Coining a Phrase (in the original sense) Really Awfully Profoundly.


Head of a coin showing it to have been minted in 1985 in a country under the sovereignty of Queen Elizabeth.

Head of a coin showing it to have been minted in 1985 in a country under the sovereignty of Queen Elizabeth.

Most look at one side of a coin,

And flipping it over don’t try;

It is most distinctly annoying

They never the obverse will spy.

Tail of the coin, with the leek and coronet (taking a leek through a coronet indicates disrespect for royalty?) showing it to be Welsh, and revealing the value as one pound (£1).

Tail of the coin, with the leek and coronet (taking a leek through a coronet indicates disrespect for royalty?) showing it to be Welsh, and revealing the value as one pound (£1).

Though those viewing both sides are better,

And think, thus, all bets they will hedge,

If intellect they would unfetter,

Those seeking third side have the edge.

The motto PLEIDIOL WYF I'M GWLAD found around the rim is Welsh meaning ‘True am I to my country’. It is the most difficult part to forge, and is therefore the best test against a counterfeit. Thus those viewing it have the edge over those who simply examine head and tail.

The motto PLEIDIOL WYF I’M GWLAD found around the rim is Welsh meaning ‘True am I to my country’. Set in a milled edge, this is the most difficult part to forge, and is therefore the best test against a counterfeit. Thus those viewing it have the edge over those who simply examine head and tail.

(Explanatory Note: Originally, ‘coin a phrase’ meant to invent a new witty combination of words.  It was only later that it took on its ironic meaning of acknowledging the repetition of a cliché, or a trite or well-worn saying. For example, I might say of this rhyme, ‘To coin a phrase, there’s many a true word spoken in jest.’ I would hardly be inventing the ‘true word’ saying – a version of it was known to Chaucer, so it dates at least as far back as the 1300s. I would, however, be acknowledging that it has been used by writers including Shakespeare and almost every Thomasina, Richard and Harriet since.  However, my variation on Tom, Dick and Harry – another cliché – might go towards coining a phrase in the initial sense. Or I could coin a completely new phrase by basing my invention on the bible, with ‘used by everyone from Aaron to Zuzims since’.)

© August 2016 Colonialist (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
This entry was posted in Colonialist, History, Language, Philosophy, Really Awful Rhyme, Wordplay and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Coining a Phrase (in the original sense) Really Awfully Profoundly.

  1. Fascinating. Our coins are so boring by comparison. Cool about that 3rd side

    Like

  2. You forgot the Bryn Tefel singing video clip, always have music to a blog concerning the Welsh!

    Like

  3. libraschild says:

    oooh i really enjoyed this… going to examine the coins in my bag closer later

    Like

  4. calmgrove says:

    Very informative, Col, you’re a veritable Wikicolonial…

    Nice too to see Welsh history and language considered and taken seriously. Diolch yn fawr!

    Like

  5. Tom Merriman says:

    We have lots of different designs on our pound coins – but I must admit to having never really studying the third side of them! I’m currently studying 50p coins, however, as there is one very rare design in circulation that is selling on ebay and the like for thousands of pounds.And I’m sure one slipped through my fingers a while back too. The moral: ALWAYS study your change!😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very interesting, Col. I’ve never examined the Pound coin, closely.🙂

    Like

  7. The value of your explanation and rhyme is worth more to me than the coin itself! Here in America, our money (and everything else, it seems) is devaluing (and devolving) by the day!😐

    Liked by 2 people

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