Friday, August 29, 2008


Spent the day socializing. Now, I need to rest, retreat and be by myself. I have had this discussion with friends and family - those extrovert types (like my spouse) gather energy being with other people while introverts (like me) recharge by being alone. There's that and the fact that I didn't get any studio time today -- well, except a few minutes with the journal... yea me, three days in a row!

I played with google (a, oh too, common diversion of mine), trying to find the how the word "smashing" came to be used to mean "very good." I thought it was British idiom or maybe more Australian or New Zealand ( listed with bang-up, bully, corking, cracking, dandy, great, groovy, keen, neat, nifty, not bad, peachy, slap-up, swell, grouse, and ripper.) The Online Etymology Dictionary lists smashing as in "pleasing or sensational" from 1911 (where, when, how from 1911??? who knows...)

But then I found this:
"There are other examples of Gaelic influence in English, particularly British English. For instance, the expression "smashing!" as an exclamation of approval is almost certainly a malapropism for the Gaelic expression "Is maith sin!" meaning "it's good!" There are others. Certain Old Irish small clause structures can still be heard in the syntax of rural English speakers in Ireland, as well."
This same reference in found in Alexander Tulloch's book Word Routes. (here).

From the Daltai Boards 'Is maith liom e sin' is a standard idiom that gets shortened to ''S maith sin'

It's clear, the Irish invented slang! Just check out Daniel Cassidy's book How the Irish Invented Slang.

well... Thanks Rian... that was bully good fun!

Oh, and lastly, I found this...

It is time to provide a smashing answer for those cynical men who say that a democracy cannot be honest, cannot be efficient.... We have in the darkest moments of our national trials retained our faith in our own ability to master our own destiny. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Living consciously...

Today's practice... it boils down to What's your 'security blanket'? and how can you move those positive feelings from the "thing" into your heart.

My security-blanket-thing is my studio space. Allowing me to have a creative outlet. It's in my heart... and when necessary, I can take it on the road! (Have creativity, will travel!)


rianammerman said...

Hey, thanks for clearing that up! Now we know. I think of smshing as something tip-top. I like the word swell, too.

According to the Myers-Briggs, I am an "E" and I do have many friends, but like you I need my alone time to recharge after social interaction. Definitely. I can enjoy solitude for days...

sharonb said...

Kim that is fascinating thanks I love tracing back the history of words and how they are used.

jenclair said...

How funny! Yesterday someone used the phrase "put a flea in his ear," and although I've heard the phrase many times, it just hit me about what an awful experience it would be to have a flea in one's ear. Which led, of course, to wondering about the origin of the phrase. We were down in the country with no computer access, and I thought I'd look it up when I got home. Now that you've reminded me, I'm off to check on it.

Kim said...

rian and sharon - Hey, no problem. The sleuthing around for 'smashing' was fun. Forty years ago I use to spend hours in the dictionary - my internet addiction is worse.

and rian - I've a dear friend who's a MB's specialist and her help is invaluable when I'm trying to work through relationship issues. Her best advice come when she says 'Kim, you need 'me' time... go pamper yourself!" Which usually means time alone, although a good facial works too!

jenA flea in the ear does not sound pleasant but you might find Feydeau's farce La Puce à l'oreille more fun.