Our idioms are strange. I understand them, and I'm a word nerd, so I actually know the etymology of them, but there are still some very odd ducks.
"Horse of a different color:" I think of purple ponies. Always purple. I don't know why.
"Mind your Ps and Qs:" And Ds and Bs, because the lower cases all look pretty damn much the same. (The whole beer thing is much happier.)
"Square meal:" For some reason, our lesson on the food pyramid in grade school always included this phrase, prompting me to believe that diet and geometry were closely linked.
We've also got strange words like "blurb" and "oaf" and "quire" (i.e., two dozen sheets of paper). And what does "i.e." mean, anyway? In other words (wink), what the hell are we saying every day?
I'm not the only one. Check out these cool Internet thingers for more...
- The Oatmeal
- "Idioms and Axioms Currently Used in America"
- 26 Weird English Words from A to Z
- A weird index
(True: Don't even get me started on ten dollar words. None of us have time for that.)