Tuesday, April 10, 2012

J - Jumping on the bandwagon, flotasm and jetsam, and keeping up with the Jonses

Today's idioms are brought to you by the letter 'J.'

1.  Last year, everyone made fun of Geeky Gina's idea of having a school carnival, but now that Popular Patricia is backing the idea, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.

Meaning:  to become part of the newest activity because many other people are.

Origin:  Many years ago candidates for political office in the U.S. would ride into town in horse-drawn wagons on which a band was playing music to attract a crowd.  If the candidate was popular, people would jump onto his bandwagon to show their support.  Today we say that people who are getting involved in any activity that looks like it's going to succeed are "jumping on the bandwagon." 

2.  I'm cleaning all the flotsam and jetsam from my room.

Meaning:  a collection of mostly worthless objects; any objects found floating or washed ashore; junk.

Origin:  Dating back to the 1500s, "flotsam" means all the wreckage and cargo floating the ocean after a shipwreck.  "Jetsam" is cargo and equipment floating in the water that was thrown overboard to lighten a ship in danger of sinking.  By the 19th century, these words referred to any kind of junk or debris on land or sea, thrown out or not.  The near-rhyming sound of the words helped make the saying popular.

3.  When Ethan's rival bought a new car, Ethan decided to buy one, too.  He's always trying to keep up with the Jonses.  

Meaning:  to try to keep up with what those around you have socially and financially; to work hard to have possessions as good as others.

Origin:  In 1913 a popular comic strip called "Keeping Up with the Jonses" appeared in many American newspapers, starting with the New York Globe.  The cartoon was about the experiences of a newly married young man, and was based on the cartoonist's life. He chose the name Jones because it was a popular American name at the time.  The name of the comic because a popular expression that meant to try hard to follow the latest fashion and live in the style of those around you.

Note:  I may be slow on replies this week because my school's yearbook is due at the end of the week and I'm doing all 50 pages by myself, but I will try to get replies out and visit your sites when I can. Please don't feel I'm ignoring you.  :HUGGING ALL MY VISITORS:

10 comments:

  1. I love the history behind flotsam and jetsam. I've always just liked those names because I think of the two eels in The Little Mermaid. Very good!

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    1. "Flotsam, Jetsam, now we've got her, boys, the boss is on a rolllllllllllllll! Those poor, unfortunate soooouuuuuullllllssss!"

      LOL, yeah, I watch this with my daughter over and over and over.

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  2. I use "keeping up with the Jonses" all the time, pretty neat knowing where it came from and where it started.

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  3. I am learning so much from you! Keeping Up With The Jonses" is a saying I always wondered about!

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    1. I always remember from Mona Lisa's Smile the professor said it was about that family, and I shrugged and figured it was true. That movie is a liar! LOL.

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  4. These are just as NOTHING TO SEE HERE NOTHING TO SEE HERE NOTHING TO SEE HERE NOTHING TO SEE HERE NOTHING TO SEE HERE NOTHING TO SEE HERE NOTHING TO SEE HERE NOTHING TO SEE HERE NOTHING TO SEE HERE

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    1. They're not showing up or you're referring to the K post I accidentally published earlier?

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  5. My husband tries to keep up with the Jonses. His two best buds! They try to out buy each other!
    Heather

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