Monday, March 8, 2010

Bitch Wings and Bougainvillea

I am such a sucker for a new and interesting turn of phrase. 

In a recent post on his blog,  my friend Vic, who is cruising in the Bahamas, used the phrase 'bitch wings ' to describe the hands on hips, elbows out stance taken by his lady Gigi and their friend Miss Shirley to bawl out a bunch of  partying rowdies who'd kept the whole marina awake all night.

I'm familiar with the stance and have used it myself. But I'd never heard the phrase and it totally cracked me up.

So I immediately asked Vic if I could use the picture. (The ladies illustrate the stance so perfectly and just look at that glorious bougainvillea! Plus the complete absence of snow!)

I was, moreover, moved to write the term into the work in progress. ( A writer is something like a vacuum cleaner, taking up everything around.)

The scene is in Phillip's point of view. And Gloria, of course,  is Elizabeth's sister.

Now Gloria was on her feet, hands planted on her hips and elbows waggling in that old familiar bitch wings pose his ex-wife had majored in. Bitch wings seemed to work best, he thought, with short, strong-willed women -- the one like little feist dogs. Fuel them up with a pinch of righteous indignation and they could waggle those elbows and stare a big man down in no time flat.


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23 comments:

Callie said...

Love that phrase and photo! I come from an age when I was told not to cross my legs, not to whistle and not to put my hands on my hips. As you can guess older folk in my mother's family held sway.

Martin H. said...

I'm trying to imagine that stance, accompanied by a scowl. These two ladies have such disarming smiles though, it's difficult.

"A writer is something like a vacuum cleaner.." That's true. I often find myself recycling snatches of conversation and unusual turns of phrase.

Eliane Zimmermann said...

funny expression, creative! we had a huge bougainvillea in our garden in brazil, it climbed up a tall tree and so looked even bigger, such a pink goodness!

Pat in east TN said...

I had to chuckle to myself as I never heard that phrase before, but, eeeeek, do it often, especially if I'm standing in a spot too long and will do that to help back/shoulders that are getting tired.

nidynoddy said...

What fun....glad to hear Phillip will be part of the next book. I am half way thru Dark Horizons and I found the now grown-up Josh Goforth. Isn't he just the greatest kid.

Betyann

Vicki Lane said...

Oh yes, Callie -- those were all no-no's. But now that I AM the older folks, I do as I please!

Yep, Martin, those two should be scowling to make it really effective.

Now there's a pretty phrase, Eliane -a pink goodness!

It was completely new to me too, Pat.

Nidynoddy - Josh is such a talented young man and as I'd used the Goforth name with Lydy, it occurred to me to bring it into the present.

Jean Baardsen said...

I think recycling is one of the best things we can do, so why not with words as well? Enjoyed your post!

Liz said...

Vicki - This post seems especially appropriate on International Women's Day! Women everywhere should be proud of our bitch winged friends - gotta love it!

Merisi said...

Well, interesting scenes, both in the pciture and in your book! I'd never heard that expression, thank for enriching my vocabulary. ;-)

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks, Jean! Word recycler, that's me!

I hadn't realized that, Liz, but it is perfect!

Do you think the phrase will catch on in Vienna, Merisi? I'd kinda like to believe it could.

Susan D said...

Ooo, and I just had an image of Bitch Wings with Bat Wings.

Catalyst said...

I'd never heard the expression but it's a great one, and your writing about it is perfect!

Reader Wil said...

Brave women!! Although Elizabeth's sister? Was she brave? I thought she was very critical of Elizabeth.
Anyway these women had a far better life than the women in my video.
Thanks for visiting. Last year a man asked if Women's day was still necessary! Well the video answers that question!

willow said...

Bitch wings! HA! I love it. LOVE it!!! You are the best vacuum cleaner.

Vicki Lane said...

Susan D -- bitch/bat wings - that IS quite an image!

Thanks, Catalyst! And I enjoyed your Magpie Tale. Mine'll be up tomorrow!

Reader Wil -- I'm finishing up writing the book about Elizabeth and her sister (she IS critical of Elizabeth but she may well turn out to be brave too.) Sad but true about the necessity of women's day.

Thanks, Willow! I love it myself!

Pepper Cory said...

Here in eastern North Carolina, when a woman's got attitude and stands like that, she's said to be "Nets a'flarin'!" The phrase calls up the image of a shrimper going out in a stuff wind with her nets up. Cheers from the 'you need to know this why?' department.

Vicki Lane said...

Well, Pepper,is that the perfect image or what? Wonder if I can work it in? Phillip's from Beaufort so he'd be familiar with the phrase...hmmm.

LadyCat said...

That is a perfect name for the stance. I may use that one myself. The only thing I might add to the pose is the head moving in that "oh no you didn't" way.

jennyfreckles said...

Tee hee - I guess all of us women probably strike that pose from time to time (certainly once we become wives and mothers!) I'll try and catch myself! Love the phrase, the photo and your snippet of writing.

Vicki Lane said...

Lady Cat -- My kids tell me the head moving thing is called 'chicken head."

Thanks, Jennyfreckles! Yep, there's probably not a mom in the world hasn't done the bitch wings thing at least once.

NCmountainwoman said...

I do hope I don't have to explain my laughter next time I see bitch wings. Wouldn't likely be prudent, but the phrase will always come to my mind when I see that pose. I just love it.

Tipper said...

Cute! I've never heard the phrase-but it does fit perfectly!

Vicki Lane said...

Mountainwoman and Tipper -- I think this phrase deserves wider usage!