Archive for January 25th, 2011

January 25, 2011

Funny words, knick knacks

Knick Knacks is kind of a cute term, I think.  Whether knick knacks themselves are cute is in the eye of the beholder.  Knick knacks are small decorative items used to decorate the home, often in the form of a particular object.  Animals are very popular, so are angles, clowns or cute babies.

Knick knacks are generally small and not expensive but rather the trivial little objects one picks up during travels or gets as presents from friends and family members. The get displayed on fireplace mantles or in shelves especially if a larger number of themed knick knack has been collected, e.g. frog figurines from all over the world.

The word, as expected, is very old and dates back to the 17th century.

Here are a coupe of examples:

“what are you getting Mary for her birthday?”

“I bought a cute little frog figurine at an antique store the other day.  You know how much she likes knick knacks.”

or

“I’d go crazy leaving in Aunt Harriet’s house.  Knick knacks everywhere, on every shelf, mantle, window sill.  I’d give all that stuff away!”

January 25, 2011

Imitation

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, pic: http://www.inmagine.com

Today an idiom about flattery: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.  What that basically means is that if somebody copies what you do, how you dress, talk, what you do they do so because they are impressed by whatever it is your doing.

So, instead of being mad, at the imitated you should be proud and thankful to the imitator because they could pay them no higher compliment than doing as they do.  The common reaction to being imitated, e.g. to that neighbor/friend who copies your style to dress, your recipes and table center pieces, is annoyance rather than the feeling of being flattered.  However, maybe, we should reconsider this sentiment.

One has to be a little careful with this idiom, though, it is often used ironically.

Here are some examples:

“Mom, Madison always doing everything I do.”  It is so annoying.”

“Don’t worry, Emily, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Here is an article headlined “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”