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  1. #11
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: on a short leash

    Quote Originally Posted by SanMar View Post
    If it is an extremely short leash ... you got them by the short and curly.
    I wouldn't consider this rude but it isn't exactly polite. I wouldn't use it in a formal situation, actually I might, but most wouldn't.


    Not a teacher.
    In Br Eng it's plural. I had a not entirely sympathetic maths teacher who would control a recalcitrant pupil by holding him by the short hairs on the nape of the neck and shaking his head back and forth - but those hairs are not curly at all (in most people). In less polite society people refer to 'the short and curlies' - referring to an entirely different, and more sensitive, part of the body. I have no idea which came first - curlies or hairs; but I've never heard anything but the plural, and the 'curlies' variation is not at all formal.

    b

  2. #12
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: on a short leash

    Since we veered south of the border...


    Another idiom is "to have someone by the balls".

  3. #13
    SanMar's Avatar
    SanMar is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: on a short leash

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    In Br Eng it's plural. I had a not entirely sympathetic maths teacher who would control a recalcitrant pupil by holding him by the short hairs on the nape of the neck and shaking his head back and forth - but those hairs are not curly at all (in most people). In less polite society people refer to 'the short and curlies' - referring to an entirely different, and more sensitive, part of the body. I have no idea which came first - curlies or hairs; but I've never heard anything but the plural, and the 'curlies' variation is not at all formal.

    b
    You may be right. I can't say with absolute certainty that it is not curlies come to think of it. I think here the reference is pubes rather than hair on the back of the neck though. But I am not an expert.

    And yes it is not used formally, that was a slip on my part sorry!:)

    Not a teacher.
    :)

    (BTW what an *ssh*l* Math teacher you had.)
    Last edited by SanMar; 03-May-2011 at 03:04.

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