Strange expressions

I found myself using the phrase selling like hot cakes earlier this week. It suddenly occurred to me that this is a very strange expression. I have never eaten a hot cake, and I have never seen one for sale. Perhaps that's because they sell out so quickly.

Hot cakes? Pretty odd.

Jen thinks it might refer to fairy cakes (what the Americans call cup cakes), which are particularly tasty when eaten warm, fresh out of the oven. That's as maybe, but, if so, shouldn't the expression be selling like warm fairy cakes?

But even if Jen's interpretation is right, do warm fairy cakes sell particularly well these days? If they do, I've certainly never noticed. In this day and age, wouldn't it be more appropriate to say selling like iPods, or something like that?

…All of which got Fitz and me talking in the pub last night about the Fosbury Flop. Good old Dick Fosbury is one of those totally cool individuals who have had a manoeuvre named after them. His particular manoeuvre revolutionised the world of high jump. It added several inches to most people's high jumping ability. No high jumper in their right mind would be without it. Indeed, when it comes to high jumping technique, it's the only game in town—it has been a massive success.

So why's it called the Fosbury Flop?

Filed under: Nonsense

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. So smarty pants where does the phrase bats for rags come from? I have looked it up on the internet but foubd no answer. My friend says it was the prize you got from the rag and bone man - you're old enough to remember them what do you reckon?

  2. 'Bats for rags' is not an expression. You're confusing it with 'Bags for rats' - but I don't know what that means either.

  3. It would have been more appropriate if you had found yourself using the expression "Selling like hot cakes" early last week - Tuesday in fact. Hotcake (not 'hot cake') = Pancake.

    As to why anything would sell like them, I've no idea. Unless it is a Lent related issue.

  4. Only Bags for rats I can find on the net is is bags for gummi rats - I don't think so!!

  5. Marketing. Which you rather buy, couple of pancakes (yawn) or a couple of !!HOTCAKES!! ?

    Hit me with them !!HOTCAKES!! Daddy-o.

    Alternative hypothesis: "These pancakes are selling like hotcakes."

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