Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Other Shoe

It is day 20 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese. Today's prompt is "The Other Shoe".  Visit Nicky's post to see what the other participants cobbled up.

Do you ever wonder about the etymology of some of the expressions we use every day without thinking about it?  How and where did they originate, and what they mean?  Let's find out.

Fred lived on the ground floor of an old 1950s walk-up.  Jack, his upstairs neighbor, was a youngish fellow who worked evenings in a textiles factory, and it was late when he stumbled in.  After his shift he would stop at the Raging Bull Saloon for a drink - just to help him sleep, you know.

Image Source:
As Jack got ready to turn in he sat on the edge of the bed to take off his shoes.  His work shoes were heavy, and as he kicked off the first one, it fell to the the floor with a resounding THUD.

This awakened his slumbering neighbor downstairs.  Even in his groggy state Fred cursed the rude interruption. He lay in the silence - knowing that there was another - waiting for the second thud.  

However in the apartment above, despite the several pints he'd consumed, Jack realized he could be disturbing his downstairs neighbor, and so he eased off the second shoe, and it slipped quietly to the floor.

Fred, still waiting to return to sleep, finally yelled, "For crying out loud, will you drop the other shoe already".

And that is where we get the expression "waiting for the other shoe to drop".


  1. Thanks for explaining the "Roots" of this expression.

  2. Awesome. I've never waited for the other shoe to drop, but I have waited for the people above my room to finish having sex.

  3. Is that true? Regardless, it's a helluva story and I'm so happy not to have upstairs neighbors!! Loved it, Linda.

  4. That is downright brilliant. A great laugh. Thanks for this post!

  5. That's hysterical! It's also the reason I don't live in an apartment anymore. :-)

  6. Hah...funny. Back in the days that I lived in apartments my neighbors wouldn't of cared if they dropped that second boot.

  7. Ohh, THIS is what my upstairs neighbour is always doing! Thanks for the laugh, Linda. :)

  8. I'd be screaming for him to drop the other shoe, too. Just waiting for it would drive me crazy after all that!

  9. Ha ha ha! You are a very clever woman!

  10. That was PERFECT!!!!! Now about the fan and what hits it... we need to know that one!

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. I don't believe you. I think you made it all up. And now people all over the world are google the meaning of this expression, come here and spread the lie until it becomes a truth.

    Congratulations. I think you deserve at least third place in this competition.

  13. People don't think enough about the etymology of idioms. Regardless of whether this is a true story, it's a fun one, and it perfectly conveys the meaning of the phrase.

  14. LOL I love your humor. This is perfect for the saying and to make it into a story...what an excellent idea. Another possibility for a series...kind of like your nursery rhymes series.

    I loved this, Linda:~)

  15. Well hey, Linda! I'm trusting, I believe this totally. Indigo

  16. Dufus- You're welcome!

    laughingmom- I had a downstairs neighbor once who made it a point to slam his door loudly every time he came in.

    Jayne- It's as true as my research showed. I like finding out where expressions originate.

    P.J.- I am glad you enjoyed it. Brilliant, huh. Thanks!

    Nicky- There is a lot to be said for single family homes.

    Cheryl- I get that (see comment to laughingmon)

    Ziva- Yeah, now you know! ;)

    Paula- Waiting is not my thing either. Although I wouldn't want to fall back to sleep only to be woke up again.

    Malisa- Thank you. Takes deep bow.

    Katherine- I have to think about that one.

    MikeWJ- I appreciate the vote, considering the quality of the participants.

    KZ- I agree. There are a lot of interesting stories and history to be learned.

    Talon- Thanks!

    Meleah- Thanks!

    Sara- Thank you. I thought it would be more interesting to put it in the form of a story than just straight historical origin.

    Indigo- Me too!


Hi, thanks for visiting my humble abode. All comments are read and appreciated.