Tuesday, September 25, 2007
BANANABOAT (17A Food transportation …that Harry Belafonte sang about) -- "Come, Mr. Tally Man, tally me banana/ Daylight come and we wanna go home," (dock workers working the night shift loading bananas onto ships).. The Banana Boat Song is a traditional Trinidadian Calypso folk song. However, it’s a lot of other things, see Banana Boat.
MEATWAGON (24A …that’s an ambulance, in slang) -- whatever…this is usually an ambulance from a morgue, the individual being transported is deceased and therefore “meat” -- there are other definitions of "meat wagon", none of them too savory; however, the original "meat wagon" seems to have been parked long time ago.
TURNIPTRUCK (37A …that a rube might fall off) -- brings to mind the Joads in “The Grapes of Wrath”. It is commonly thought of as a Metaphorical vehicle bringing rubes to the metropolis. One who falls off the truck is hopelessly naive. “Fall off a turnip truck” is not exactly praise, but then it’s not condemnation, more observation of unfortunate circumstances.
APPLECART (48A …that may be upset) -- a phrase used to define creating a difficulty. If you upset the apple cart, you cause trouble and upset people. It’s not as dangerous as rocking the boat, but upsetting the apple cart would mean someone’s going be picking up a lot of scattered apples, as an apple cart is an orchard wagon filled with loose apples.
GRAVYTRAIN (59A …that’s a source of easy money) -- not only easy to do but with great reward, an easy task. In politics, "gravy train" refers to a depraved gorging on luxuries, since someone else foots the bill. It seems like the expression got a little off track, as a gravy train relates to gravy boat, a dinner table container used to hold gravy.
"The Grapes of Wrath", 1941
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