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January 26th, 2004

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11:09 pm - On second thought, perhaps *not* hoist by my own petard...
Some things I already knew: a "petard" is a bomb used to blow holes in city gates or walls. And to be "hoist" by such a bomb is, metaphorically, to be blown up by it.

Something I didn't already know: the bomb name is itself a metaphor, derived from the French pétard, "loud discharge of intestinal gas".

So a person who's been "hoist by their own petard" has, in a multiply-metaphorical sense, been blown up by their own fart.

I may never use that phrase again.

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Date:February 1st, 2004 02:25 am (UTC)
gosh, after hearing that, I may _start_ using that phrase!

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