Skip to main content

Time To Skedaddle Poem



Using Colloquial Phrases and Idioms In Poetry 


Idiom:
An expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its words, as in kick the bucket (meaning to die). 

Colloquialisms:
A colloquialism is a word, phrase, or other form used in informal language. Such words and phrases develop and become part of the every day language. Strangely most people know exactly what they mean. The word, 'yobbo or yob' was used frequently when I was younger. The word was applied to young men considered to be poorly dressed, bad mannered and uneducated.

Certain phrases and words expressions may develop in a particular language, dialect, or style of speaking. These terms may be used in conversation and writing in a particular country, state or region yet may be unknown to people living beyond that place, who remain unfamiliar with its use. Idioms and colloquialisms are continually being invented, while others fall out of use because they may have connections to a particular point in time and people just stop using them. When I was boy, I frequently heard people saying things like:

I got donged on the noggin.
I just fell head over turkey.
I just came a cropper. 

I don't hear these expressions that much anymore. They have fallen out of use, or been replaced by other expressions.

Idioms and colloquialisms always provide fun for a poet. I wrote this poem a couple of days ago. I thoroughly enjoyed using some of those wonderful old expressions. Many of which were the phrases and terms heard so frequently during my childhood.

As I wrote my poem, I felt like I was bumping into old friends. 

Sometimes I find myself writing about serious issues.This was a giggle and hoot writing experience. The mood was relaxed and the poetry decidedly lighthearted. 

Time To Skedaddle

Don’t be a dingbat
I’ll be back, don’t you worry
Lickety split
All hurry scurry
Heavens to Betsy
Ooh la la
Don’t shilly-shally
It won’t get you far
Holy moly 
Okey-doke
Watch me vanish 
In a puff of smoke
No time for ratbags
Protect your wicket
Stay alert
That’s the ticket!


Comments

  1. Idioms are the bane of my poor ELL students' existence. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Idiomatic language is something we must actively teach into. A lot of my work in schools is with EAL (English As An Additional Language) students and I am pleased so many of the teachers I work with see it as a matter of significance to teach these curious language learners about the use of such terms. They frequently lack synonyms as well and so lots of vocabulary building is done too. Idiomatic language is what we make it. I try to use it to empower readers and writers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What fun! I can remember using several of the expressions in your poem (but not so much the ones in your explanation. We must have grown up in different parts of the world). They are like bumping into old friends!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kay. My experiences are informed by my Australian childhood.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Ottava Rima Poem

Today I've gone Italian with an Ottava Rima poem. An Ottava Rima is a poetic form made up of eight lines that rhyme. Each line consists of eleven syllables.The Ottava Rima in its current form was first created by the Italian poet, Giovanni Boccaccio. It is based on a poetic form then used in Sicily, incorporating an alternating rhyming scheme throughout its eight lines. The double rhyme in the last two verses was introduced later on.

An Ottava Rima poem is made up of an octave with the rhyme pattern:
ab
ab
ab
cc

This poem presented an interesting challenge, but then again a challenge is a good thing for a poet. I kept returning to it across a couple of weeks. 

Distancing myself from the words allowed me to return with a clearer vision about what my poem needed in order to settle. Sometimes making a poem is akin to working with Lego pieces. When the word arrangement works, you hear everything click into place. 

Some tinkering and line movement proved quite useful in the end. I would recomm…

Kyrielle POEM

A Kyrielle poem is structured so that all the lines have eight syllables and each stanza of four lines ends in a refrain. It takes on a rhythmical form very much like a rhyming couplet.


A Kyrielle poem is made up of 4 lined stanzas of eight syllables each. The capital letter (directly below) being the refrain:

aabB  
ccbB 
ddbB 
eebB

Here is my Kyrielle poem. It is springtime in Australia, so it seems appropriate to tap into the sensations of the season when looking for inspiration. Just like the Ottava Rima poem I wrote recently, Kyrielle poems require some thought and effort. I must admit I again enjoyed the challenge presented by the structure of the poem. Finding sufficient rhyming words that are also appropriate for the subject was a major consideration. So, my fellow poets are you up for the challenge?


Springtime Revelations

Finessing all the shrubbery
The gentle breeze washed over me
Scents and bouquets then arose
The earth reveals what winter knows

The morning air is light and warm
Dragonf…

When Poets Ponder -Wordplay Emerges

I recently presented a poetry workshop for teachers in Hobart. Kate Neasy was one of those who attended. Kate followed up by emailing me one of her poems last week. It was a wow moment...

Kate Neasy, a.k.a Kathryn Rae has written a poem that really resonates with me. It deserves sharing. Such a cleverly constructed poem.

They say the best books -and poems to read are those that make us think. Well, this poem certainly did that. Kate's poem ponders commonly used idiomatic terms and begins to pose questions regarding their accuracy. Kate has kindly granted me permission to share her words. It gives me pleasure to present them on Poetry Friday.

SO NOT

Blue whales are not blue
New Town is not so new
Gold fish are not gold,
A cold war is not really cold.

A granny flat may be used by teens,
A bean counter rarely handles beans,
A silverfish does not swim,
Happy hour is often rather grim.

Daylight robbery can occur overnight,
Surveillance may result in an oversight,
Laundered money is never clean,
Green…