Saturday 5 August 2023


This post represents a continuation of material from our first emanation on this topic, "Binomial Expressions", part #1. To review the earlier posting, click HERE!

previously posted poems (part #1)
hale and hearty (1)
hug and kiss
food and drink (2)
first and last (3)
sin and redemption
down and out (4)
betwixt and between (5)
hem and haw (6)

Flotsam and jetsam
By hook or by crook (7)
Poop and scoop
Bump and grind (8) 
Birds and bees
Flora and fauna
Publish or perish (9) 
High and dry (10)
plus many others binomials that play a supporting role:
(1) hail and farewell; haste makes waste; hard and fast; here and now; show and tell; Heaven and Hell
(2) hunger and thirst; bangers and mash; cash or cheque
(3) he and she; his and hers; guys and dolls; ladies and gents
(4) above and beyond; twist and shout; high to low; around and about; now and then; live and learn; crash and burn
(5) to and fro; hither and thither; kith and kin
(6) fore and aft; nooks and crannies; beck and call; goods and chattels; hither and yon
(7) shake and bake; wine and dine; near and dear
(8) tease and please; front and centre; down and dirty; on and off; hot to trot
(9) ants in one's pants; song and dance
(10) bride and groom; man and wife; to have and to hold; richer or poorer; for better or for worse; in sickness and in health
(check the link below for a follow-up series)

Authors' Note:  'Floaters', in the eye, a common symptom may require expert medical attention when they first appear or become more numerous. Most often, they are insignificant and chronic. Jill might be surprised to learn that they are not caused by accumulation of discrete floating particles, e.g. jetsam, but are rather an effect attributed to fibrous strands traversing the vitreous (posterior) chamber of the eye.

Flotsam and jetsam is an intriguing binomial phrase. The original meaning of its two components is explained in a verse by OEDILFian contributor Kevin Lucas. 

Authors' Note:   When the paired grammatical elements in the phrase happen to rhyme, the appeal of irreversible binomial expressions, such as surf and turf, is further increased. The above verse shows in italics several of these intriguing idioms.

  The larger group of these idioms (such as fish and chips) is exemplified, explained, and possibly defined in verses here by the author, including binomial expressionfixed orderechoic binomials, and fossil words.

  Although cookbook and shake in your shoes are musical expressions, they do not qualify as binomials.

Authors' NoteThe rhyming binomial phrase, stoop and scoopsometimes given as '"poop and scoopdescribes a group activity by pet-owners.
See also the author's poem "dog park" in the collection "Urban Concerns". 

Authors' NoteThe above verse features a number of binomial expressions, most of which are in common use. In fact, the "classic" binomial hot to trot, and the authors' proposed "Tease and Please" have the additional appeal of internal rhyme. Generally, because of their catchy appeal and common use, binomial phrases are often chosen as the names of restaurants, bars and small businesses, but the name proposed here for a strip-club is presumably an original use. 


Authors' Note:  Birds and bees is an alliterative binomial phrase used here in a euphemistic sense.  The counterintuitive fact that MENses are a female function could make this poem a companion-piece to the authors' verse on gender-neutral language.  

Authors' Note:  Although 'flora' (the collection of visible plants) and 'fauna' (the collection of visible animals) may be of equal importance, and are familiar to most readers, they seem to be listed preferentially in English dictionaries and encyclopedia in the order shown above.

The above verse highlights the importance of the microbiota, a group of creatures that have flown generally under the radar, the limits of human perception having previously shaped understanding of the range of life on our planet. This underappreciated group of organisms includes bacteria, fungi, viruses and others, that teem in and on our bodies and those of all other creatures, in the soil, and even in apparently difficult or hostile environments. 

Authors' Note: The above treatise was assisted by a grant from the Foundation for Classic Binomial Expressions, under which permission was obtained for the use of song and danceants in one's pants, and publish or perish. (Other paired expressions, cheer and cherish, and funding and grants, are under development).

Authors' Note: In deciding on their wedding vows, brides and grooms often pick binomial expressions owing to their aura of tradition and their musicality. Such phrases, bordering on clichés, include:
for better or for worseto have and to holdricher or poorer, and in sickness and in health. The ultimate cliché in this formulaic construct (that protagonist Cliff felt pressured to recite) is usually "til death do us part" (not a binomial).

Generally,  following recitation of the vows, the co-opted man and wife get photographed, and then the whole wedding-party goes off to celebrate. In the case described above, the mandatory recitation was distorted, leaving the guests high and dry

For more verses about  "Binomial Expressions", please proceed to part #3 by clicking HERE

To resume daily titillations on our related blog 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense', click HERE. Once you arrive, you can select your time frame of interest from the calendar-based listings in the righthand margin, and check the daily offerings for any month in the years 2020 to the present. (As of September 2023, there are over 1200 unique entries available on the Daily blog, and most of these are also presented here on 'Edifying Nonsense' in topic-based collections.) The 'Daily' format has the advantage of including some videos and other material that are not shown here on this topic-based blog.

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