, and appeared in the sixteenth century.  Before the days of the baler, cut hay was tossed about with a pitchfork before being gathered in, and then had to be left to dry in the fields, which mean that rain would spoil it.

In more recent times, it has come to be used as a justification for having fun or relaxing whenever the opportunity presents itself.

    Current date/time is Tue 22 May 2018 - 14:33