Sunday, September 26, 2010

North by backside

Pint does not rhyme with mint. Or splint or flint or hint or anything else that looks like it should. In fact its only near-rhyme is rhynt, according to wikipedia, which is about the approximation of yelling, "Here, sooey, sooey, sooey!" to a pig. Only to cows. And to get them to leave instead of come.

I don't think I'll ever get that straight because I messed up again last night when Andrew and I were (still) discussing it. Truthfully, though, I think that's okay because no one uses pints, anyway. Andrew says it is important that I know how to say it correctly. He thinks he so smart because he has a master's degree, and while I agree that he is pretty smart, there are some things that he just doesn't know.

Last night he eruditely mentioned, "In some translations of Arabic, backside means bottom. Did you know that?"

"Did you know that in English backside means bottom?" I asked Andrew.

"It does?" he asked.

"Yes. As in, 'I'm going to paddle your backside.'"

"Oh. That makes a lot of sense."

"What did you think a backside was?"

"Well, here," he said, pointing to his sides.

"Really?" I asked, "Like a northwest kind of a thing--not quite north, not quite west? Not quite back, but just to the side?"

"Exactly. That makes a lot more sense for corporal punishment. For the longest time I couldn't figure out how people managed to hit each other there. I just figured it was some weird cultural thing..."

"Wow, no. That's definitely an English phrase that means bottom."

One thing I love about Andrew: he's incredibly smart and incredibly naive at the same time. It's a rather comical combination.


  1. And I just finished reading a novel in which I learned that in about 1763 bottom meant courage. So you could show someone how large your bottom was by doing something courageous.However, at that time backside did not mean courage; so you wouldn't want to go around showing that to people.

  2. Lately I just want to follow you two around and laugh at your conversations. May I?