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Hairy Things That are Not What They Seem

Published by Louie Jerome in Life
September 22nd, 2008

From splitting hairs to bad hair days, things are not always what they seem. Some hairy expressions don’t always mean what they say.

English is full of strange idiomatic sayings and phrases. Here are some very hairy expressions that don’t always mean what they say.

Keep Your Hair On

photo credit: 80stees.com

This means don’t lose your temper, stay calm. It is similar in meaning to those other gems:

‘don’t flip your lid’ and ‘don’t lose your head’.

A Bad Hair Day

photo credit: starwalagata.com

A day when one’s hair just doesn’t look right, or one where everything seems to go wrong.

Out of Your Hair

photo credit: fashionwatch.com

To get someone, or something out of your hair is to deal with it, get rid of it, push it away. For example I could give my children some money to go bowling and stay out of my hair.

Airy Fairy

Something that is airy (or hairy) fairy is of no substance. For instance, we have a problem and all he can come up with are airy fairy ideas that are totally impractical.

Hairy Ride

photo credit: flickr.com

A hairy ride is a scary one. (slang)

Split Hairs

photocredit:  pukkagerman.com

To dissect a subject into little tiny pieces. To pull it apart and be concerned with very minor detail (often not dealing with the whole thing .) Concentrating on trivial and unimportant details.


photo credit: sjica.org

This was originally ‘hare-brained’ and referred to the madness of the march hare. It is now commonly used in the ‘hairbrained’ form, often with a hyphen (hair-brained). It means crazy, not properly thought out. For example: He came up with another of his hairbrained schemes and there was no way we could agree.

Hair of the Dog

photo credit: akimgag.com

This expression is used to refer to the practise of taking another alcoholic drink the next day to alleviate hang over symptoms from the night before. For example: He drank two bottles of wine last night and has a headache this morning, so he ordered hair of the dog with his lunch (ie more wine).

There are many more hairy expressions to add to this list including:

Hair’s breadth (or hare’s breath), hair trigger, hide nor hair, let your hair down.

Liked it
  1. Ruby Hawk
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 10:42 am

    i have heard all these expressions but the first one. These are “hairy ” expressions. Well done. Best wishes, Ruby

  2. Glynis Smy
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Hair Hair to this one Louie!

  3. Dan Haugh
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Great story, but I have to admit that I found the picture of the dog to be the best part. That doesn’t mean that the writing wasn’t excellent, but I am still laughing about the poor dog. I can feel his pain, Very funny indeed!

  4. Redburn
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    LOL so funny!

  5. Karen N
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Very cute!

  6. Darlene McFarlane
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    I have never heard of Airy Fairy or Out of Your Hair before. This is a fun article,I enjoyed it very much.

  7. Alexa Gates
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    I havent heard any of these except the bad hair day one :)

  8. nobert soloria bermosa
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 5:01 pm


  9. Judy Sheldon
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Very clever, as usual. I enjoyed this one. Thanks.

  10. Bozsi Rose
    Posted September 22, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    I didn’t know what to expect from the title! Very cute!

  11. valli
    Posted September 23, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Very funny.

  12. Lindalulu
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Lol….so funny, still laughing!

  13. Posted February 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Love this stuff!

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