Sunday, December 13, 2009
Another gem from Adrian. "No fancy dinner out for me tonight; I don't have a brass razoo." Translated into Texan: "Ahm durn broke!"
Etymology is very mysterious. I will quote at length from Wikipedia:
"There is no actual thing called a brass razoo, though some speculate that the term arises from Egyptian or Indian currency. One source describes it as 'an Indian coin, famous for being the most worthless coin ever issued.' ... 'Brass razoo' is believed to have origins with the phrase 'not a sou', a phrase meaning 'no money' or 'lack of wealth'. ... Eric Partridge, in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, suggests that 'razoo' is based on the Māori word, 'rahu'. In his 1997 book, Dictionary of New Zealand English, Harry Orsman makes a similar conjecture ... Another possible origin for the phrase would be during World War I, when the phrase was said to be used by Australian soldiers serving in France, and considered a joking reference used between Australian infantry and American troops. It was based on the Yankee 'raspberry' also called a 'razoo', a blurt or mouth-sound made to sound like a fart."