coals to newcastle



At breakfast on Friday I used the phrase, "like carrying coals to Newcastle." And everyone at the table was like, "What the hell is he saying?" Two of them are editors at an encycopedia so I thought maybe they heard me wrong since it's a common phrase, or so I thought. C-O-A-L-S, I said as clearly as I could, like they were foreign exchange students just learning English. But they kept looking at me funny and said they had never heard it before. And mocked me, of course. So on Sat. night, at the California Clipper I asked another group of friends if they had ever heard that phrase. Nope. And on Christmas eve I asked Pam about it and she's never heard of it and started laughing at me. Apparently I have been living my life thinking that the phrase was as common as "raining cats and dogs" but none of friends, most of them a lot more educated then I am, remember ever hearing it. So all week I've been trying to remember where I heard it or read it. I'm pretty sure it was at a young age. And if I had, as some people claimed, made it up. But today I typed the phrase in and know at least that I'm not alone and that I did not make it up. I wonder what else I go around saying that nobody really understands? It's not like I'm some Angolphile, always using British slang or cockney or saying stuff like, "Old bean" or sprouting obscure Old English. At least I don't think so. This makes me wonder. Sign my Guestbook if you have heard this phrase before and/or have used it.

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