After that, all I could think was how language evolves. That phrase, an outdated colloquialism now, would strike fear in past generations. And that led my ever curious mind to this strange moral panic, as social commentator Styxhexenhammer666 puts it, in which some folks can find the most minor slip of the tongue offensive.
How, my sleepy brain wondered, would today’s terminology and linguistic acrobatics force a colonist to word such a warning? Perhaps, I thought, one might be expected to say, “The aboriginal peoples suffer insomnia.”
Did you know the phrase ‘letting the cat out of the bag’ came from a time when a pig might be sold in a poke (an ancient term for bag) and a dishonest vendor might switch out the valuable livestock for a feral feline?