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According to the office wits

Discussion in 'English Only' started by parolearruffate, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. parolearruffate Senior Member

    Hi everybody,
    I would need your help for this sentence:
    According to the office wits he left chalk marks on the bedpost when he wanted to make love to his wife.
    What do you think the word "wits" refers to: persons? Like, for instance, "minds" = clever persons? Or is it more a joke?
    Thank you very much
     
  2. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    Hi Parole. Yes, here wits means witty people.

    (In my experience office wits are generally some of the least witty of people. But it doesn't stop them trying. This is by the by.)
     
  3. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    What ewie says is actually applicable because it's entirely possible that the use of "wits" is sarcastic here; these people may not be witty, they may simply enjoy crass joking and gossip.
     
  4. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    Agreed! They may think they are the wits while the rest of us would consider them twits...
     
  5. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    Or nitwits.
     
  6. parolearruffate Senior Member

    Thank you very much!
     
  7. Lis48

    Lis48 Senior Member

    York, England
    English - British
    Noone seems to have mentioned that normally the tradition is for the man to mark the bedpost AFTER he has made love to show the number of conquests that he has made. My inference would be that the "wits" are suggesting he doesn't get to make love to his wife much so he marks the bedpost before in hope and anticipation rather than after fulfilment! I suppose some people might think that to be witty.
     
  8. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    Well, it's not much of a joke in my opinion--about the level you would get with that kind of a clique of gossips.

    The office harpies comes to mind as a better term in English, given their level of humor and interest... (Les mauvaises langues au bureau...?)
     
  9. boy_on_the_christmas_tree Banned

    germany
    "This is by the by." What does this mean? (From ewie's post)
     
  10. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    It's a somewhat old-fashioned way to introduce a parenthetical comment. More usual--"and while I'm thinking of it,...."
     
  11. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    Oh, Lis...

    I agree with you! I think that's what these office clowns are trying to say. They're making fun of the guy. He's getting so little sex, he marks his bedpost when he even just "wants or desires" sex.

    Because if he waited to mark it after he actually got some, it would be nothing but shiny wood.

    I should add that "office wits" are sometimes referred to as "office clowns" and "office comedians". They're the ones who always seem to have a joke to tell or are the ones who find the humor in office activities and co-workers. They can either be seen as actually funny people or as just complete bores. And these two descriptions may just be something I've only heard personally.

    In school, the funny kid is the "class clown."


    AngelEyes
     
  12. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    :D:)Thanks, Wildan ~ that's about the 98th time this week I've been accused of old-fuddy-duddy-ism!:):D

    (Actually, it's a stand-alone phrase meaning This is not relevant to the subject)
     
  13. parolearruffate Senior Member

    Ah ok, so office wits are not clever office people, but office clowns...
    How interesting your discussion!
     
  14. Lexiphile Senior Member

    Germany
    England English
    Indeed so, Parole. But you should not fall into the trap of believing that marking the bedpost is a common practice among English-speaking people. It is unusual. And those of us who do it normally remove all the marks at the end of each day.
     
  15. parolearruffate Senior Member

    Ah ok, anyway should I found anywhere in the US a bedpost full of scratches I know what it means...
     
  16. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    Those scratches are actually called notches. And they're mostly just figments of men's imaginations. ;)

    AngelEyes
     
  17. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    That's the word for them, alright. (I mean "notch" rather than "imaginary." No, I guess that applies as well.)

    Traditionally, notches as a record-keeping system are to be found on belts and on the stocks of rifles and other firearms.
     
  18. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English

    Hence the well-known saying Buenas notches.

    Shut up, ewie, that's not even remotely funny
     

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