Pushing out the seemingly endless promotion for the whole Kickstarter book stuff over the last month (spoiler: hit the goal, everything work out!) led to a small bit of social media and blogging burnout. I was sick of talking to you and you were sick of hearing me.
Now that our time apart has passed, I feel refreshed and ready to return to my ramblings. Today’s topic is Obscure phrases, specifically the phrase “bun-fight”.
A Bun-fight is an English expression that is of indeterminate origin. Whenever it came into popular use, no one person successfully took credit for it coming into existence. Think of it like a Victorian meme.
There are 2 uses for the phrase:
1) A fancy, formal occasion
2) A heated argument over something trivial
The first definition seems incongruous, since “fancy celebration” and “fight” usually don’t go together very well. It makes a bit more sense, however, if the party you are referring to is a tea party for children. Picture a room full of children in uncomfortably formal clothing, squabbling over who gets which doughnut.
In common usage, the second definition is the one that sticks. It’s a pretty good way to describe a nearly pointless argument over some trivial detail. If you need to have a little variety, or you’re a fan of even more obscure phraseology, try these alternates that have sadly died out of common usage: “Crumpet-Scramble” or “Muffin-Worry”. Drop either of those phrases at your next coffee klatch and revel in the confused, worried looks of your conversational partner.