blogging, life, writing

Stay Frosty – Meanings and Uses of Interesting Phrases

I have come across these phrases and I thought they were worth looking into. The origins of these phrases are not clear. Some of them are more prevalent in the military. Others have been used in books and movies.

The usage of certain saying and phrases is good to know, if you are a writer. Colorful sayings and phrases can make your writing more interesting and give your characters a more realistic flavor.

Doing research about phrases used by a certain social group, can be beneficial, if you are developing a character.

As a blogger, it is good to learn about a variety of things, including language and slang. Here are some phrases that I have come across lately and I thought they were interesting.

Stay Frosty –

stay alert and ready . stay on your toes, be vigilant 

This is a phrase used in the military when the troops are in a harm’s way situation.

“Hey! I know we’re all in strung out shape but stay frosty and alert. We can’t afford to let one of those bastards in here.” –Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn), in Aliens (1986)

Never pet a burning dog

don’t try to help something or someone when it’s too late. If the situation is already on fire and explosive, don’t run into it and get yourself burned by it. 

Also, offering a minor, compassionate gesture to a dramatic dangerous situation is not going to help. It has already gone too far and is beyond your control.

Look out for Number One

– to do what you think is in your own best interest without caring about other people

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

give it your all. make your best effort to get the job done


to take the working parts from a broken piece of equipment, and use them to repair something else


– when someone in the military has been given an assignment that is supposed to be voluntary but it clearly known to be mandatory , then they have been “Voluntold.”

On a personal note, this was also the name of my brother in law’s rock band, that he had when he was in the military. They thought it was a clever name and it looked great on the tee shirts they had made.

You are not Required to Set Yourself on Fire to Keep Other Warm

– in your efforts to help others and be compassionate, you should not cause yourself harm and injury in order to show kindness. You have to draw boundaries that protect yourself from harm.

It is good to offer yourself to others but only to the point that you are not in danger in a physical, psychological, spiritual or any other way that would cause you damage.

I looked all over online for the origin of this phrase ans could not find anyone that knew the actual origin. There are many places where this phrase has been adopted into web sites and blogs.

anxiety, mental health, philosophy, spirituality

The Facts Do Not Speak for Themselves

My daughter’s grandfather just called up the stairs to her.
I heard him say, “You Don’t Listen Very Well. Do You?!”
Now this is a question which has no good answer!
The obvious, somewhat ironic, response is “What?”

He then preceded to scold her for leaving her sneakers in the kitchen. Instead of focusing on the issue of the shoes, he felt the need to emphasize her “disobedience” and “lack of paying attention to his rules”.

As the words continued to be exchanged , it came to light that she had NOT, in fact , left her shoes in the kitchen at all. It turns out that her grandmother ( the wife of the person scolding her) had brought them in from the porch and put them in the kitchen.

So, first I would like to remind us all that the Facts Do Not Always Speak for Themselves. Things are not always as they seem and it is better to be patient about gathering the facts before passing judgement.

Secondly, people forget things! It is not usually their intent to make anyone’s life difficult. This is especially true about kids and teenagers.

Most importantly, however is that we should not attack people’s general character and make general sweeping statements to hurt people.

Our words can be used to help or to hurt people. They can raise self-esteem or lower it. We should always choose our words and tone of voice carefully.

Damaging a person’s self-esteem is a way of injuring a person’s mental health. There is no reason to cause someone to feel small because they did something that you do not care for. Especially if it could be easily resolved by talking to the person.

We have a valuable gift and power of the ability to uplift others with words that encourage. Our words should bring out the best in people.

If someone becomes convinced that they can’t do something then they probably won’t do it. So the most likely result of saying “you don’t listen well. Do you?” is that they will not listen well the next time either because you have put the idea that they are a bad listener in their brain.

When something needs to be resolved, we should stick to the specific issue at hand. There is no need to bash someone’s self-esteem and make them feel like they have a tremendous character flaw, just because they forgot to put their sneakers away.

If you really want someone to work with you, then cannot not start off the conversation with aggression and criticism. Especially with a question like “you don’t listen very well , do you?”

This kind of question is not a question at all. It is sarcastic and it backs the person into a corner. There is no way to respond to the question without feeling stupid.

When someone asks a question like that, they should first think about how they would feel if they had to reply to it.

It is better to be slow to anger. It gives you more time to take a better look at the situation and even weather or not it warrants getting angry at all.

I admire all of you who take the time to think and be calm. Let us all be more aware of how our words affect others, even the possible loved one who is listening from the next room.