You often hear phrases such as “blind as a bat” or “soft as silk,” but nobody has ever attempted to define all these units. So I will. Here’s my list of informal units:

  • Loons of craziness
  • Silks of softness
  • Bats of blindness
  • Buttons of cuteness. This scale is logarithmic to allow for extremely low cutenesses.
  • Helens of beauty. You know, Helen of Troy, “the face that launched a thousand ships.” (This means that one milliHelen is defined as the beauty required to launch one ship.)
  • Pies of easiness. (Alternate units include “as easy as 1-2-3” and “as easy as 2 plus 2”.)
  • Hatters of madness/insanity.
  • Dogs of sickness.
  • Mules of stubbornness.
  • Lambs of gentleness.
  • Fiddles of fitness.
  • Long-tailed cats near a rocking chair of nervousness.
  • Greased lightnings of speed.
  • Posts of deafness.
  • Doornails of deadness.
  • Rocks of dumbness.
  • Tree trunks of thickness.
  • Clams of happiness.
  • Beets of redness.
  • Turtles of social awkwardness.
  • “Hell” forms an interesting wildcard unit — things can be “hot as hell”, “loud as hell”, “crazy as hell”, and so on.

Suggestions for calibrations for the units are welcome.


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