John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Forgotten English, And Other Stuff

Given today's Suburban Jungle, this seems strangely appropriate...

get the bullet
To get the bullet is to get notice, while to get the instant bullet is to be discharged on the spot. To shake the bullet at anyone is to threaten him with "the sack," but not to give him actual notice to leave. The use of the term [bullet] is most probably derived from a fancied connexion between it and the word discharge.
--John Camden Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887

Leaving Time
Traditionally, this was one of several dates on which a servant's annual employment contract would expire. John Farmer's Americanisms Old and New (1889) offered a tip to help differentiate between English and American domestic workers. Farmer described "female help" as "a class name for all kinds of domestic servants and feminine assistants in America. It is an amiable weakness of Uncle Sam's womenkind to walk all round the slightest suspicion of the word service. Consequently, there are no servants in America, only help, wherat one is constrained to inquire whether after all there is something in a name."

In other news, last night's "Get things DONE or else!" session was a big success. I didn't manage to clear everything off the Too Much To Do List, but I did make a very large dent, including arranging for some AC merchandise, getting SJ scripts written for the next two weeks, and making large strides towards a new and super-secret project that I hope will make certain fans of mine quite happy. ;) (More details on that as events warrant.)

Now for my next trick, answering a "Character Q&A" question for tomorrow's SJ Grab Bag!

-The Gneech, busy busy guy
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