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  1. "Write like a monkey". Meaning and why monkey?

Harvey was arguing with his opponent's counselor for a merger deal. The counselor happened to be his old classmates in HLS.

S01E07

Harvey: Is that a joke? Am I laughing? Look, I may not have been awake during our M&A clinic.

Dana: Except for when you were copying my notes.

Harvey: Which was no walk in the park. You write like a monkey. But in any case, due diligence is a requirement.

I couldn't find the usage from most dictionaries, but I guess it meant Dana could write very quickly. If I were right, why monkey? I couldn't find the etymology either.

  1. "Burning bush" meaning

Mike found himself hard to follow Louis' and Harvey's orders at the same time. He didn't know who he had to listen to.

S01E08

Mike: I'm still working on Harvey's case.

Louis: Jerome Jensen can go screw himself for all I care.

Mike: But Harvey explicitly told me

Louis: I don't care if a burning bush told you, Mike. The only commandments you need to focus on right now come from me.

For this one, I found that it can be a bushes with bright, red, autumn leaves or it can be some kind of sexual innuendo. Neither of the two fit. I think burning bush here means something imperative.

  1. "Paddle his bottom" meaning

Jessica, Harvey, and Louis were in some hotel's open bar, possibly meeting up with some potential clients. Harvey and Louis were arguing with each other over some trifles.

S01E10

Jessica: Okay, boys. You don't want me to give you a time out, now do you?

Harvey: I'd be willing to stand in a corner, if you agree to paddle his bottom.

Louis: Oh, that's hilarious.

Why use the verb "paddle"? Does "paddle his bottom" here mean for Jessica to give Louis a lesson or to reassure Louis. Since I found in Merriam Webster that "paddle" can mean "caress".

closed as off-topic by P. E. Dant, Nathan Tuggy, Lamplighter, ColleenV Aug 16 '17 at 0:01

  • This question does not appear to be about learning the English language within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Please read our Help and Tour files to understand what we do here. If you have one specific question about an English usage or word, please ask it. There are far too many questions here. – P. E. Dant Aug 13 '17 at 8:22
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is actually several different questions. – P. E. Dant Aug 13 '17 at 8:23
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    Cut and paste two of the questions from this question into two new questions, so this doesn't get closed. – userr2684291 Aug 13 '17 at 9:03
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Harvey: Look, I may not have been awake during our M&A clinic–
Dana: Except for when you were copying my notes.
Harvey: Which was no walk in the park. You write like a monkey.

For starters: if he copied her notes, he looked at her notes and wrote the same thing in his notebook. Her notes were most likely handwritten.

The first idiom used here is a walk in the park, meaning something easy or pleasant (as per this Wiktionary definition) – therefore, his copying of her notes wasn't easy.

He goes on to explain that this is because she writes like a monkey. Why would copying someone's notes be difficult? Because they're a slow writer? No, and besides, Harvey was sleeping during the M&A clinic, so he copied her notes after it was over. This is a simple metaphor (simile) meaning she doesn't write very neatly or nicely: perhaps she didn't have enough time to write it down slowly so she quickly scrawled the notes, or maybe she generally doesn't have a nice handwriting, as Harvey said.

You wouldn't exactly expect monkeys to have a penchant for penmanship, especially because monkeys usually can't write at all in the first place, and they're not very dexterous, despite having opposable thumbs and pretty much all the prerequisites to write like humans. If you gave a monkey a writing implement and a piece of paper, and somehow managed to get them to write on it with the right end of the writing implement, you wouldn't be able to make much sense of the end product.

The scriptwriter could've used a different word – maybe an adjective: "Your writing is illegible." – but Harvey's not trying to actually make an accusation, instead he's playfully poking at Scotty, so he naturally employs informal language. Why monkey and not some other animal? Because (1) there aren't that many species with the necessary prerequisites for writing, and (2) we can imagine how their chicken scratch would look like. Furthermore, I believe this expression is intended as humorous or such.

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Harvey: Which was no walk in the park. You write like a monkey. But in any case, due diligence is a requirement.

@userr2684291 explains this one nicely. It just means Dana has bad handwriting.

Louis: I don't care if a burning bush told you, Mike. The only commandments you need to focus on right now come from me.

This is an allusion to the Bible, specifically the book of Exodus, where a bush was on fire but didn't burn up. As explained on Wikipedia, an angel of the Lord appeared in the bush, and then God's voice started coming out of the image and told Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Louis continues the Biblical imagery with the quip in the next sentence, "The only commandments you need to focus on...," which is a reference to the Ten Commandments (which, of course, are commandments from God).

The quote can then be rephrased to mean "I don't care if God himself told you, Mike. You only need to worry about to my commandments."

Harvey: I'd be willing to stand in a corner, if you agree to paddle his bottom.

This is a reference to a literal paddle:

paddle

To paddle someone's bottom is to smack them in the bottom with a paddle (probably repeatedly). This is a stereotypical hazing ritual, for example, among college fraternities.

Jessica says "You don't want me to give you a time out, now do you?," so Harvey quips back about the paddle, basically saying that he'd be willing to suffer the timeout punishment if it'd mean that he'd get to watch her paddling Louis.

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