Archives for posts with tag: Nursery Rhyme

A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles. 

The phrase is used by Shakespeare in Hamlet.  A trifle is a small thing.  Unconsidered here means unnoticed or ignored.  A snapper-up is some one who snaps things up or collects them.  I have considered the trifles I write about!

Bits and pieces are miscellaneous items, perhaps on a shopping list or in a container.  Bits and bobs is an alternative phrase.

The weakest link is where a chain snaps or the least reliable member of a team.  It is the title of a TV quiz show

I feel like a spare part is often said when other people seem to be managing well without the speaker, who would like to be involved.

Neither use nor ornament is a description of an unattractive item or an insult!  (An ornament is an item used for decorative purposes.)

Like a coiled spring is jumpy.

Put a spoke in someone’s wheel means much the same as a spanner in the works Most bicycle wheels have spokes.

I was hooked.  My interest was caught (like a fish on a hook).

Hook, line and sinker means completely.  It describes a fishing rod’s constituent parts.  Another blogger has adapted this for his blog’s title.  Muck, line and thinker.

Straight as a die.  I am aware of two meanings of the word die when it is a noun.  The first is the singular of dice.  The second is a tool.  Whatever the derivation, the expression means completely honest.

 Any old means whatever comes to hand.  By contrast not any old means something chosen especially for the purpose.

Any old iron used to be the call of a rag-and-bone manSteptoe in the comedy TV show (Steptoe and Son) was a rag-and-bone man.  When I was a child the local man used a horse and cart to collect unwanted goods to resell.  Most mothers stayed at home to look after their children and had a ragbag in which they saved worn-out clothes, for instance.  (There were no recycling facilities as we have now.  Better items were often saved for jumble sales to raise money for schools, uniformed organisations and the like.)  In Lancashire they also shouted, “Donkey stone.”  The stone doorsteps of houses were a source of pride to their owners and were kept clean by rubbing them with a donkey stone.

Knick-knack, Paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone

is part of a counting song.

A Knick-knack or nick-nack is an ornament or other small item.

Counting and fishing brings me to a related Bible story.  This one is worth reading in full.  John 21:1-14


My blogs are entered in the UK Blog Awards.  Sue’s considered trifles is in the education category and Sue’s Trifles is in both the education and lifestyle categories.  (They are competing with each other in education!)  One vote is allowed in each category.  There are voting buttons on my blogs and more details in a post (link below).


The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
This saying is used as advice to young brides.  Nowadays many husbands share the cooking, but being able to put appetising meals on the table is still an accomplishment which will help a marriage.

Milking it is a phrase meaning making the most of a situation for ones own advantage.

Salad days are the days of one’s youth.

Lotus-eaters are idle people.

A ginger beer plant is similar to a friendship cake.  It is liquid in a vessel and contains yeast presumably making it alcoholic.  Some is taken off to make drinks and the rest goes on growing (like a plant).

Cut as easily as butter which has not been refrigerated.

Like a warm knife through butter which has been kept cool.

Save your breath to cool your porridge is a time-honoured way of telling someone that talking won’t alter a situation.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Most people want something back.

The more you eat the better we’ll like you.  This was said to me and my husband by a friend of the family.  It is an interesting alternative toTuck in!

Bread and cakes containing yeast have different names depending on local custom.  In the part of Lancashire I used to visit as a child a bread roll of a certain size and shape was called a teacakeThe sweeter recipe with dried fruit in it was a currant teacakeOnly a few miles away in Manchester, UK the names are different.  If you do not want currants, be sure to ask for a barm cake; tea cakes there contain currants.  In other parts of the country baps may be plain bread rolls.

Muffins also cause confusion.  Nowadays a large cupcake seems to be expected when a muffin is mentioned.  I am under the impression that the Muffin man in the nursery rhyme was peddling something more like crumpets.

Unleavened bread is bread made quickly without having to wait for yeast to make it rise.  This sort of bread is associated with the Passover.  Exodus 12