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Friday, 30 April 2010

NaPoWriMo 2010 Day 30

Today is the last day of (Inter)National Poetry Month and the Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Challenge. The prompt today is a free day — you are free to use any prompt you have not yet written to from those provided this month, or you can write, and share, whatever you like today.
I really wanted to do the Find a Phrase prompt when it came up, but it coincided with me driving to London, and in the end I settled for something different. So, I'm going to have a go at it now, on this final day of NaPoWriMo for 2010.
With words like codswallop, it’s clear that Read Write Poem member Marie Gauthier means business! Now is not the time to let your NaPoWriMo work ethic slack.

Clich├ęs, idioms, what-have-you. As points of inspiration, you might think they’re dead in the water, but that’s a load of codswallop. Time spent investigating word origins is never time wasted. “Left in the lurch” is one example. Here’s what The Phrase Finder says about it:

There are suggestions that lurch is a noun originating from lych – the Old English word for corpse, which gives the name to the covered lych-gates that adjoin many English churches. The theory goes that jilted brides would be ‘left in the lych (or lurch)’ when the errant bridegroom failed to appear. The lych-gate is where coffins are left when waiting for the clergyman to arrive to conduct a funeral service. Both theories are plausible but there’s no evidence to support either and in fact lych and lurch are unrelated.

For our purposes, it doesn’t matter whether the derivation pans out as true or not. Your inquiries are meant to be catalytic crackers. Surely “lych-gate” stirs an idea or two!

So for today’s prompt, travel a while on The Phrase Finder website until you find the phrase or phrase origin that most interests you.

There are no hard and fast rules. The Phrase Finder has phrases from the Bible, from Shakespeare, phrases coined at sea, something for every taste. Take some notes, do a free-write or three, and see where a little word exploration takes you.

I wanted to use the phrase THE FULL MONTY so here goes:

This could be your
lucky day Mister Butcher,
says the estate agent.

I have a quick cash buyer
for your shop, he wants to
buy the whole lot.

Everything? all of my hats??
asks the Winchester
College hat maker.

Everything! he wants
the whole lot, the business
and the premises too.

Pray tell me who
this mystery person is?
my Great Grandfather asks.

If I were to say,
Master Montague, then I think
you'll know who I mean.

It's nineteen O six,
the day of the independent
is dead I fear.

If Burton's price is
right, I'll sell to him,
he can have the full monty!


  1. Are you pulling my coat sleeve here?! Haven't looked up the phrase but I gather it has several connotations, including the General's breakfast, so it might as well be the dog's dinner too!

  2. Hi Derrick, my internet research tells me that there is no written reference to 'the full monty' before 1985. However, I remember it being in use in the 1960's and I was always led to believe it referred to Field Marshal Montgomery's twin cap badges in WWII.

    My account is of course faction!

  3. Everything has it's price...
    I was told that 'Montgomeries' was a single-menu cafe type place in Salford. You could choose any item individually, or have 'the full Monty'.
    Great post!


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