"Shut your pie hole" is a slang term used by American kids to mean, "shut your mouth". But why "pie" hole? My teenaged kids and I went round and round with this last night, and I still don't understand why the term "pie". Yes, you eat pies, but look at all the other foods that you eat. Then they said, "Well, pies are round", with my response being, "Aren't peas round? How about "pea hole"?
I realize that this is not the most erudite question, but I don't get it. Perhaps my literalism is getting in the way?
Well, pie hole sounds better than "personal inlet for your fertilizer factory."
Yes, Kalleh, I believe your literalism is obfuscating the metaphor.
"Pea hole" is already taken, though it is spelled "pee hole"!
From the OED Online, 2nd Edition, 1989:
6. dial. and slang. A foolish or stupid fellow.
1785 GROSE Dict. Vulgar Tongue, Cake or Cakey, a foolish fellow. 1847-78 in Halliwell. 1877 PEACOCK N. Linc. Gloss. (E.D.S.) Cake, a silly person, especially one fat and sluggish. 1881 EVANS Leicester. Was., Cake, a noodle.
"Cake-hole" is British slang for a person's mouth (from the OED). "Shut your cake-hole" is an old expression for "shut up". Perhaps this is just a modern version of it.
[This message was edited by tinman on Thu Nov 28th, 2002 at 23:01.]
Tinman has mentioned "cake-hole". That is (or was -- I'm not exactly up to speed with what the kids are saying at the moment) the British equivalent. May be British kids stuff their faces with cake but Americans prefer pie?
Maybe, Arnie, and that actually was brought up during our discussion. You may be right. But--there are other food eating contests, as well. I realize this isn't an earthshaking question, but I just don't get it (and, boy, do my kids agree with that!)
Tinman, thanks for the info regarding pea hole. Really, though, you could substitute most anything else. When I recommended pea hole to my children, they thought that sounded sooooo "gross".
Another variation I've heard recently (on the radio, yet!) is "Shut the front door!" When shouted, halfway through it sounds so much as if you're about to say "Shut the fuck up!" that timid people within earshot become noticably more skittish. But, when you think of it, what better slang term for "mouth" than "front door"?
There's "Shut yer trap!" but that always brings to my mind an image of old-fashioned long johns with the flap in the back.
I think "Shut your pie hole" won out over other food references simply because it sounded better. "Shut your steak hole"?? I don't think so although "Shut your spaghetti hole" has a nice ring to it. Even more so "Shut your ravioli hole!" since you have the repetition of the long-O sound.
It has been asked "Where do these things come from?" That's easy. From people like us!