[DWJ] HOMEWARD BOUNDERS translation question

Farah Mendlesohn farah.sf at gmail.com
Tue Jul 6 04:15:48 EDT 2010

> So, list... is this a known expression, or a private joke of sorts?

Taking the Archangel

ie taking the name of the Archangel Michael in vain
Taking the Michael
Taking the mickey

It rather suggests that they are from a very respectable family (possibly
Catholic?) in which it is not done to "swear" (which covered a multitude of
sins*) and so the children have found  a way around it. Much as they do in
Wilkin's Tooth/Witch's Business.

The * is because I once heard a young girl--maybe 12, using "fuck" and
"cunt" to her brother on a railway station platform. A woman walked past her
and said, "Jesus! Will you just shut up?" and the girl immediately started
berating her for "taking the Lord's name in vain".


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