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Interdigitate Options
Hope123
Posted: Monday, February 10, 2020 11:22:38 AM

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Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
From today's Wordsmih-

“Oh, by the way, do you only interdigitate once a day?’

“She stopped and looked up at me. She was mentally replaying what I had just said to her. ‘What did you say?’ she said indignantly -- wondering if I just had been incredibly rude to her. She was getting ready to be really ticked off. Short fuse was a side to Mia I had only guessed at.

“’I asked you if you only interdigitate once a day?’ I replied innocently working hard to keep the grin off my face. She obviously did not know what the hell I was talking about, but she was not ready to let me know it. I started walking again. She stood still for a moment and then scurried up beside me. We walked for another few yards before I asked again.

“She hesitated and then grudgingly -- as if she had committed some major sin -- quietly replied, ‘No, I’ve not set any limit on that. Should I?’

“’Oh no,’ I replied, ‘I kind of enjoyed holding your hand earlier, but when you didn’t take mine a minute or so ago, I wasn’t sure if you had set some sort of personal daily limit.’

“She started to giggle and then punched my shoulder -- hard. ‘You are truly nuts -- one of your oars is clearly out of the water -- and that’s a fact.’ And she took my hand. ‘Where did you get that word? What was it?’

“’Interdigitate,’ I replied. ‘The first time I heard the word was when a kid in my Sex-Ed class -- his name was Jerry Piels, I think -- asked our female Sex-Ed teacher if she thought interdigitation before marriage was morally wrong.”

Al Rennie; Clearwater Journals; Smashwords; 2011.
Ursus Minor
Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 6:55:24 AM

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Hope123 wrote:
interdigitate


And what does 'one of your oars is clearly out of the water' mean?
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 11:49:14 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
Ursus Minor wrote:
Hope123 wrote:
interdigitate


And what does 'one of your oars is clearly out of the water' mean?


That the person is acting in a stupid manner or in this context mad or crazy.
There are many phrases that are similar that mean the same thing, they all imply that you are acting in a less than optimal way, from the context we can tell if they mean stupidly or crazy.
These are a few examples from the top of my head.
“One sandwich short of a picnic”.
“A few pence short of a pound”
“A sausage short of a barbie” (Australians like a BBQ).


Ursus Minor
Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 1:39:51 PM

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Joined: 6/13/2016
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Location: Inozemtsevo, Stavropol'skiy, Russia
Thank you, Sarrriesfan. Something like 'You have a screw loose'.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 7:50:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Ursus Minor wrote:
Thank you, Sarrriesfan. Something like 'You have a screw loose'.

That's one I haven't heard in a while - but it's one I've heard and used a lot.

Another was "having bats in the belfry". A belfry is a high place, so it meant "having bats flying around in your head".

There's an interesting bit of etymology in the American Heritage - "belfry" is nothing to do with bells, etymologically.

Word History:
The words bell and belfry seem obviously related, but in fact the bel- portion of belfry had nothing to do with bells until comparatively recently. Belfry goes back to a compound formed in the prehistoric common ancestor of the Germanic languages. It is generally agreed that the second part of this compound is the element *frij-, meaning "peace, safety." The first element is either *bergan, "to protect," which would yield a compound meaning "a defensive place of shelter," or *berg-, "a high place," which would yield a compound meaning "a high place of safety, tower." Whatever the meaning of the original Germanic source, its Old French descendant berfrei, which first meant "siege tower," came to mean "watchtower." Presumably because bells were used in these towers, the word was applied to bell towers as well. The Old North French alteration belfroi, which must have reminded Middle English speakers of their native word belle (our bell), entered Middle English with the sense "bell tower."
lazarius
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 6:29:37 AM

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Joined: 8/27/2016
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Location: Kotel’niki, Moskovskaya, Russia
Hope123 wrote:
Oh, by the way, do you only interdigitate once a day?



[image not available]


In this picture it is not the person that interdigitates but his hands or rather fingers (digits). The word denotes the state of being interlocked and is usually found in technical books.

Al Rennie's use of the word in romantic context to mean hold hands feels not only pretentious but plain wrong.

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