"God sometimes does His work with gentle drizzle, not storms. Drip. Drip. Drip." - John Newton (Amazing Grace)
Question #90108 posted on 07/19/2017 8:08 p.m.

Dearest 100 Hour Board,

In the Scissor Sisters' song I Don't Feel Like Dancin', one of the lyrics is

"I don't feel like dancin' when the old Joanna plays"

Now, according to the internet, a "Joanna" is a piano. How did a piano come to be known in slang, to some, as a Joanna?

Scarlet Flamingo


Dear Scarlet Flamingo,

Why not? Frankly, I don't know why that slang isn't more common. I mean, come on, they rhyme perfectly!

-The Entomophagist


Dear Scarlet,

Just to further elaborate on what Ento said, it actually comes from Cockney rhyming slang, in which they replace words with other commonplace words that rhyme. Thus the piano, or "piana," if you talk a certain way, became the "old Joanna."