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Off your trolley

St Albans, Hertfordshire, January 2022

An odd sight, reminding me of an odd British saying, off your trolley, which is used to mean behaving in an extremely unusual way or doing something very silly. It seems to date back to the 1890s and probably comes from trolley buses popping off their overhead power cable and losing power.
Is there anything similar in your country and/or your language?



Copyright Debbie Smyth, 2 February 2022

Posted as part of Becky’s SquareOdds

17 replies »

  1. That is one of our more odder sayings, and love I now know the origins.

    Hope you played a game of footie with this trolley goalie, or were you worried people might think you were off your trolley if you did!

    Liked by 3 people

    • No I restrained myself! In fact, there was no ball in sight.
      I hadn’t ever stopped to think where that phrase came from – just had in mind people falling out of shopping trolleys on a merry night out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ooh don’t mention people in trolleys. Students once in Guildford sat in two trolleys and headed down a hill from the university – as they approached the end of the hill they panicked about road approaching and so veered off into a car parked in the car park on hill. My car – the damage cost over £2000 to repair!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Found it at 7am in the morning as I was about to head off to work – really bad start to the day.

          On another occasion they found rope and tied 4 cars together via some door handles and underneath. Fortunately I happened to spot it before I attempted to drive off as otherwise goodness knows what I would have done – oh and just remembered the time when they let all the air out of two tires. That I didn’t notice until I reversed and thought hmmm.

          Liked by 1 person

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