Hideout LogoThe Hideout Theater

617 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701 Map

(512) H-I-D-E-O-U-T

See All»

September, 2015

Resurrecting the Dead: Old-Fangled Phrases

A Deed So Dark runs Saturdays until October 24th at 8pm and two fridays, October 16th and 23rd, at 7:30pm. Click here to get your tickets!

by Sarah Marie Curry, A Deed So Dark cast member

Phrases come and go. I mean, who still uses “Kowabunga dude!” No one. NO ONE AT ALL. But given enough time, phrases once silly and annoying can become shiny and new again. Like a vintage penny. A shiny vintage penny. So here’s some phrases I found while learning how to talk antiquated for A Deed So Dark. Pick one. Start using it. Be cool and antiquated with me.


A big public fuss over something. The term comes from Ballyhooly, Ireland where the residents became well-known for arguing outright in public. Soon, the British Parliament used Ballyhooly as a way of criticizing their arguments saying that they were as bad as Ballyhooly. In America the “ly” got dropped and the term Ballyhoo became associated with an exaggerated fuss over nothing.

Example: “Were you in coffee shop after the show last night? The cast was in a ballyhoo over how it went down! “

Chicken Feed

As far as farming goes, chicken feed is the poor quality wheat or corn given to chickens. Soon, city folks started using the phrase in regards to our lower denominations of coins.

Example: “I’m sorry to tell you that improvisors make chickenfeed in this town.” 

Over a Barrel

In the old days, punishment often meant that a person could receive more than just tar and feathers or a public whipping. In order to prevent him from escaping during the punishment, he was tied to an over-turned barrel (top body bent to the curve of the barrel while feet remained on the ground.) Thus leaving no escape. Today the term “to have over a barrel” means that someone is in a position in which there is no way for them to escape an unfortunate outcome.

Example: “My troupe mate sure did put me over a barrel for denying his offer in the Threefer last night. That’s the last time I disrespect the reality of the scene for sure.”

Dead as a Doornail

Before the days of the electric or mechanical doorbells, anyone coming to your house would pound a metal knocker that was nailed to the front door. The nails holding this metal plate on the door got a lot of wear and eventually would fall out. Thus, a totally withered or failed project or hopeless situation is considered to be as “dead as a doornail”.

Example: “That callback is dead as a doornail.”

Lock, Stock and Barrel

In old days, a rifle (or musket) had 3 major parts: A lock, a stock of wood and a metal barrel. Each part was totally useless without the other one. They had to all work together or not at all. Thus, when a person chooses to put everything 100% into an decision, action or commitment he is said to be doing it “lock, stock and barrel.”

Alternate origin: Lock stock and barrel also referred to buying a farm. Lock meant the house, stock was all the animals, and barrel was the rain barrel (meaning all the trivial junk). Thus it was everything on the land at the time of sale that was sold. If the previous owner left something valuable behind it was yours, as it had all been sold lock stock and barrel.

Example: “That new imp commits lock stock and barrel. Damn ya’ll. We gotta use her in the next mainstage run for sure.”

Example: “God he’s good. He takes offers lock stock and barrel.” 

Know Beans

This phrase comes from an old riddle often told in old rural country stores. The question: How many blue beans does it take to make 7 white beans? Do you know? If you don’t then you are said to “not know beans.” The answer is: 7 blue make 7 white. When you peel 7 blue you get 7 white. The term today about “you don’t know beans” refers to anyone who doesn’t know anything that should be common sense or general knowledge.

Example: “The staff at The Hideout Theatre sure do know beans about teaching improv.”


Comments (0) | Post a Comment

Nothing and Everything, Jon Bolden and Kaci Beeler receive B. Iden Payne Award Nominations

Nominations for the 2015 B. Iden Payne awards were announced Monday, September 21. The Hideout Theatre received several nominations and we couldn’t be prouder of the work our theatre and our community is doing! If you would like to vote for any of our productions that were nominated, you can vote here.

The nominations The Hideout received are:

Outstanding Improv Production:
Nothing and Everything

Outstanding Improv Direction:
Jon Bolden, Nothing and Everything.

Outstanding Set Design:
Kaci Beeler, Happily Ever After

Outstanding Cast Performance:
Nothing and Everything

Rudy Klopic Award for Outstanding Improv Troupe: 

Comments (0) | Post a Comment

Hideout’s Kids’ Programs Recognized by Austin Chronicle!

Flying Theater Machine was named “Best Kid-Friendly Theater” by the Austin Chronicle for 2015 and the Hideout’s teen classes were named “Best Club for Teen Performers“!

Flying Theater Machine performs every week, so click here to get tickets!

Our classes run year-round so click here to find out more about them!

We look forward to seeing you in the audience or on stage!!

Comments (0) | Post a Comment