Manky means dirty, tatty, mucky, so I don't think it's anything to do with "manquer". Something about those particular sounds seem to have those connotations in English, e.g., "minging" (rhymes with "singing"), which means much the same (and also smelly). Whereas a "minger" (rhymes with "singer") means someone physically unattractive, but not necessarily with any connotation of poor hygiene.
(I know, this thread is from waaaay back)
"Mingatoría", in Mexican Spanish at least, is a pissoir or urinal.
Very eager to begin, as in "The children were all dressed and raring to go." This idiom uses raring for rearing, and alludes to a horse's standing on its hind legs when it is anxious to get moving. [Early 1900s]
I have one I recently came across in reference to the behavior of some star or another - "Only needs a head shave to complete the full Britney"
I'm pretty sure they were saying as crazy and screwed up as Britney Spears, just still has all their own hair.
and now my thoughts on a few because hey, guesses are more fun than facts, right?
Make hay while the sun shines I would think refers to the preference for sun for making hay, verses if you cut it during rainy period it will all rot and be poor forage for your animals.
I believe waiting with bated breath refers not to smelly breath but rather that sense of suspense wherein one fears to breath for fear of upsetting the delicate balance.
I looked up 'Minger" because it was used in a song and the urban dictionary defined it as someone who was not just touched by the ugly stick at birth but was battered severely with it, a person with a visually challanging appearance. Depending on the use, might also mean of loose moral character.
How about stitch in time saves nine?
In a coon's age
get around to it which of course is replied to by saying I was just fixin to
When I was young, older people referred to items across the yard or across the room as "over yonder"
I once had directions given to me in terms of "looks" which turned out actually in that case to be a very good description because of the hilly country. Each "look" referred to as far as one could see from the given position. Example, one look being the view from the current hilltop to the next hilltop, where one turned left and traveled three looks or high points further before the following turn off.
It is amazing how often one tends to skip over mysterious words in books, hoping that the meaning will soon become clear all by itself. People learning a language who read with a dictionary by their side often know more about such terms than we do.
'Bated' also means just reduced, thus bated breath is either no breathing or reduced breathing. You can also bate the speed at which you walk for example.
'Bindle' is a 'bundle' and refers to the possessions of a tramp or hobo all wrapped up tight and put over his shoulder. Being stiff may relate to either the tightness of the wrap or the fact that it is so dirty.
Stitch in time... is as you would expect, as Bixa said, but don't forget it is a general reference to doing something now so that you don't have to do it ten times as much later, like cleaning a stain before it really gets ground in.
Coons age = racoon. Other animals like a donkey may be used in countries where there are no racoons. Since I was knee high to a grasshopper also conveys a lengthy period of time.
Looks - as probably spindrift and others can attest, the distance to be covered can be related to how many cigarettes are smoked on the way. Thus, from here to there could be three cigarettes and on average would take three to four hours (depending a hell of a lot on the amount the person smoked, so it is quite an inaccurate measurement)
I just went through the other pages to make sure I would not be a day late and a dollar short if I brought up this expression.
Besides not knowing exactly to what it refers, I am wondering if it is an exclusively North American expression of if other versions exist (i.e. a day late and a pound short). And even if it is American, has it been exported to other dollar countries like Australia?
Hmmm. I wonder if it has anything to do with "a dillar a dollar, a ten o'clock scholar". Possibly that is older than the present-day American countries. Does anyone know the origin of the word "dollar"? Surely it existed before it was used for the Canadian & US units of currency.
I wonder where the dire straits are. I would imagine that the expression probably refers to a real dangerous place, like the straits of Magellan -- or perhaps some nasty rocky straits just up in Scotland...
Or maybe just some wrong place where Shakespearian characters went and died.