Zappa.com

The Official Frank Zappa Messageboards
It is currently Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:27 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 53 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:41 pm
Posts: 13652
Location: Billy, the mountain...
I guess a thread specifically about obscure meaning in Zappa lyrics and US slangs and expressions is around somewhere. But as I have many things to ask, I though English language speaking people might enlighten us regular folks. Please, don't ask me to google it, this is a pretext for random Zappa fan interaction.

1) What is the meaning of "riding the gravy train"? A train leading one to the grave? A risky situation? :? :shock:

_________________
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true Art and Science. - Albert Einstein

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:54 pm
Posts: 5292
Location: Birthplace of Grand Funk Railroad & Mr Don Preston
Gravy train usually means going through the motions of something with minimal effort for easy money.

Gravy (possibly because it is an easy to make mashed potato topping)is used in this case as an adjective meaning "easy"

_________________
*********************************************************************

You just don't understand, You're from Kalamazoo.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:52 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:41 pm
Posts: 13652
Location: Billy, the mountain...
Thanks!

You ever read Jack Kerouac, Milton? If so, what did you think of it!

_________________
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true Art and Science. - Albert Einstein

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:54 pm
Posts: 5292
Location: Birthplace of Grand Funk Railroad & Mr Don Preston
Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
Thanks!

You ever read Jack Kerouac, Milton? If so, what did you think of it!


Yep
In my early 20s read On The Road and I enjoyed it because it's a road adventure story,and I thought I would be doing the same thing myself once upon a time. Haven't yet.The story itself was written on a long continuous scroll of paper which is on display at some museum. There is a famous qoute about it "This isn't writing it's typing" -Truman Capote

_________________
*********************************************************************

You just don't understand, You're from Kalamazoo.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:17 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:52 pm
Posts: 1806
I've always thought the phrase held a connotation of making easy profits from the labor and talents of others...like a lot of organizations, the easier work is in management and much better pay.

Kerouac was not what he tried to seem to be.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:28 pm
Posts: 2115
Gravy Train is also a brand of dog food dating back to when FZ might have referenced it. The TV commercials always showed how delicious it was when you mixed a little water in with it (thereby creating the gravy).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:52 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:41 pm
Posts: 13652
Location: Billy, the mountain...
A rope leash wrote:
Kerouac was not what he tried to seem to be.

Could you elaborate, please?

Also, what is an "about face"?

_________________
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true Art and Science. - Albert Einstein

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:12 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:35 pm
Posts: 1261
Location: Ohio
Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
Also, what is an "about face"?


An "about face" is when a person reverses a decision or opinion. If an anti-war senator suddenly became pro-war, the media would say that he did an "about face."

The phrase comes from a military command to turn around 180 degrees.

_________________
Good writing is clear writing.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:35 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:14 am
Posts: 18680
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, CANADA
KUIII wrote:
Gravy Train is also a brand of dog food dating back to when FZ might have referenced it. The TV commercials always showed how delicious it was when you mixed a little water in with it (thereby creating the gravy).

"Add water... makes its own sauce!"

_________________
You're probably wondering why I'm here
(not that it makes a heck of a lot of a difference to ya)
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:11 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:52 pm
Posts: 1806
Kerouac's "on the road" trip was pretty well financed. I forget the details. He's like a lot of artists who were really too well off to actually suffer, so they had to fake it. I've made many cross-county trips on a peanut butter sandwich and corn chip budget, but my writings on it cannot be published. Kerouac knew he was going to write the book and that it would probably be published, so he went out and made trouble for himself, kind of like Lucinda Williams, who has a reputation for being a hard loving country bar-girl, and who writes cool songs about it, but all her bar-life excursions and heart-aches were financed by her wealthy family, who also saw to it that she had a decent college education.

In other words, Lucinda Williams is not a real hick, and Jack Kerouac was not a real low-life beatnik. They are both pretty good writers.

The Subterrainians is also a good read. Thank goodness he didn't write long books.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:14 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:18 pm
Posts: 3042
Location: Between the Badges
Think of the phrase "Everything else is just gravy". The meaning of this phrase is that all the expenses have been covered, so the rest of the income is all surplus or profit". So, if you are on a gravy train, you are doing something that is all profit.

_________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Don't Be Stupid Unless You Want To


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:56 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:52 pm
Posts: 1806
There's a Pink Floyd song..."if we tell you the name of the game, boys, we call it riding the gravy train"...(or words to the effect)...record company executives that control the market getting rich off talent and current trends.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:12 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:57 pm
Posts: 741
Location: Atlanta
A rope leash wrote:
There's a Pink Floyd song..."if we tell you the name of the game, boys, we call it riding the gravy train"...(or words to the effect)...record company executives that control the market getting rich off talent and current trends.


It is also the only PF song to have someone other than a member of the band singing the song. Roy Harper did the honors.

_________________
“The power of pop music to corrupt and putrify the minds of world youth are virtually limitless."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:30 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:28 pm
Posts: 2532
Location: in the tiny dirt somewhere
duchamp wrote:
It is also the only PF song to have someone other than a member of the band singing the song.

You might also include "The Great Gig In The Sky" in that category.



or not... :wink:

_________________
_________________Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:06 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:57 pm
Posts: 741
Location: Atlanta
MentalTossFlycoon wrote:
duchamp wrote:
It is also the only PF song to have someone other than a member of the band singing the song.

You might also include "The Great Gig In The Sky" in that category.



or not... :wink:


touché

_________________
“The power of pop music to corrupt and putrify the minds of world youth are virtually limitless."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:40 pm
Posts: 6916
Location: South wales
Also Stephen Hawking and seamus the Dog :mrgreen:

_________________
Arf you out of your fucking mind.Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:25 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:18 pm
Posts: 3042
Location: Between the Badges
Then don't ya need to count the mumbling janitor who was already drunk at the time?

_________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Don't Be Stupid Unless You Want To


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:41 pm
Posts: 13652
Location: Billy, the mountain...
Thanks for the explanations!

Please, throw me some odd and favourite English idiomatic expressions, sort of the reverse of "I hate when people say [fill in the blank]!

_________________
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true Art and Science. - Albert Einstein

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:28 pm
Posts: 2115
Trendmonger is three bricks shy of a load.

Trendmonger isn't dealing with a full deck.

Trendmonger has lost his marbles.

Trendmonger is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

These expressions all mean basically the same thing, that the person in question is mentally deficient. No offense to anyone named Trendmonger. I just selected that name randomly to demonstrate the expressions.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:29 pm
Posts: 174
"chokin in the heat" can mean being oppressed by whichever authorities as well as suffering from hot temps, conferre "Heard the heat knows where you are"

"some joker with a brownie" : a journalist/photographer with a certain older type portable camera


"all the corny tricks you tried": corny is a word used derisively to show cheapness, some deception that is transparently artificial, usually simplistic in presentation, thereby a see-thru con or trick or scam. Also, corny can mean merely 'silly' or 'goofy' because the presentation is so transparent as often repeated thru the past. Monster movies that FZ loved, for example, are definitely corny. But anything can be corny. The marine corps band playing Sousa marches, very corny. And also expert...

"any way the wind blows' is an expression that can mean a lot depending on circumstances

"Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care" - Nixon, Johnson, Eisenhower, Ford, Hubert Humphrey, Adlai Stevenson, George Wallace, Reagan, Romney, Bush I and II, Kemp, Dole, Paul, Dukakis, Clinton, Obama, Carter runs for president... etc.

:)

_________________
"... gonna jump outta the subcommittee and get ya!"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 7:29 pm
Posts: 9582
can anyone throw me a bone ¿





[not to be confused with]

lighten up on my bone
he'd go home 'n hone his bone



-------------------------------------

here' one from oz;

it's a lay down mezzère that spaceblo is about to lose $50 on a chump bet

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:48 pm
Posts: 19520
Location: Somewhere in time
"That train ain't never late..."

Meaning we fully expected the person to do or say what they did or said almost on que or schedule...


Similiar too..."we new that was coming.."... a predictable response or action by another... :smoke:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:15 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:41 pm
Posts: 13652
Location: Billy, the mountain...
"Touch and go."

Anyone?

_________________
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true Art and Science. - Albert Einstein

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:59 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 7:51 pm
Posts: 8106
Location: Wellington New Zealand
Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
"Touch and go."

Anyone?


Touch and go was originally an aviation term, when a pilot was learning to fly an aeroplane they would takeoff, perform a circuit of the airport, land and without stopping the plane take off again...touch the runway and then go..touch and go... also to keep your pilots licence up to date you must record so many flying hours and take offs and landings per year, so touch and go is the method used to record multiple takeoffs and landings in a very short space of time....However when used in everyday language
eg: he was very sick, he almost died the doctor said it was touch and go....or: We only won the game by one point, it was touch and go until we scored....
We almost got stopped by the police, it was touch and go.....So it's used if your in a situation that could go either way......say if you were on DZW and posted a comment like Trendmonger is a few sandwiches short of a picnic, it could be touch and go whether or not you would be banned... :mrgreen:

Here endith the lesson


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:06 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:41 pm
Posts: 13652
Location: Billy, the mountain...
Thanks! Wow, another military explanation!

Is burning the midnight oil to stay awake working through the night?

_________________
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true Art and Science. - Albert Einstein

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 53 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Caputh, lapsed maps, Yahoo [Bot] and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group