Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

IWSG, Gee Willikers Let's Chew the Fat Awhile, Quotes, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:    Kristina Kelly, Miffie Seideman, Jean Davis, and Liza @ Middle Passages!

This month's question is: Have you "played" with AI to write those nasty synopses, or do you refuse to go that route? How do you feel about AI's impact on creative writing?
I haven't "played" with AI at all, nor do I intend to. I'm too old for this New Age stuff. I think it's impact on the arts could possibly lead to a diminishing of human creativity, ingenuity, and imagination. 
Origins: a recurring post in which I delve into the history of a word or phrase.

Today's phrase is: Chew the fat
There appear to be several myths about the origins of this phrase, all of which sound quite plausible but are unverifiable. The truth came as a complete surprise to me.

Myth 1: It came about because sailors ate salted/dried fish and meat while at sea which required a lot of chewing.
Myth 2: It originated with Native American tribes who chewed on animal hides to soften them.
Myth 3: (The most commonly believed one) In the fifteen hundreds a family could show of its wealth by offering guests small bits of pork to chew. (Ewwww) 

Meat is Rationed So is Chewing the Fat Less. Gab More Guns - NARA - 533911
Here's something from 1942-43.
The Truth: We can blame it on the British army in India. "Prior to the adoption of metallic cartridges, most ammunition was composed of powder and a ball wrapped in paper or cloth soaked in animal fat, which was bitten open during musket drill. Soldiers were known to chew on these ends to pass the time and reduce nerves, and in some cases to stave off cravings for chewing tobacco." (Wikipedia)

1885 is when it was first used in a book titled, Life in the Ranks of the British Army in India by J. Brunlees Patterson, where he described it as military men  complaining, grousing, and grumbling about conditions. An earlier form (1875) "chew the rag," is American and is more about gabbing and gossiping. 

Today's Weird Word is: Gee willikers
This is strictly an American euphonism, an exclamation of surprise, enthusiasm, or exasperation. Earliest citation is from 1847. "Perhaps (i) a fanciful alteration of Jerusalem! (which is probably itself a euphemistic alteration of Jesus.)" Oxford English Dictionary. 

There are many variations of this theme: Gee-Whittaker, Gee-whitaker, Geewhillikins, Gee willikers. 

Does anybody even use it any more?

Quotes of the Month from Eleanor Roosevelt 

One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes.
Eleanor Roosevelt portrait 1933
We shall have to be willing to learn and to accept differences of opinion and background.

In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. The choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

...freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.

It takes a good home and a good school to prepare young people for citizenship in a democracy and even then they will have to go on learning throughout life.

Being Thankful

Today I am thankful for the seemingly simple things of life:
air to breathe, food to eat, a roof over my head.
The list is long. 

What simple things are you thankful for? Have you used AI? What are your thoughts on it? Have you ever used "chewing the fat" or "gee willikers"?


  1. Dating myself here, but I've probably used both of the terms. Gee Willikers primarily in jest. Not planning on using AI to write, but really it's already a part of our lives. I am currently doing all my editing with Microsoft Word reading my story aloud to me, which works better for me in catching mistakes.

  2. Never knew where chew the fat came from.
    Gee willikers - Ren and Stimpy used to say that!

  3. Such a funny word!

    That last quote is so true, yet so many kids don't experience it these days.

  4. New Age Stuff 😂 I haven't toyed with the ChatGPT yet.

    PS: My blog feed has changed.

  5. I loved Eleanor Roosevelt's quotes, especially the first one.

  6. I totally agree with what you said about AI, Bish! I haven't heard "Gee willikers" in forever. I'm flat out thankful to still be alive! Have a happy and creative March!

  7. Hi Bish - yes ... 'chewing the fat' true reply - I remember reading that. Not stressing myself over AI - just being 'wise' re it being out there ... and thankful that I can adjust accordingly. Cheers HIiary


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!