|Slang City Mail|
|July 17 , 2003|
Slang of the Week: like
white on rice (adverbial phrase)
Before moving to Boston many years ago, I had never heard this expression, and figured it must be a regional phrase. However, I learned later that it is actually more associated with the South than the North. My roommate, originally from Virginia, had brought it up with her.
Other similar expressions are better known. For example, most people are familiar with the vintage phrase like a cat on a hot tin roof (nervous) from the Tennessee Williams play and anyone who didn’t know like a bat out of hell (fast) learned it in 1977 when once-famous singer Meatloaf released a hit album of the same name. More recently, like a big dog (intensely) became popular in the 1980s with college students.
Like white on rice dates from the same decade, but it got its most famous use in the mid nineties. That’s when Sharon Stone said that if Bill Clinton had not been married, she would have “been on him like white on rice.” I imagine Bill was delighted to hear about her recent decision to divorce.
What’s new at Slang City?