Southerners love to cut a rug — that means to “dance” so much you wear holes in the rug. From buck dancing to the Virginia reel, square dancing to waltzing, if there’s music playing, toes will be tapping. So let’s take a look at idioms inspired by dance.
He who pays the piper calls the tune. If you’re footing the bill, you get all the say. A great position to be in, if you ask me.
He’s got two left feet. He can’t dance, bless his heart.
It’s the same old song and dance. This is what you say when someone tells you a long, repetitive, and sometimes untrue story often used as an excuse.
You’ve got to dance with who brung you. Etiquette dictates that if someone asks you to a dance, and you accept, you’re obligated to dance with that person no matter how many better offers you get. In other words, you’ve got to honor your commitment.
My dance card is full. Beginning in the 18th century, women at a formal ball would fill out a little card with the names of the gentlemen with whom they intended to dance each dance. In modern times, it means you have no time to spend with someone.
He acts likes he’s got St. Vitus Dance. Sydenham’s chorea or chorea minor is the technical name of a disorder causing one to jerk and twitch and is commonly referred to using the name of the patron saint of dance and dancers. This saying usually describes someone who is fidgety and who just can’t sit still. St. Vitus will also protect you from lightning strikes. Who knew?