Just the other day, I was trying to remember the idiomatic expression, “get along famously,” and rather than rack my brain, I decided to give the good ol’ Internet a whack at it. I kept thinking the expression went “carry on like . . . [something],” so I typed into my Google toolbar, “carry on like.” Lo and behold, the auto fill-in feature, known as Google Suggest, so memorably featured (albeit as a supporting character) in the recent Super Bowl ad, offered this right away:
“carry on like a pork chop”
Like a pork chop? This was too good to resist, so I went with it. It turns out that this is an Australian expression that means “to behave in a silly or excited way,” or more generally, “to behave foolishly.” It’s believed to be derived from the older (also primarily Aussie) expression, “like a pork chop in a synagogue,” defined by one source as being “highly inappropriate, embarrassingly out of place, and quite unwelcome,” pork being, of course, forbidden to Jews.
Why these hammy sayings are the peculiar province of the Aussies, I have no idea. But the next time you’re in Melbourne, sipping on a Foster’s while riding a kangaroo, listening to a koala play the didgeridoo, please do look in the mirror, mate, and raise a cold one to the English language, for you are indeed carrying on like a pork chop (in a synagogue, at that).