08 Nov


Who taught: Julie and Ari



I forgot when exactly Julie, Ari and I talked about this expression, brat, but I do remember that it was related with children.

Do you have children? Well I do not. If you do, then I really hope this expression has nothing to do with you.

Sometimes, some children do something we really do not like such as crying and yelling to get what they want. Even worse, they would never stop till they get what they want. I know….That is really annoying, right? Arghhh…

I have seen those kids in shopping malls or grocery stores, etc. So hard to control. What a troublesome! Don’t get me wrong. I know I am in no position to talk about kids but it is not pleasant for me to see those kids, to be honest.

So, what is one word to describe them? It is “brat.” Some people say, “army brat,” because some kids whose parents are in the Army may develop that kind of obnoxious behaviors. That would be just a prejudice but I want to tell you that it is what people think and say.

Another interesting thing is that brat also means “apron.” What is the connection between apron and a bad child? I have no idea. Do you?

Also, there is an article about how to find out whether your child is a brat or not. Check this out! Hope yours is not.

In Korea, there is an expression, “날라리(Nal-La-Ri).” This means those kids who do not study really hard and do those things people ask not to do. I wonder whether “brat” is the word that I can use to describe those kids, Nal-La-Ri. It does not feel like it.

Can you help me, my American friends, to find the proper word for it? I am curious.

17 Apr

crocodile tears

Who taught: Julie and Ari

crocodile tears

crocodile tears (Mar)

Do you like popcorn? I love it, especially buttered one. Jessy does not like buttered one but I love them. They are so great when you watch movies or when you are having a happy hour with your friends, right?

I think Mar, Ari’s daughter, has the same kind of spirit. Last Friday, Ari holds a happy hour and some of my friends and I were there too.

As soon as Mar came back from her school, she did not wait too long to get some popcorn for us (or for herself?). Ari said that she bought popcorn a few days ago and told Mar that she can eat on Friday. Fair enough, it was Friday.

After she finished the first bowl of popcorn, she brought another one out from the kitchen. Unfortunately, she dropped the bowl and popcorn got dirty.

So, as you can expect, she wanted more but Ari said no to her. As she said, Mar started crying(???). Of course, she got attention from all of us. Ari, as a mom, did not want us give attention to Mar.

That’s very good! I like how she disciplines her kids. I am not sure I can do it. So, she said to us, “Please don’t look at her.” We all heard and Julie said, “Oh, it’s crocodile tears.”

From the context, it was so easy for me to understand what it means. I am sure you all can now, right? The more interesting part is its origin. Wikipedia has a great reference to it. Ancient anecdote says that crocodiles weep in order to lure their prey. An alternative explanation is that crocodile tears cannot be authentic because they cannot cry. On this note, there is a very interesting truth. Crocodiles can generate tears but they have no sense of crying. How interesting it is, huh!

What happend to Mar? She stopped crying soon after. Oh…. you know what? Crocodile tears could work between husband and wife. Have you tried? You should! πŸ™‚

25 Mar

love handles

Who taught: Ari, Alex and Jean

Love handles (source: http://www.opposingviews.com/)

There are two coffee places I love to go and spend time in Pittsburgh, more specifically, in Squirrel Hill. They are 61c Cafe and Commonplace coffee shop. Soon, these locations could be changed to be some other places in my new neighborhood that I will move in, I guess. A few weeks ago, I was in Commonplace, working on grading. All of a sudden, Ari and Alex came in. As soon as Ari saw me, she said, “Hey! Terry! We were just talking about you. You know why?”

“Why? I do not know. So, why did you talk about me?” said I. She said, “Because we were kind of arguing about the etymology of an expression that we just talked about.” And, she continued, “Terry! You know what ‘love handles’ mean, right?” “I think I know. Isn’t it a little bit of fat that people have around their waist area?” said I.

She said, “Good! Now, what do you think about its etymology?” “Hmm… I think it is called to be love handes… Because….. Because… a couple usually hold on to those area when they walk? Don’t you think?” said I. Ari then said, “That’s exactly what I guessed but Jean and Alex were so confident that it has to be related with the act of making love.”

Who am I? So, I did some research about its etymology. Well, not so lucky again. Some people say that it is from the act of making love, or sex. Their argument is that people really hold on to that area, especially when they make love. It makes sense. But, it is also true that a couple usually hold on to that area when they walk or, I don’t know, maybe when they hug. It is a path to butt. People go from the top to the butt and waist is in the middle. Man, I think I am going too far. Let’s not go there.

But, you should definitely check this out. This urban dictionary entry for love handles is crazy. You should read the first one. This guy says, “I LOVE those extra curves and places to hold that feel soft in my hands, OH YEAH.” What a feeling to have!! πŸ™‚

Jessy and I are so skinny that we do not have love handles. We are lack of love handles, Darn!

How about you guys? Do you like to hold on to love handles? Lucky you!

21 Feb

deadbeat vs dead beat

Who taught: James

Deadbeat (source: http://www.babble.com/)

About two weeks ago, there was Ari’s birthday party where I danced with her. She is an amazing dancer. On the other hand, I have no experience in dancing. She led me the whole time when we danced. Now, I do not even remember what happened. Maybe sometime in the future I should try to learn. It is interesting to see how people are different from each other and enjoy different things. Anyways, my friend, James also was there. Jessy and I picked him up to go to the venue of the party. On the way to the place, we talked about the time Jessy and I spent together for more than 13 years. I cannot exactly remember how this kind of conversation started. But, I think we talked about why we are trying to buy a house now. We said we want to buy it now because this year is the year of our 10th anniversary.

In the middle of the conversation, we had a chance to talk about how we met and how much I was poor back then. When we were dating, we both were college students but, right after we started to date, I told Jessy, “I think you are going to marry me.” Her reaction??? She laughed!! And after a few years of dating…… what happend?? We got married. I was right, wasn’t I? But, the problem was I was still a student. She had to work to support me till I graduated. Jessy’s parents, of course, did not like it.

When we talked about this story to James. He said, “So, Terry, you were like a deadbeat to Jessy’s parents.” As it usually is the case, I did not know the expression, “deadbeat.” From the context, I was able to kind of feel it. But, not really fully grasp it. What does it mean? Here is the definition for you.

A lazy person or a person who does not do what he/she is supposed to do. A person unable to pay his/her bills. Someone of low financial standing.

Well, James was right. I was not the one who was paying anything. Jessy even payed for my books. It was a hard time for me because my father was also very close to being a deadbeat because of his failure from his construction business. As I look for this expression, I found that this expression can also be used to mean differently.

Soppose that you just finished a triathlon competition. How would you feel? You would feel so exhausted, right? Then, here is what you can say. “I am dead beat now.” Interestingly, in this case, you need to put a space between “dead” and “beat.” It does not really matter when you speak though. So, be aware of these different usages of the same expression.

FYI, I do not think I am a deadbeat anymore. πŸ™‚ Am I right, Jessy?

03 Oct

what is your brownie point?

Who taught: Alex, Sangeetha and Ari

Brownie Uniform (source:http: liendoanaulac.org)

Have you ever eaten a brownie? It is so good. Oh, you do not know what it is? It is a small square cake, mostly made with chocolate. No wonder why it is good, huh? I had never eaten a single brownie before I moved to the U.S. I mean… I think I saw it in Korea but was not really interested in trying it. But, here in the U.S., any party you go, there are bunch of desserts and brownie is definitely one of them.

But, did you know that brownie has a different meaning? It means a junior girl scout. I was not a boy scout when I was young. My parents could not afford it. πŸ™‚ But, apparently, there are bunch of levels in girl or boy scout and one of the levels they have is brownie. Usually, girls whose age is from 6 to 8 are in the brownie level and they wear brownie uniform. As you can imagine, the color of the uniform is brown.

Moving on, have you heard an expression called brownie point? Can you give it a try to find what it means? If you think it as a girl scout point, it is pretty easy to find out. Yes, it means the point girl scouts from the brownie level receive by doing some specific tasks. As they get the points, they can get badges to wear on their uniform. I guess, the more badges, the better.

But, you can use this expression for any situation where a person does a good work or deed. The best example you can find is from the relationship between husband and wife.

Say that you are a husband and your wife is out of town….. and you did Β a load of laundry. And when she is back, she would be so happy, right? Now, you just got a brownie point. Last Saturday, Alex used this expression when I had lunch with him, Sangeetha and Ari. At the moment, I was able to figure out what it means but the etymology I thought of was not correct. I thought this expression is originated from brownnose. To some extent, brownie point and brownnose are related with each other because if you brownnose, you sort of get additional brownie point. But the etymologies of two expressions are totally different, which is very interesting. Checking out etymology of an expression is so much fun and better to remember. So, when you hear some new expressions, you may want to try to find their origins. It is really fun and you learn so much more.

Let me ask you a question! What is your secret way of getting brownie points?

Comes from the points Girl Scouts at the Brownie level (ages 6-8) receive for doing specific tasks that when accumulated earn them badges (a sign of recognition) to wear on their Brownie Uniform.