The Origin of “Not My Cup of Tea”: From England to the Projects

A friend of mine (well, she’s not a friend actually; she’s someone I’m forced to work with for eight hours a day, seven days a week. We don’t talk much unless we’re locked in a staff meeting together for almost two hours and are required to give a shit about what the other thinks) hails from Cuba and often asks me (when there’s no one else or better to talk to) the meaning of some American figures of speech.  Usually I’m able to muster up some generic response or something clever enough to keep her quiet until the next time she has nothing better to do but converse with me, but today her question had me stumped. She asked: “Why do you guys say, ‘Not my cup of tea?’ I know what the saying means, but where did it come from?’”

My first inclination was to reply with an ever-clever, “How the hell should I know?” However it can not go unsaid that her question, as random as it was, was profound enough to leave me speechless, not merely because of my surprise that she broke her routine pattern of only talking to me when her own shadow faded, but because I thought it was a damn good question. Why not “Not my cup of kool-aid,” or “Not my cup of Tang”?

So I did some digging. My discoveries answered my question of why kool-aid and tang were not the words chosen to center the figure of speech. How so? I’m glad you asked. The answer is simple – because the expression “not my cup of tea” is British-born and not birthed in the District of Columbia’s Barry Farms Projects.

‘Not my cup of tea’ derived from some old ass Englishman who loved tea as much as armadillos love ants. Only in its original use the phrase was “…cup of tea” (sans the word not) which was synonymous for acceptability or a metaphorical and descriptive of ‘nice’, ‘good’ or ‘invigorating,’ obviously because in Britain, tea is to them what pot is to those District of Columbia Barry Farms Projects residents I mentioned earlier…but you didn’t hear that from me.

It wasn’t until WWII that some US shell-shocked soldier stole the expression from the Brits and put his own negative spin on it (big surprise), transforming “…cup of tea” into the negative “not my cup of tea”, which today means “Nah bitch, I don’t like that.”

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Quote of the Week:  “If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the UP button.”

Hottywood’s HORRORscopes: Week of May 5-11, 2013

Below are Hottywood’s cookie fortunes as revealed by the moon and the sun, and the itch on the bottom of his foot.

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Capricorn

December 22 – January 19

One day you might become president of an up-and-coming bubble gum company.

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Aquarius

January 20 – February 18

A stripper’s stage costume is living proof that less is more.

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Pisces

February 19 – March 20

A fart is the ghost of foods you’ve eaten in the past.

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Aries

March 21 – April 19

While having sex, the last words you want to hear are, “I’m just not feeling it.”

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Taurus

April 20 – May 20

Travel to Australia to see your career going down the drain, but in the opposite direction and on a Tuesday afternoon any time after one o’clock.

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Gemini

May 21 – June 20

One can tell how smart you are by what you laugh at.

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Cancer

June 21 – July 22

An umbrella will answer all of your problems except the problem you have with talking to umbrellas.

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Leo

July 23 – August 22

Take a long look at yourself in the mirror. If you see nothing, you may very well be a vampire. Avoid pointy tree branches, garlic powder and alcoholics with open wounds.

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Virgo

August 23 – September 22

By the end of the second day of your giving up cookies, you will realize for the first time what it feels like for a smoker to give up cigarettes.

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Libra

September 23 – October 22

Today is the day hell freezes over. Surprise someone you only talk to when you need something by calling them and not asking for anything.

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Scorpio

October 23 – November 21

You are about to become $8.95 poorer.

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Sagittarius

November 22 – December 21

You can’t plant roots in cement without an active imagination, some magic seeds and a couple of rubber bands.

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Quote of the week:    “A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.”

Random Annoyance – A Mouthful of Talk

Am I the only one that wants to explode from the inside when listening to or watching someone show me their skill of speaking and chewing at the same time? I can’t be. This has to bother someone – and by someone I mean everyone – as much as it bothers me.

The last time I checked, speaking with a mouth full of food doesn’t win you any dates behind door number three. It isn’t worthy of recording this skill on a resume. It isn’t impressive at parties.

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What it IS is rude and borderline nasty. It’s probably more rude than nasty, unless of course crumbs are spewing from the human cow’s mouth as they moo speak to you.

The problem with speaking and chewing simultaneously is that it’s slightly more annoying than listening to a lush slur his words; it’s a hare more frustrating than communicating with a bill collector who is stationed in a third world country; and in my personal opinion, it’s just about as suicidal as listening to an Aaron Neville Christmas album.

First there were flip-flops, then skinny jeans, then baggy jeans, then overly dramatic faux eyelashes, and now this.

Calgon, take me away!

Cow Fact

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Quote of the Week:  “A foolish man tells a woman to stop talking, but a wise man tells her that her mouth is extremely beautiful when her lips are closed.”