Question for my UK bretherin

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by SPEKTRE76, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. SPEKTRE76

    SPEKTRE76 Member

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    Okay gentlemen, I was watching Mary Poppins with my children and the scene where the Dad gets "fired" one of the bankers punches his fist through the mans hat. What is that supposed to symbolize? Is that where the term 'fired' comes from? How bad of an insult is that? I only ask because I wanted to make a 'made up' personal emblem for the Luftwaffe and RAF side during the Battle of Britain.

    The Luftwaffe symbol would be a Top hat with a knights gauntlet punching through it. And for the RAF teasing the Luft's it would be couple of cartoon lions roasting Herr Goring on a pig roast set up kind of like where you see in the cartoon of a pig on a stick being turned over a camp fire.
     
  2. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    It probably varies friom locale to locale but to me pushing out the top of a hat ruins the shape of the hat. Makes it useless to wear
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Being sacked or getting the sack are more common english expressions,dating back to when a tradesman would carry his tools in a bag or sack. If his work was unsatisfactory he would literally be given his sack and told to b#gger off! That's "getting the sack".

    I would say that "being sacked",along with "getting your cards" were the most common expressions until very recent times. An employee,on leaving a job for any reason,would collect his card(s),held by his employer,on which were noted his National Insurance contributions. The expression must be post 1911 and probably post 1948 when the National Insurance scheme was introduced and then expanded.

    Firing or being fired probably have their origins in British English,I've read about it originating with miners in the Mendips but who knows, before being popularised in American English and making the return journey across the Atlantic.

    I have no idea what the purpose of ruining someone's hat would be,other than to cause offence and irritation.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  4. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, I suspect this is simply a piece of artistic licence. The first thing to note is that the incident in Mary Poppins isn't your run-of-the-mill sacking/firing. The treatment of George Banks goes way beyond what was required or necessary to fire someone. Banks embarrassed the company and completely revoked the "standards" (which, patently, are overblown for comedic/dramatic effect) upon which it was built. Hence the destruction of his bowler hat is more vengeful, providing visual evidence of Banks's "crime". That said, I can find no evidence that damaging someone's bowler hat was in any way routine. Indeed, the only record I can find (now bear in mind I've just been Googling...not any real research because, frankly, the subject doesn't merit it) of this behaviour all links back to "Mary Poppins".

    And that's enough luvvie psychoanalysis of a movie for one day....!
     
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