Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).
When I was a kid I wouldn’t botch up one word- I went for it big time. I’d botch up phrases, entire songs and even after I learned the correct phrase or the right song lyrics I would go on sledge hammering my way through my own special vocabulary because it sounded good.
One phrase I was always happy to use was the one about peaches and shaking trees.
In my world ‘If you don’t want my peaches, you’d better stop shaking my tree’ didn’t mean to me what it meant to the rest of the population.
I thought it meant if you made me mad I would drop my peaches all over the place- hopefully right on top of your head or right between your eyes.
If you walked in front of me when I was watching my tv show ( I was big on Dark Shadows at the time) like my Dad did once, I’d let out a blood curdling scream and roar ( as loud as you can roar at age 5) ” Move! Quit shaking my tree or else!”
Once my Dad, who always seem to be mystified every time opened my mouth said, ” Or what?”
” I’ll hit you with my peaches that’s what!”
My Dad looked like our family dog had just asked what time it was and when was dinner?
” I have no idea what you’re trying to say.” he told me.
I shrugged, scooted over a few inches and went back to my show.
I used that phrase about peaches and trees long after I understood what it meant just so I could see the look on people’s faces.
Sometimes I still tell people to quit shaking my tree or else.
And I still think it’s funny when they ask
“or else what,”