Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quaker's Bargain

Apparently it's phrase day here at FWiG's odditorium of forgotten English:

Quaker's bargain: a yea-or-nay bargain; a take-it-or-leave-it offer; non-negotiable.

The 1803 Louisiana Purchase is often thought the greatest bargain in history. U.S. president Thomas Jefferson bought 828,000 square miles from France for fifteen million dollars, in effect, doubling the size of the United States for about three cents per acre.

Source: Slang and its Analogues (1890-1904) John Farmer, W.E. Henley
Google hits: 1360

In Queen Street: The fool, governed by his wife.

Example: "The joskin lives in Queen Street."

The second music album I ever purchased as a kid, after The Monks' Bad Habits, was The Game by Queen. Thirty two years later Bad Habits has devolved in my perception to a goofy bit of comedy while every song on The Game endures.

When the band Smile lost member Tim Staffell to Humpy Bong in 1970, Staffell's good friend and keen Smile fan, Farrokh Bulsara, stepped in and convinced remaining members Brian May and Roger Taylor to change their name to Queen. In '71 experiments with bassists ended with John Deacon and Farrokh changed his name to Freddie Mercury. They then evolved into one of the world's sincerest and best-loved stadium rock bands until Mercury's AIDS-related passing in 1991.

Their 1985 performance at Live Aid is widely regarded the best live act in history. Bohemian Rhapsody was voted Britain's favourite hit of all time in 2002 and in 2009 We Are the Champions, in global polls, was declared mankind's favourite song. In 2005 Guinness Book of Records reported Queen the most enduring presence in UK album charts at 26 years and counting.

Rolling Stone super-important magazine's super-important artist rankings place them at 52nd all-time, just ahead of the Allman Brothers. If anyone cares.

Source: Vocabulum, or the Rogue's Lexicon (1859) George Matsell
Google hits: 7,240,000 (of which possibly none relate to the above meaning.)

Quite the Cheese: quite the correct thing, especially in terms of costume or manner. Adapted from choice. Further refinements of the phrase: "That's prime Stilton" or "That's Double Gloucester."

Source: Popular Sayings Dissected (1895) A. Wallace
Google hits: 119,000

I don't know what you see in this cheese thing.


Joy V. Smith said...

Interesting musical interlude... And your mention of We Are the Champions reminded me that it was referenced in New Tricks, the cold case police show on PBS.

Teresa Coltrin said...

Well this is just -- cool.

Maurice Mitchell said...

That cheese pic is hilarious!
-Maurice Mitchell
The Geek Twins