Speakers of English create many forceful and appealing idioms by putting together two words that sounds almost alike . Most of these idioms are informal and more appropriate in everyday speech than in formal conversation and writing .
Here are some examples:
To dilly-dally means to delay , or to take too much time . A person who can not hold a firm opinion , or whose mind is easily changed , is called wishy-washy . On the other hand shilly-shally refers to a person who’s so undecided about her/his performances .
To hobnob means to associate closely with , as in “ he hobnob with rich people in town .” If you hobnob with the rich ones , you may well be considered hoity-toity , which means that people think you are a snob . ( a snob is also refered to as suck up or butter up . )
Something that contains many things that don’t fit together is said to be a hodgepodge . For example , an essay might be a hodgepodge of unrelated and irrelevant ideas . However , if the essay contained many false or silly ideas , it could be called claptrap .
In 1919 , cartoonist Billy Debeck created the comic strip “Barney google,” about the adventures of a man and his racehorse . On October 26,1923, Debeck coined and created the phrase heebie-jeebies to refer to nervousness . since then “ to have the heebie-jeebies” is to be nervous or upset in some cases . So popular was the term that jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong even made a record called “heebie-jeebies .”