Casualties of War: "Having kittens"

7: The Russian House (June '45), Killing Time (July '45), The Hide (August '45)

6: Plan of Attack (April '44); Broken Souls (October '44); All Clear (May '45)

5: Bleak Midwinter (Dec '42); Casualties of War (March '43)

4: Invasion (April '42); Bad Blood (Aug '42)

Casualties of War: "Having kittens"

Postby Samfan » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:32 pm

Well, now I know what Foyle means when he tells Milner, Brookie, and Sam that "The AC will be having kitten by now" (or something like that) before leaving for the hotel to speak to the AC. Here's explanations of many British animal idioms:


http://www.bbcamerica.com/mind-the-gap/2014/09/02/7-british-animal-idioms-will-baffle-americans/

-I'd really like to get the Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms...

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Re: Casualties of War: "Having kittens"

Postby ayresorchids » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:12 am

I grew up in the American South, and "having kittens" is an idiom we often used to describe someone greatly upset by something.

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Re: Casualties of War: "Having kittens"

Postby mohairMK » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:54 am

ayresorchids wrote:I grew up in the American South, and "having kittens" is an idiom we often used to describe someone greatly upset by something.

Yes, "having kittens" is when someone is "fit to be tied"...another American Idiom! :wink:
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Re: Casualties of War: "Having kittens"

Postby jewell » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:00 pm

I'm just not quite sure these are British idioms - or at least, British only.

This Midwesterner has heard and used all of these expressions except the dog's bollocks her whole life.

I suppose I never heard "the dog's bollocks" since it would have been considered too crude for usage.

Is this just an age thing? Do I know them because of the oldsters I have been around? Or do you American youngsters know them also?

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Re: Casualties of War: "Having kittens"

Postby Sunshine » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:17 am

How about "buggeral," which both Foyle and Andrew use in "The German Woman"? :foyle3:
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Re: Casualties of War: "Having kittens"

Postby hazeleyes57 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:28 am

Sunshine wrote:How about "buggeral," which both Foyle and Andrew use in "The German Woman"? :foyle3:


A running together of 'bugger all', meaning 'absolutely nothing'. Often more modernly expressed as 'F*** all', or 'sweet FA', as in 'sweet Fanny Adams'.

For example: 'I know bugger all about this subject'.

'Bugger' is derived from Anglo-Norman 'Bougre', meaning buggery, but also from the Latin 'Bulgaris', a sect of heretics from 11th Century Bulgaria, who were given to 'abominable practices'.

Although considered rude and insulting, the word is quite useful:

Bugger me! = utter surprise.

Bugger off = go away.

Bugger about = do something ineffectively.

Little buggers = group of children (oddly, it's almost an affectionate term, depending how it is punctuated!!)

Bugger's muddle = Colloquial military term for a disorderly group - quick chaps, form a bugger's muddle.
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