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Tous les forums > SOS Teacher > Space Cowboys - Words and Expressions.

#1 Jul 25, 2007, 2:23 AM

RobM
Journalist - New Zealand
23

>> "NASA seems to have been playing things very close to their chest. "

The term comes from the old west and the poker players.  If you were playing your poker hand close to your chest, you were holding your cards in such a manner as to stop other people from seeing them. You may have been concerned that someone was watching.

It implies that you are striving for a bit of secrecy, or to keep things out of public view.

As for the term "Cowboys" - It is used not only to describe the Old West rugged sort of farm hand who we often see in movies, but it can also denote a tradesman who has no real qualifications, or who may perform a haphazard job.

For example:  If you hire a registered plumber, you get someone who knows their job, but may charge you more.   If you hire someone who may have fixed a drain or two in their life, but tends to perform such tasks with all the wrong tools, and not comply with all of the building/sanitisation laws, but usually charges you less... then you are said to have hired a "cowboy".

Rob

 

#2 Jul 26, 2007, 11:28 AM

RobM
Journalist - New Zealand
23

Now is it just me, or is far more of that underlined than needs to be? :-/

 

 

#3 Jul 26, 2007, 11:41 AM

Audisodd
Citizen - France

!!

you mean that if i want to say i am secretive about my intentions i can't say "i am Rob" ?

damned  ;-)

by the way, is it allright to say "damned" ? or is it only said in comics  ?

 

#4 Jul 26, 2007, 11:54 PM

RobM
Journalist - New Zealand
23

In the context you used, "Damn" would be more appropriate.

It's an expression of irritation. If you were around in the 1950's, you might say "Bother!" - You could use that now, but only if you wanted people to think you were Winnie the Poo.

There's a New Zealand colloquial alternative that is used here far more often than either of those... but unfortunately it's one of those words that, while not at all offensive in New Zealand, is highly offensive outside of this country... so I can't tell you what it is. :-)

Rob

 

#5 Jul 27, 2007, 3:09 PM

Audisodd
Citizen - France

rah...

maybe you could write it in brackets... it might look less offensive

or send me a PM, i want to know that word! one day i'll go to New Zealand so i must know it! (i'm running out of arguments)

 -please-

 

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