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What's the meaning of the phrase 'Old codger'?

William Hone's The Every-day Book , , lists that meaning:.

'Old codger' - the meaning and origin of this phrase

Rocinante was the name Don Quixote's horse in Miguel de Cervantes' celebrated story. The name rosinante doesn't appear in English until the s, a good hundred years after the Don Quixote story, and appears to have been adopted into English from Cervantes original coinage. It is worth throwing in here that 'codger' is Turkish for 'old man' but, as there are no known sources that point to 'old codger' being of Turkish origin, it seems safe to class that as simple unrelated coincidence. The origin of codger appears to lie in the complex links between cadger and codger not as a contraction of the 20th century slang term 'coffin-dodger', as one of my more inventive correspondents has suggested.

The latter meaning is the one used in an early example of 'old codger', David Garrick's farce Bon Ton , Men who had fallen on hard times and had resorted to any means possible to keep body and soul together were often those who were too old to find work. A cadger was likely to be a grizzled character wanting to borrow or steal from you; a codger was a peculiar and unfashionable chap, and both were likely to be old. On your next view you will be asked to log in or create an account to continue reading.

old codger

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The Stranglers - Old Codger B side of Walk on By Featuring George Melly

Their ebullient motions give off an ambience of something so freeing and lighthearted. In junior high PE class, while I was swinging on the huge floor-to-ceiling ropes, the student PE assistant in our gym class told me I had very good coordination. Maybe on ropes, but in some team sports, not so successful. However, later in high school I did a pretty good job on the school bowling team, was on the long-distance cross-country running team, and was captain of an after-school volleyball team.

Apparently, I had good coordination for some physical activities, but what about dancing? In the junior high PE class, besides the usual sports and gymnastics, we learned ballroom dancing. We were taught the steps to the waltz, the fox trot and other slow partner dances. It was interesting toward the end of the unit to see us earliteen boys arriving at school dressed in our suits, ties and Keds sneakers on The Day of the Dance. Boys on one side of the gym, nervously pushing and shoving one another. Girls on the other side, in their beautiful gauzy dresses with many petticoats so they looked like open umbrellas with legs, arms and head attached, twittering and whispering as they looked across the gulf of the width of the gym at the group of us adolescent males, likewise taking furtive peeks at the fair damsels.

The moment of truth and action arrived with the announcement by our PE teacher for the boys to negotiate that expanse of wooden floor across the painted outlines of the basketball courts and enter the precincts of the realm of maidens. We young men took deep breaths, made sure we had our handkerchiefs ready more on that later and began the long march, willing one foot ahead of the other with our eye on a particular beauty among the teeming, giggling girly gaggle.

I approached blonde Gloria Newbold, and asked her, my unchanged prepubescent voice faltering now and then, if she would be willing to share this dance with me. Wonder of wonders, she agreed!


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And off we went, but not before placing my handkerchief, as we boys had been instructed, between my warm, moist left hand and the back of her pretty dress. Now, having been a teacher for 46 years and having countlessly evaluated my yearly curricula to determine their worth, success and failures, I wonder why the genteel activity of ballroom dancing was included in the PE curriculum? Outwardly, most of us would rather have hidden away in some dark corner than — horrors! But there were some interesting life lessons, though subtle, which came through: In later years, the skills of dance learned in junior high PE apparently stayed with me.


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I'm an old codger, true, but as recently as when I was younger, they didn't have those sort of women, nor the institutions where they could learn and then teach. Young girls as eager to study all the traditional texts as their brothers, and men and woman scholars to teach them. Since books and learning are totally central to traditional Judaism, this is probably the single most important development in contemporary Judaism, a change which will reverberate for many centuries and one to be pinpointed as beginning towards the end of the 20th century. Well, perhaps not the single most important development: But those two were essential for this one, and all three are closely tied together.

"We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers." Bayard Rustin, Quaker gay activist

Second, Rabbanit Carmit truly is a scholar. For lack of precedents I don't know if she's called a talmidat chachamim, or a talmida chachama; we'll have to wait and see how the language deals with the new reality. Just this afternoon I found myself arguing with a fellow congregant about the lecture she gave this morning, as to how learned she is - the mere fact of the discussion proving my point, as my interlocutor wasn't saying she's not learned, but rather he was kvetching that she wasn't using her knowledge to best effect. I decided not to plea for his patience by saying that she's only been at it for, what, 20 years, and her entire group not more than 30, while the menfolk have been at it for 2, - because that would have weakened my position.

As recently as 15 years ago it would have been inconceivable for me to have a discussion with a rather conservative-minded orthodox man critical of a woman scholar for not being as totally in control of her Torah materials as any other rabbi. Finally, the most interesting thing about Rabbanit Carmit's talks before the congregation are not that she knows so much, but the way in which being a woman and a mother of six seem to give her a different perspective on the same texts.

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The other day she took a refrain often used in the Rosh Hashana service - Hayom Harat Olam - and built her talk around the obvious but often-overlooked fact that the words mean, literally, this is the day of the conception of the world. Though she never said as much, conception is a thing women can talk about better than men. She simply demonstrated it, by talking about theological aspects of conception. This morning both she and Rav Benny, in two separate talks, took note of a rather minor aspect of Yom Kippur, a miracle whereby a red cord in the Temple used to turn white at the climax of the day's service.

He used this to talk about social matters; she used it to talk about the personal ability to reach for communication with God.