Sunday, August 24, 2008

Showing off your Eng-rish

A delightful sketch from Lydia Teh in the Malaysian Star brings that jewel of Northern vernacular to the Far East -

“I don’t believe you’d do such a despicable act. You’re all mouth and trousers,” Eh Poh Nim said.

“What do you mean all mouth and trousers? Of course I’m all trousers. Have you seen me wearing a skirt like that famous Malaysian designer in New York?” Max put his hand on his hip and pouted like a woman.

Eh Poh Nim laughed at his comical gait. “You talk a lot but there’s no action is what I mean.”

“Say so lah. I hate you, Eh Poh Nim. Always showing off your Eng-rish.”

Sunday, August 17, 2008


A broadly correct, if rather clumsily literal, example from the Independent:
Ozwald Boateng is the man who shook up stuffy old Savile Row. He's got an OBE, a glamorous Russian wife and a client list that includes many of the world's biggest stars. But is he more than just mouth and trousers?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Around the world

A couple of examples from odd sources; one right, one wrong.

Stuart Littlewood of BBSNews ('Your true conservative news source', apparently) writes about the blockade of Gaza:
On recent performance the nations of the West are "all mouth and trousers", as we say in England. They spout high-sounding words but renege on their duty. In Palestine's case they haven't delivered in 60 years… to their eternal shame.
Bang on.

Meanwhile in South Africa, Nicole Johnston of the Mail & Guardian has a thunkpiece on climate policy titled, simply and wrongly:
All mouth and no trousers?
There's no mention of either version of the phrase in the copy, so this might be the curse of the dumb subeditor again.