In this column, we have covered before how some sayings are no longer applicable today. We looked at the oft-used “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush”. We tore the saying to bits using all kinds of references; foreign and local, those from the past and others from the future…we even referred to ancient writings scribbled on scrolls made out of a papyrus/Sim Sim paste mix believed to have been made by scantily-clad, travelled Ugandans ages ago. We left no stone unturned to bring justice to that saying.
In our travels today, our gallant take on the Queen’s language has us poking at yet another saying of hers. Since it is her language then surely the sayings are hers. Someone’s paid top-dollar to sit in the Queen’s chambers and record her sayings. One gets to spend their days lying next to the queen (not “next to” like rubbing elbows, “next to” like within ear shot. The first “next to” is unheard of. She is the queen you know. Be ashamed of your thoughts)
We will use the same analytical approach that has proved to be wildly popular among the frenzied crowds that throng stalls to buy the paper to read this column. The analytical approach is un-named at the point of writing this but since it is clearly popular, we will not bother going through the motions of defiling it by trying to pin a label to it. Who dares to name a popular research method? Only a bozo.
So, the phrase being torn apart today is “A wolf in sheep’s skin”. How did it come to be? Well, long ago, long before your granddaddy run after an antelope in search of breakfast, animals used to celebrate Halloween. It was a big day in kingdom animalia, with all the animals dressing up as other animals and strutting around asking for candy. Naturally, candy in animal speak means something else. All Google searches for “Candy in animal speak” returned “Justin Bieber is a Party Animal”. I kid you not. No pun there even.
One fine Halloween night, a sheep called Baba prepositioned another sheep called Black sheep. A few seconds later, Baba was arrested. The court proceedings later revealed that the sheep he prepositioned was actually a wolf! (Pregnant pause). The serial killer wolf was going around maiming sheep by dressing as one. CSI Miami stuff. And,so the phrase was born.