I’m So Confused

Sometimes, Jerry’s “isms” completely baffle me. This morning, as San-Geraldo-aka-Jerry and I were walking over to Emperador Trajano for breakfast, we saw a small delivery van barreling down the road in our direction. On most streets in the old part of Sevilla, sidewalks go from somewhat accommodating pedestrians to barely leaving room for a shoe width, and then back again. At moments, sidewalks may disappear completely. So, a walk in our neighborhood involves maneuvering at times alongside moving traffic. When Jerry first saw the little white van coming at us, we were in the road, there being only an extremely narrow sidewalk at that point.



Jerry warned, “Uh-oh, better get out of the way. He’s coming at us booming like six-pins.”

“What?” I couldn’t even figure out what that was supposed to be. “Did you say, ‘booming like sixes?’ I asked.

“No,” he responded, and then continued with a question in his tone, “I said ‘booming like six-pins?” He paused. “But I have no idea what that means.”


Well, this time he had lost me. I tried to connect this latest Jerryism with some reality based bit of American English. All I could think of was, “coming at us with six-guns blazing.” But, as I thought about it, I wasn’t convinced there was a “six” in that expression at all. Isn’t the expression simply “with guns blazing”? Yes it is.


Maybe one of the language schools here should offer a course in ‘Jerrynglish.’ Unfortunately, I don’t know who would teach it. I usually can translate him, but not well enough to teach a class. I only speak ‘broken Jerrynglish.’ And, although Jerry speaks perfect Jerrynglish (if that’s not an oxymoron), he himself often doesn’t understand what he says. As our friend Jim once wrote in poetic tribute:

“Who translates Jerry when others despair to?”

Well, I certainly try.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

22 thoughts on “I’m So Confused”

    1. J&L:
      Most drivers approach with caution, but some fly down the streets and around corners. Side-view mirrors can be especially dangerous if the driver doesn't have a good sense of his own space. I've jumped out of the way many times. Jerry was slapped once by a side-view mirror; he wasn't hurt and the fortunately slow-moving driver stopped to apologize.

  1. My favorite nonsensical statements are "That tractor don't fit my plan", "Never never shake a baby", and "That's seven kinds of [insert adjective here]!"

    1. Writer:
      Those sound like Kentucky expressions (and new to me). New Yorkers have a very different way of expressing themselves. One of my favorites from an old colleague from Texas: "I'm on that like a duck on a june bug."

  2. I love Jerrynglish.
    And I am gonna use "booming at us like six-pins" on Carlos tonight and see what he makes of it.

    My favorite Carlosism is when he says it was 'like a storm in a glass of water.'

    Tempest in a teapot.

    1. Bob:
      I just hooted at "like a storm in a glass of water"! I don't know if Jerry and Carlos would understand each other, but it would be hilarious to listen to them together in conversation!

  3. every partner has !isms"
    generally I try to ignore chris'
    they are too numerous to worry about!
    of course, I am without sin!
    tee hee

    1. John:
      I myself have no "isms," I'm sure, but I don't know if that qualifies me to claim I'm without sin. From all my readings of your blog, it's clear to me you are without sin. (Then again, I just said I have no isms, so this all could be a bunch of hooey… Is that an ism?)

  4. Did you say chocolate and orange cake?! I love sin.

    I love the Jerryisms, it makes San Geraldo sound like a human. 😉

    1. Peter:
      I've had their cheesecake once (exceptional… and I'm a bit picky about cheesecake).

      But that chocolate and orange cake! I've had that twice. SO GOOD!

      We've only had desserts there during an afternoon stroll and have managed to control ourselves at breakfast-time.

  5. That orange and chocolate cake sounds wonderful! Especially if it's dark chocolate. I've never heard that expression. One saying that I never heard until we lived in Louisiana is "red-headed stepchild"… meaning whoever you were talking about certainly wasn't treated well. As in… I was treated like a red-haired stepchild. I only wish I'd known this expression when I was growing up… my sister is a redhead, and would I ever have liked to come up with something to make her mad back then 😉

  6. I wonder if the "six-pins" might have something to do with bowling. Did Jerry ever work in a bowling alley? My younger brother worked in a bowling alley as a kid setting pins up.

    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      Well, Jerry did grow up in South Dakota. So, bowling could have come into his head, but that still doesn't explain this expression. Besides, I'm pretty sure they always tried to use all 10 pins!

  7. OMG! Those 'streets' could be very dangerous! And I thought Halifax streets were narrow!
    As long a Jerry, and you most of the time, knows what he's talking about, no need to worry! I guess.

  8. Hmmm… the "guns-a-blazin'" thing works, and some guns are six-shooters, and if you drink six shooters you could end up talking like Jerry…

  9. You lost me with Tarta de Queso. (My mind wanders sometimes)
    Here in Michigan, our roads get to be "slicker than snot".

    1. Stew:
      My mind's been wandering to tarte de queso lately, too.

      You know, I can swear like a truck-driver, but that is one "slick" expression I just could never get myself to use. I've got an aversion to that word! Any other four-letter word in there and I'd be… well, on it like a duck on a june bug!

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