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I'm probably

Eddie Mair | 10:28 UK time, Thursday, 12 July 2007

not allowed to tell you this but the latest Blog stats from the BBC are in. PM is fourth in the list of Blogs in terms of page impressions: behind the leader (way out in front) Test Match Special, Chris Moyles, then the Radio 1 chart Blog (we're just behind them).

In terms of the number of approved comments for June, PM is WAY out in front.

But enough of all that.

A comment on the listener log for yesterday's programme says:

"Claimed the expression 'spitting feathers' was used in wrong context it should have
been 'spitting tacks'. "The expression used was wrong.""

Is it wrong?

Comments

  1. At 11:15 AM on 12 Jul 2007, b carbury wrote:

    please please if you get a minute will you give your unique take to audrey hepburn politics?

  2. At 11:19 AM on 12 Jul 2007, Charlie wrote:

    Filthy habit. Spitting that is.

  3. At 11:24 AM on 12 Jul 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    OK Eddie, to get the PM blog at the top spot all round you're going to have to get listeners to send in nice cakes (Brian Johnson always had a listener's cake on hand doing the test match commentary), put a lot more weight on (the cakes should help with this) and do a run down of the top beat combos of the day (it's Radio 4, so "the day" will have to be no later than 10th August 1976*)


    * Elton John & Kiki Dee - Don't Go Breaking My Heart...

    As to the expressions above, I can do no better than quote Julius Caesar:

    "Nihil expectore in omnibus"
    (No spitting on the public transport...)

  4. At 11:31 AM on 12 Jul 2007, Izzy T'Me wrote:

    I didn't hear the prog last night but I've never heard of "spitting tacks" and if so annoyed that I can't speak spit feathers. That's my humble take on the matter.

    Izz x

    P.S. Did someone really phone up to complain about that?!

    P.P.S. First of the day and malicious, huh?

  5. At 11:36 AM on 12 Jul 2007, Piper wrote:

    Seems like you'll have to walk 'round in a "Box" Eddie.

    I mean, not that I know whether you already do. Or not...

    Tell you what, let's not go there...

  6. At 11:43 AM on 12 Jul 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    SSC - Don't mention ex pectore. Jonnie's on a nicotine-free diet, and we're all wishing him success.

  7. At 12:25 PM on 12 Jul 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    I believe spitting feathers is used to indicate either that the person is very thirsty (in which case my link may be useful!) or that they can't get their words out. Spitting tacks means they were very angry.

    Can't, however, remember the context in which it was used yesterday (though I did listen to the programme from beginning to end - honest, guv!)

  8. At 12:44 PM on 12 Jul 2007, Electric Dragon wrote:

    Certainly in my family it means "thirsty" e.g. "Are you gonna put the kettle on? We're spitting feathers here."

    It could be a North/South divide. See: http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-spi4.htm , in which the suggestion is that southerners heard the phrase "spitting feathers", but didn't understand it and reanalysed it by analogy with "spitting blood" to mean angry.

  9. At 01:15 PM on 12 Jul 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    E D;
    I've certainly always used 'spitting blood' and I'm a long-time south-westerner, nowadays transplanted north of Watford Gap.

    Si.

  10. At 01:31 PM on 12 Jul 2007, Wonko wrote:

    Well, as soft "sutherner" I must add weight to the Electric Dragon's musing over a North/South divide.

    I have only ever heard and used the phrase "spitting feathers" as an indication of anger, or sometimes frustration, or angry frustration. You get the idea.

    For thirsty the term "I'm parched" or even just "I'm thirsty" are more common in my experience.

    ;o) []

  11. At 05:02 PM on 12 Jul 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    I also have heard "spitting feathers" used to mean "angry" but can't say I would use it myself. If thirsty I would say "I am thirsty" and if hungry "I am hungry". Or "I'm Hank Marvin", but the latter can lead to confusion, so I wouldn't say it at an event where last minute emergency entertainment was needed, because I can play only 5 chords on a guitar...

    What's a "Page Impression" Eric?

  12. At 05:48 PM on 12 Jul 2007, admin annie wrote:

    SPITTING TACKS IS FOR ANGRY
    SPITTING FEATHERS I DON'T THINK I'VE EVER HEARD
    I TOO WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT PAGE IMPRESSIONS ARE
    I'M NOT SHOUTING HONEST, I'M JUST IN FROM A TRAINING DAY ON HELPING WITH NHS COMPLAINTS AND I'M TOO TIRED TO TAKE OFF THE CAPS LOCK.

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