Saturday, August 19, 2006

Foxy and Baloney

I thought I'd mention what a great night I had in two parts.

Feeling rather sorry for myself and with just the four walls of my flat (metaphoric) to look at I was about to resign myself to another night of episodes of 24 dispersed with a quick blast on a computer game when my friend Baloney dropped me a line for an invitation to a drink with Foxy. You might at this point be saying what is 2Darts on about? Foxy? Baloney? No. Not characters from a childrens book but two friends of mine.

I'd just like to say thanks for cheering me up and everything is going to be fine Baloney. Just don't worry about those shit stirrers. I'll be around to talk whenever you like. A word to Foxy, take a chill pill and don't worry about Baloney while on your holiday. Enjoy the green, green grass of Ireland. LEAVE THE LAPTOP AT HOME!! I'll be missing your Foxy ways. I hope you catch a few irish chickens when you're out there (wink, wink!). One more thing about the first part of this tale. I'll firstly apologise to Baloney for calling Baloney; Baloney. This lovely person has a habit of matching people's faces and personality to animals. Since I can't find an animal to match her, this is the only nickname I could come up with so far prompted by, I thought, a mis-pronounciation. Below is an extract from a website I found this morning for some clarification.

Dear Word Detective: I am interested in your opinion about a theory of mine as to the origin of the word "baloney," meaning unauthentic, as in "full of baloney." It is, I think, commonly believed that baloney is a mispronunciation of the name Bologna, as in the sausage of the same name. This makes sense, of course, as sausage stuffing might well be a metaphor for something whose contents are somewhat dubious. However, recently an Irish friend was commenting on a mutual acquaintance, and referred to him as being "full of B'larney" (his pronunciation). It struck me that this mispronunciation was an even better explanation for the expression, which seems to refer to glibness as much as tainted contents. For some reason, I cannot seem to interest anyone in this issue. -- Bernard Davidoff, via the internet.
Well, I suppose that it's possible that someone, somewhere, mistook "blarney" for "baloney" on a given occasion, but that sort of confusion is almost certainly not the origin of baloney as a synonym for "nonsense."
It is pretty well established that "baloney," meaning nonsense, does come from "baloney" the sausage (which is indeed named after Bologna, Italy). Baloney was (and often still is) regarded as a humble food of, as you say, dubious origins. It thus made a good metaphor for "junk" much as today we use "spam" (fairly or not) to mean unwanted e-mail advertisements. One of the earliest uses of "baloney" to mean nonsense was in the catch phrase "It's baloney no matter how thin you slice it," popular in the 1930's.
"Blarney," of course, also means nonsense, specifically smooth flattery, and comes from the name of a village in Ireland. According to legend, the Blarney Stone, located in a local castle, supposedly confers the skill of telling convincing lies on whoever manages to reach and kiss it, a feat requiring considerable physical dexterity.
The difference between "baloney" and "blarney," interestingly, was explained in a radio address by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in 1954: "Baloney is the unvarnished lie laid on so thick you hate it; blarney is flattery laid on so thin you love it."

So there you are. A full explanation of the origins of the word.

Thanks to Word Detective.

The second part of the evening involved my parents, beer and a singer from Cuba. Forgive my ignorance but what kind of music and singing would a singer from Cuba do? I was expecting traditional folk or even popular Cuban music. Who was I kidding? Nope. Not a sniff of Cuban culture apart from the fact that the man has a great voice and great guitar skills. My Dad mentioned that he takes requests so the first tune that came to mind was 'Fire' by Jimi. Nope not on his songlist. Mmmm. Chris Issak's 'Wicked Game'? Nope. Not that I was bothered as the music, part chart stuff and part old faves was very good. I would highly recommend erm....whatever his name is. I'll have to ask my old man as he bought his album......

One last thing. I'll find a new name for you Baloney. For those who don't know Baloney, if you saw her, you'd know that name doesn't do any justice whatsoever.

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