Left-Over Posts? Snippets Not Quite Meaty Enough On Their Own To Make A Satisfying Post?
This Is The Place To Come To Use Them Up.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Through the wringer

This is inspired by an article about Taylor Swift, which contains the following:
So Taylor Swift may not be dealing with hampering toils of life — coming up with rent or job hunting in this economy like the rest of us — but where amore and being a mega-star is concerned, she has been through the ringer.
A person hasn't been "through the ringer." He or she has been "through the wringer." Probably younger people don't know what a wringer is. Here's a picture of what the phrase means, from Sleep and Salami.

When I was four or five I was helping my mother do the laundry (except we called it "doing the wash") and when I poked something into the wringer and my little hand followed the article of clothing right through. Having had that experience, it annoys me to see "through the ringer," as if there were something bell-like about it. 


  1. You're right; young people don't now what a wringer is.

  2. They should worry , when there's the odd Italian cross cultural exchange to keep them busy instead .

    (Among the 62 clothes wringers listed on Ebay at the moment is a Glebe Ring-Dri , a " wringing device for chamois and towels " .
    For the ultimate in window cleaning perfection ?)

  3. Hah! Whatever a Glebe Ring-Dri is (and you know I'll go look for one on eBay so I can see it) I'm sure it's not like an old wringer washer's wringer!

  4. Glebe doesn't appear anywhere on the US eBay. I am surprised that there are so many wringers on there, though. Most of them antique.
    Like me.

  5. I remember the wringer sitting on the edge of the wooden tub well, The handle was very hard to turn; there was nothing electrical about it then.

    More than once I kept my fingers too close to the rolls when feeding in the next item, but I always pulled back just in time. Mum was already screaming.
    Your wringer was our Wringer (the’ 'w’ was sounded)

  6. I wonder what mental images are formed to demonstrate being through the ringer. What have they actuallly seen "going through the ringer." Some interesting synapses in young kids brains, I think.

  7. I'm 68...but when I was a kid we had an ashtray that was a woman with her boob caught in the wringer...and it said something to that effect. And at that time, it was terribly naughty! Isn't it strange that now I consider that having an ashtray was the worst thing.

  8. Friko, so a wringer was a vringer? That works for me because it makes me think: Vringer zinger! which reminds me how my how little nervous system felt as I watched my hand disappearing through the two rolling cylinders. Mom hit the emergency release as soon as I cried out, but there still were a couple of seconds of "WTH?" or as close as my four-year-old mind could come to such an expression.

    Barbara, yes. Isn't it odd how our reactions to various things change? I.e.: I would have been one of the swooning women in Ohio. Probably the one who said, "He's so freakin' personable!"
    See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/23/joe-biden-ohio-campaign-office-women-swoon_n_2007603.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012

  9. This post had me chuckling for a couple of reasons - as a child I was terrified of the Simpson's wringer and, I was imagining feeding a 'ringer' through the 'wringer'.
    (a ringer is an Australian stockman or otherwise known as a cowboy)

  10. My very buxom grandmother never forgave my grandfather for laughing when she leaned over the wringer washer and - well, got caught in it.

  11. I am old enough to remember the wringer, my mum was knocked out when it swung around and hit her in the jaw. I also remember sitting in A and E and seeing a child whose fingers had been caught up in one.
    Despite all these dangers to unsuspecting limbs I now notice that they are having something of a revival with relief printers, lino and the like. We used to call in a mangle.

  12. thanks for visiting my blog last week - the music for Rain On Monday is now up on my latest post "five touring problems solved"

  13. We had one of those outside the back door and I used to help with it. I can't believe things have changed so much in those 40 years or so. It looks archaic now.

  14. I agree, I did that too...and my mom always claimed my sister wasn't born on her birthday (11.25) because she ran her hand through the ringer on 11.24! I'm your newest follower and rss subscriber...