Slang Riddle

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What slang sentence is indicated by this rebus?

Answer after the jump!

At 1:08 in the video above, you'll hear Anita O'Day sing: "The cabbage wasn't hay."

Try explaining that to a non-native-English speaker!
     Posted By: Paul - Tue May 11, 2010
     Category: Money | Music | 1940s | Slang

He would spend it on the ponies
He would spend it on the girls
Buy his mother gin and roses
For her poor old henna'd curls

And when his wife said "Hey now!
What did you get for me?"
He socked her in the choppers
Such a sweet, sweet guy was he!

I sense sarcasm.
Posted by Nethie on 05/11/10 at 10:39 AM
i think wifey shoved him in the river and set up one of his floosies. good for her, smart girl! :cheese:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/11/10 at 11:13 AM
CObra, have you read anything by Rex Stout? A comment like "the cabbage wasn't hay" would not be out of place in Nero Wolfe's time.
Posted by Nethie on 05/11/10 at 08:54 PM
Cabbage was money. "Wasn't hay" means it wasn't worthless or of small matter. I've never heard these two expressions voiced together either.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 05/11/10 at 11:03 PM
I've heard "buy the horse some hay" used as slang for placing a bet, the implication being that the money is going to end up keeping the horse rather that oneself, but "it ain't hay" was a fairly common way of saying something wasn't cheap or worthless in the first half of the 20th century. There's even an Abbott and Costello film of the same name.

So the Cabbage wasn't hay could mean either for once the money didn't end up with the bookies, or that it wasn't worthless because he backed a winner.

On balance, I think the second interpretation is the most likely, that something "isn't/wasn't hay" was by far the most widely used version, but the lyric's assertion that "the money was not worthless" is nonsensical. The combination is almost certainly some songwriter's failed attempt to sound "street".
Posted by Dumbfounded on 05/13/10 at 05:57 AM
i like it bondo!
i agree dumbfounded, someone trying to sound clever and missing the mark.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/13/10 at 09:27 AM
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