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American slang/idioms

nevets88

2,997 views

Rewatching Band of Brothers, there's this scene where a CO says "Channel is socked in. No jump tonight!". Having seen BoB so many times, never bothered to look up "socked in". In context, knowing the situation, Operation Overlord, you just easily guessed D-Day was postponed because weather. But this time, I actually looked up "socked in".

Quote

SOCKED IN: Closed in by bad weather, often said of an airport; fogbound; snowbound. This expression originally found in the context of flying, has its roots in the use of a windsock at airports to provide wind direction. The windsock, a large, open-ended, cone-shaped sleeve attached to a post by a pivot, at one time provided pilots with wind direction. When the weather deteriorated (fog or snow) to the point that the sock couldn’t be seen, the field was said to be ‘socked in’ and takeoffs and landings would be difficult to impossible. The expression is said to date from the 1940s. 

http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?t=24601

OED

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/sock

MW

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sock in

Now maybe if I were an amateur pilot or airplane enthusiast, would have known this, but I'm usually pretty diligent in looking up things I don't know, especially now with smartphones, have a good dictionary on the home screen, but language is a big thing, slang/idioms constantly changing and expanding. Makes me wonder all the slang I don't know, even though born and raised in the US and watch a lot of tv and movies. Thank the gods for Urban Dictionary, I say.



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That’s not really an “American” thing. That’s just a trade thing.

Everything has its own lingo. Golf has a ton of words. Plumbing. Aviation. Model trains. Carpentry. Car design. Software design. Farming.

Everything.

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When my folks went to London for a visit they thought what a pleasure it would be to vacation in an English speaking country. They had previously visited Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Liechtenstein, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong/Macau!

What they didn't realize was that the English speak English! Americans speak American! They could barely understand anything anyone said to them over there!

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On 4/17/2018 at 8:21 PM, iacas said:

That’s not really an “American” thing. That’s just a trade thing.

Everything has its own lingo. Golf has a ton of words. Plumbing. Aviation. Model trains. Carpentry. Car design. Software design. Farming.

Everything.

"Half a bubble off" is what my dad, a plumber, would say when someone was odd.

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On 4/28/2018 at 10:04 PM, Buckeyebowman said:

When my folks went to London for a visit they thought what a pleasure it would be to vacation in an English speaking country. They had previously visited Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Liechtenstein, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong/Macau!

What they didn't realize was that the English speak English! Americans speak American! They could barely understand anything anyone said to them over there!

My first visit to Scotland was for a New Years Eve party at a friend's house.  I had been sharing a house in Saudi Arabia with the guy for a few months, so I had learned a lot about understanding Scots expressions and accents and slang.  My wife, on the other hand, was almost completely lost, until my friend's wife sat next to her and translated from Scots English to American.  some of my favorite things were the rhyming slang, which is also famously used by East London Cockneys.

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On 4/17/2018 at 8:21 PM, iacas said:

That’s not really an “American” thing. That’s just a trade thing.

Everything has its own lingo. Golf has a ton of words. Plumbing. Aviation. Model trains. Carpentry. Car design. Software design. Farming.

Everything.

Even within trades, people in the field will use different jargon than people who work at supply houses or for OEMs.

On 4/29/2018 at 8:00 AM, boogielicious said:

"Half a bubble off" is what my dad, a plumber, would say when someone was odd.

That's a good one.

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On 4/29/2018 at 8:00 AM, boogielicious said:

"Half a bubble off" is what my dad, a plumber, would say when someone was odd.

I'm afraid to ask what a full bubble off is. 😁

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18 minutes ago, nevets88 said:

I'm afraid to ask what a full bubble off is. 😁

A level uses bubbles to determine slope. Half a bubble of is way out of level or bad in the plumbing world!

Kind of like "8 cents short of a dime", "not playing with a full deck" etc.

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26 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

A level uses bubbles to determine slope. Half a bubble of is way out of level or bad in the plumbing world!

Kind of like "8 cents short of a dime", "not playing with a full deck" etc.

The same would apply to a carpenter, trying to make your floor level, or for masons who want to run properly horizontal brick layers.  

 

download.jpg

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16 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

The same would apply to a carpenter, trying to make your floor level, or for masons who want to run properly horizontal brick layers.  

 

download.jpg

Or AimPointers trying to determine slope. LOL!

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1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

A level uses bubbles to determine slope. Half a bubble of is way out of level or bad in the plumbing world!

I hate to burst your bubble, but waste lines are supposed to be pitched, so plumbers are a quarter of a bubble off to start with... 😉

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42 minutes ago, billchao said:

I hate to burst your bubble, but waste lines are supposed to be pitched, so plumbers are a quarter of a bubble off to start with... 😉

I always knew that plumbers were never "on the level".  Now I know why.

But aside from bad puns, did plumbers use a shim under one end of a traditional so that they can get a consistent slope, or do they just eyeball it?  And I know that we can get new-fangled digital levels to assure a consistent (non-level) slope, but I'm now interested in plumber-hostory.

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

But aside from bad puns, did plumbers use a shim under one end of a traditional so that they can get a consistent slope, or do they just eyeball it?  And I know that we can get new-fangled digital levels to assure a consistent (non-level) slope, but I'm now interested in plumber-hostory.

When I worked for a plumber the tool of choice was actually a tape measurer. 1/4" per foot is a minimum, so you knew how much you needed to drop based on the length of the run you had and you'd measure and mark it.

Most of the time there's plenty of room to get the minimum pitch. In two years we only ran into a problem twice. One job was a walk-in clinic in a strip mall, so the space was deep. The tie into the sewer system was too high for the last set of rooms in the back so we had to put in a pump (they also could have raised the floor, but that wasn't happening).

The other time we had to pipe around an i-beam, which wasn't so much an issue with not having room for the plumbing as it was convincing the homeowner that we needed to build a box around the piping because it was going to be somewhere we didn't anticipate it would be. She didn't really want the box, but they already framed out her addition and she wanted to have a sink in her new kitchen.

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4 hours ago, billchao said:

I hate to burst your bubble, but waste lines are supposed to be pitched, so plumbers are a quarter of a bubble off to start with... 😉

There are other types of piping besides waste lines! None of the should be level either. 😉

 

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2 hours ago, boogielicious said:

There are other types of piping besides waste lines! None of the should be level either. 😉

bag pipping? 🤔 (bad pun, I know)

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10 hours ago, dennyjones said:

bag pipping? 🤔 (bad pun, I know)

So if a bag-piper in traditional garb isn't quite on the level, is he off-kilter?

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