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Jay: I have left most of my Britishisms behind & am studying to master the
use of “gotten.” There is one British idiom, however, that I like a lot:
“pear-shaped.” As in: “Indonesia looks as though it’s about to go
pear-shaped.” I have heard three or four suggested etymologies for this.
The one I like best (though it is no more probable than the others) is from
ballooning (or sometimes, depending on who’s talking, from the so-called
“barrage balloons” used during the Blitz in WW2). If your balloon goes
pear-shaped, you’re in trouble….


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