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  #1  
Old 07-03-2009, 10:31 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is online now
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Share some favorite idioms

I was listening to an interview with an author named Jag Bhalla on NPR today who has written a book entitled I'm Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears and Other Intriguing Idioms From Around the World . Interesting interview; I may pick up a copy at some point as I love idioms, especially the "obscure but dead on" kind, or the origins of idioms in our own language.

From the interview, a couple of international idioms (in English translation):

Arabic: "The camel can't see his own hump". (About hypocrisy and namecalling, roughly equal to "the pot calling the kettle black" or the biblical splinter/plank in the eye.)

The title: "I'm not hanging noodles on your ears"- Russian, and meaning "I'm serious" or "I'm not pulling your leg".

He also gave the origin of "let the cat out of the bag": when live piglets were sold at market "back in the olden days" they were usually given to the customer in a bag, and dishonest merchants would sometimes (or at least once, or at least in legend once did) switch the pig with a cat. (How a live cat would let you do this without having fits is what puts this one into the realm of the dubious). He didn't mention that the practice of selling live piglets in bags is also the origins of 'buying a "pig in a poke"' (i.e. site unseen- trusting somebody you shouldn't).

Of course in America there are regional idioms. The south has "that dog don't hunt" and "I ain't got no dog in this fight" (on hiatus since the Michael Vick affair) and lots of other 'folksy' ones.
I once heard an old New Hampshirite with a stock repertory company (or Farmer Smurf) New England "ayup" accent say "Nice to know but it won't help ya cross the river", though I'm told this one's not that common.

What are some of your favorite idioms? (If foreign, please translate and if necessary explain.)
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2009, 12:16 AM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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Uugghhhhh.... I was raised in Texas and my middle aged sister still says "Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!" when perturbed. Do I have to list them all?


How about--

"Raised on red beans and rice" (when humble or, ironically, when filled with hubris about one's allegedly humble existence.)

"In tall cotton" (when experiencing success.)

"Can't dance, too wet to plow..." (said to accept an offer to drink or as you pull out a bottle. I've also heard it said as someone got up to help someone, but I think that they were saying it tounge in cheek.)

"That dog won't hunt." ("The person in question is uniquely unqualified for the task at hand.")

"As happy as a cat covered in shit." (BTW, "shit" has one syllable here. It only has three syllables when used as a complete sentence.)

"Blue Norther" (a good strong cold front.)

"He beat him like a rented mule." (far less offensive than the "red-headed stepchild" variant.)

"It's so dry, the trees are bribing the dogs."

"He thinks he's ten foot tall and bulletproof" (when drunk.)

"All hat and no cattle." (All style/talk and no substance.)

"As crazy as a peach orchard boar."


FYI, Googling around for others, I found:

. "Well, he's peeing on my leg, but it's warm and it feels good."

I have no specific frame of reference for the phrase, but it pretty much fits here.

Last edited by cornflakes; 07-04-2009 at 12:18 AM..
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2009, 01:01 AM
Sampiro Sampiro is online now
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Originally Posted by cornflakes View Post
Uugghhhhh.... I was raised in Texas and my middle aged sister still says "Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!" when perturbed. Do I have to list them all?


How about--

"Raised on red beans and rice" (when humble or, ironically, when filled with hubris about one's allegedly humble existence.)
The opposite- one that can be used by anyone who's trying to put on airs or is way out of their depth but that I've usually heard applied to social climbers, is "he's trying to shit higher than his asshole".
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:17 AM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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Okay, I'm intrigued. How can "shit" have three syllables? Thinking it's my own accent blocking the obvious, I've tried altering my speech into every southern and western accent I can muster, and just can't make it work. I can force it into two (e.g. "well, sheee-it") if I lay on the southern pretty think... but three?
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:37 AM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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We're in Fat City (life - or immediate situation - is good).
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:44 AM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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Originally Posted by cmyk View Post
Okay, I'm intrigued. How can "shit" have three syllables?
Shuh-yee-it.

I like "he's got enough money to burn a wet mule" although it's not really an idiom I reckon..

"got buzzard's luck" - in other words, "can't kill nuthin', and nuthin' won't die".

"snake-bit" is kind of like jinxed.

"crazy as a..." road lizard, betsy-bug, run over dog.

"don't let your alligator mouth overload your hummingbird ass".

Last edited by NinetyWt; 07-04-2009 at 09:48 AM..
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:48 AM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. (Pandora's Box type situation: once the idea/words/actions are done, there's no going back.)
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:51 AM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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Ahh, thanks NinetyWt. I can hear it now.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:57 AM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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These things keep popping in my head, now. Thanks a LOT Sampiro !

"hornier than a two-peckered billygoat".
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:07 AM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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"Scared'er than a one-eyed rabbit in a cactus patch."

Yeh, I'm not sure how authentic that is, but my friend said that to me once when we were kids, and it cracked me up.

Last edited by cmyk; 07-04-2009 at 10:07 AM..
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  #11  
Old 07-04-2009, 10:27 AM
Frodo Frodo is offline
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"Echando putas como cabaret en bancarrota"

translation:

"Throwing out whores like a bankrupt cabaret"

explanation:

Going very very fast (as in a car or running).

Going fast is called "echando putas" for obscure reasons.
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  #12  
Old 07-04-2009, 10:43 AM
Lust4Life Lust4Life is offline
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Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
I was listening to an interview with an author named Jag Bhalla on NPR today who has written a book entitled I'm Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears and Other Intriguing Idioms From Around the World . Interesting interview; I may pick up a copy at some point as I love idioms, especially the "obscure but dead on" kind, or the origins of idioms in our own language.

From the interview, a couple of international idioms (in English translation):

.

He also gave the origin of "let the cat out of the bag": when live piglets were sold at market "back in the olden days" they were usually given to the customer in a bag, and dishonest merchants would sometimes (or at least once, or at least in legend once did) switch the pig with a cat. (How a live cat would let you do this without having fits is what puts this one into the realm of the dubious). He didn't mention that the practice of selling live piglets in bags is also the origins of 'buying a "pig in a poke"' (i.e. site unseen- trusting somebody you shouldn't).
I dont know how accurate his ideas are for the rest of the idioms but he's got it totally wrong about the origin of the saying "Letting the Cat out of the Bag"(Though the story sounds like it might be about buying a "Pig in a Poke)


In the old Royal Navy the punishment for serious crimes was to be flogged with a "Cat o' Nine Tails",this was a nine stranded,quite short,whip always especially made for the occassion and kept in a bag until used and then thrown away afterwards.

Letting the Cat out of the Bag was opening your mouth about something you shouldn't in front of someone in authorityand thus bringing a punishment on to somebody.

The flogging would usually be administered by a Bosuns mate,who always laid in with a will because if he was suspected of trying to go easy on the person being flogged he would take his place.

After the punishment the wounds were washed with sea(salt)water as a method of sterelisation which arose to the saying of2 rubbing salt into the wound",though the meaning has been three sixtied.
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  #13  
Old 07-04-2009, 11:57 AM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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She's so frugal she can "pinch a penny 'til it screams".

The budget was "tighter than dick's hatband".

If you're doing some activity with "no future in it" you might as well be "pounding sand down a rat hole".
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  #14  
Old 07-04-2009, 02:19 PM
Busy Scissors Busy Scissors is offline
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Too many Scottish ones to name, here's a couple:

(S)he had a hard paper round - Used to describe an extremely haggard and world-weary looking person.

Tannin' the bevvy - Drinking heavily

A kent yir faither - Bit like tall poppy syndrome, it means 'I knew your Dad' - I know where you're from and what you're about, so don't get to cocky.

You'll have had your tea then? Piss-taking phrase describing the mean-ness of Edinburgh and / or Aberdeen folk.

Casser du sucre sur le dos de quelqu'un

trans To break sugar on someone's back

French expression meaning to gossip about someone behind their back (I think!)
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  #15  
Old 07-04-2009, 03:33 PM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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Thanks, NinetyWt. I've heard it said as Psshhh-eeee-yut!


I think (could be wrong) that there's a Mexican phrase "a todos emes", which translates as "at all mothers" (emes = m's = mothers) and basically means "at full speed" or the US phrase "like a motherfucker"

Last edited by cornflakes; 07-04-2009 at 03:34 PM.. Reason: added shit
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  #16  
Old 07-04-2009, 04:04 PM
Claire Beauchamp Claire Beauchamp is offline
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A cat can have kittens in an oven, but that don't make 'em biscuits.
Appearances can be deceiving, or putting on airs doesn't change origins.

Tighter than bark to a tree.
Frugal

Get your butt off your shoulders.
Stop being petulant

I'm sure I'll think of more but I'm Southern, and idiom is the rule rather than the exception ... hard to separate it out.

P.S. You could probably have an entire thread on colorful ways to say "stupid," i.e., A few bricks shy of a load.
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  #17  
Old 07-04-2009, 04:12 PM
Ponch8 Ponch8 is offline
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Well, I'll be a monkey's bare-assed uncle!
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  #18  
Old 07-04-2009, 05:03 PM
Marienee Marienee is offline
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I have become notorious for bursting out laughing when people use very ordinary expressions just because I have never heard them before. On the other hand, I have gotten credit for being quite clever (or sometimes odd, it all depends) because of my lazy habit of saying things in dutch but with english expressions -- I said "nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs" in dutch last week and the folks I was talking to thought it was terrific.

Anyway, here are a couple that spring to mind, though I cannot say they are favorite, just recent (and apologies if needed for the translations, I do my best):

Even if it is raining pigs, you won't get a brush from it (You can't profit from doing nothing, even if times are good)

The best helmsmen are on the shore (back seat drivers and monday morning quarterbacks)

To know where Abraham buys his mustard (to know what you are talking about)

Like an angel pissing on your tongue (delicious)

slow as a snail on a barrel of tar

butter with the fish (payment at time of purchase usually but can be used for any action without delay)

A donkey does not trip on the same stone twice (suggests that a person does)

To make a long nose (to not be bothered by what others think)

To have something on your liver (to feel guilty about a secret)

get your chest wet (prepare yourself)

Crazy/nutty as a door (no really, that's what they say. I still don't know what is crazy about a door)

Ant-fucker, to fuck ants (to be occupied with details, miss the big picture)

To stand there with a mouth full of teeth (to be very surprised, struck dumb)
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  #19  
Old 07-04-2009, 05:11 PM
Frodo Frodo is offline
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"Perdido como turco en la neblina"

Translation "Lost as a turk in the fog"

"Seco como pastel de polaco"

Translation "Dry as a polack's pie"

I dont know why turks easily lost direction in the fog or polacks like their pies dry, but according to popuplar wisdom, they do .
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  #20  
Old 07-04-2009, 05:40 PM
Auntbeast Auntbeast is offline
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Originally Posted by Claire Beauchamp View Post

I'm sure I'll think of more but I'm Southern, and idiom is the rule rather than the exception ... hard to separate it out.
Yer preachin' to the choir. (convincing the already convinced)

No bigger than a minute (quite small)

Common as hen's teeth. (quite rare)

Mad as a wet hen/jay bird.

Good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise.

These are from songs:
Hotter than a two dollar pistol.
Deeper than a holler.
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  #21  
Old 07-04-2009, 05:41 PM
Busy Scissors Busy Scissors is offline
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Does anyone know the Spanish one along the lines of ' like trying to figure out the sex of angels' to describe a completely pointless, academic exercise?
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  #22  
Old 07-04-2009, 05:49 PM
ashman165 ashman165 is offline
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Originally Posted by Lust4Life View Post
The flogging would usually be administered by a Bosuns mate,who always laid in with a will because if he was suspected of trying to go easy on the person being flogged he would take his place.

After the punishment the wounds were washed with sea(salt)water as a method of sterelisation which arose to the saying of2 rubbing salt into the wound",though the meaning has been three sixtied.
So, was the flogging against the original person done away with? Or would we now have two floggings?
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  #23  
Old 07-04-2009, 05:49 PM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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Marienee I love those ! Especially the ant-fucker. Heh.
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:15 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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Cooked enough for threshers means having a huge amount of food. It comes from the days when a grain harvest was done by hand, and all your neighbors would come to help. At dinnertime, the threshers would have worked up quite an appetite.

Like ducks on a Junebug. Free range ducks, besides eating the grain you feed them, will eat all the bugs in the farmyard. A Junebug beetle is a big morsel, and it might have several ducks fighting over it.

So, it refers to players jumping on a football, or young women after a suitor.

On him like a cheap suit (relentless nagging) usually refers to a father nagging a son to get some chore done, or to get a job and get a place of his own.
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:41 PM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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That could also be "on him like white on rice".
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Old 07-04-2009, 07:06 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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Hands down, my favorite is in Chinese, lan yu chong shu.

Roughly speaking, it refers to an emperor who loved music from large orchestras. However, there weren't enough talented musicians to fill up the orchestra for the emperor, so some guys would pretend to play, while others actually made the beautiful music.

So basically it is somewhat derogatory saying about someone trying to pass themselves off as an expert. But the reason I liked it was that when I lived in China, and someone would complement my Chinese, I would bust this out (as in, I'm the guy who isn't really playing his instrument). It never failed to get a laugh.
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  #27  
Old 07-04-2009, 07:18 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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"like Sherman through Georgia" - a thing is done quickly and destructively. (refers to Sherman's March to the Sea in the Civil War)

Yiddish has lots of great sayings.

"Hockin a chainik" - Banging on your teakettle
-- complaining about things to get attention.

He/She doesn't know whether to shit or go blind
-- person is so excited they don't know what to do with themselves. (I've heard this only in English, but its a translation of a Yiddish saying)
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  #28  
Old 07-04-2009, 07:22 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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Originally Posted by Lust4Life View Post
I dont know how accurate his ideas are for the rest of the idioms but he's got it totally wrong about the origin of the saying "Letting the Cat out of the Bag"(Though the story sounds like it might be about buying a "Pig in a Poke)


In the old Royal Navy the punishment for serious crimes was to be flogged with a "Cat o' Nine Tails",this was a nine stranded,quite short,whip always especially made for the occassion and kept in a bag until used and then thrown away afterwards.

Letting the Cat out of the Bag was opening your mouth about something you shouldn't in front of someone in authorityand thus bringing a punishment on to somebody.

The flogging would usually be administered by a Bosuns mate,who always laid in with a will because if he was suspected of trying to go easy on the person being flogged he would take his place.

After the punishment the wounds were washed with sea(salt)water as a method of sterelisation which arose to the saying of2 rubbing salt into the wound",though the meaning has been three sixtied.
Not according to the Word Detective
who says:
Quote:
Back in the days before supermarkets (or even grocery stores), shopping for dinner was done at the local market, where farmers and merchants sold vegetables, eggs, fruit, bread and the like, as well as meat and poultry, often in the form of live animals. For a special occasion or holiday dinner, one of the "hot items" on many shopping lists was a suckling pig (a very young and small pig). After the customer chose a pig from those available and paid for it, the merchant would shove the pig into a canvas sack (also known at the time as a "poke") for easy transport and hand the bag, which would probably be wriggling vigorously, to the buyer.
Unfortunately, all was not on the up and up in many markets, and it was not uncommon for the merchant to take advantage of a customer's momentary lapse of attention to substitute a stray cat for the pig in the bag. The fraud would likely not be discovered until the customer returned home and "let the cat out of the bag," thus giving us this phrase to mean a surprising, and often unpleasant, revelation. The same sort of chicanery is also the source of the phrase "don't buy a pig in a poke," meaning "don't buy anything sight unseen."
He does go on to say that there is some doubt about this though:
Quote:
Or so they say. Michael Quinion, proprietor of the World Wide Words website (www.worldwidewords.org), has very reasonable doubts about this story, noting that cats in bags tend to be extremely frantic (and, I might add, very loud) and thus hard to mistake for a piglet. It may be that the phrase simply arose from someone's personal experience with having a cat in a bag for some reason and the dramatic effects of then setting it free.
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  #29  
Old 07-04-2009, 07:23 PM
apollonia apollonia is offline
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My family uses dozens and dozens of idioms, and when I moved away I often found myself having to explain or repeat something.

"Six of one," for "it doesn't matter to me." This is shorthand for "Six of one, half-dozen of another," e.g., the same thing.

To "drop it like a bad habit" or "drop it like a hot poker" is obviously to stop doing something or drop a subject quickly.

If someone is "nervous as a whore" or "nervous as a whore in church," they are, politely saying, out of their element.

One might say "Katie bar the door" to prepare for trouble or an onslaught of work.

And of course if you are fleeing in a hurry from someplace you might say that you "ran like your ass was on fire" or "ran like the devil."

Things that are particularly ugly would be, of course, "ugly as sin."

If you went a very long distance, you went "all over hell's half acre" or "all over God's green earth." If you have a lot of something you have it "up one side and down the other" or "up the yazoo" or "coming out of your ears."

Last edited by apollonia; 07-04-2009 at 07:26 PM..
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  #30  
Old 07-04-2009, 07:46 PM
apollonia apollonia is offline
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I have dozens. I keep forgetting.

If someone hit you particularly hard, he "cleaned your clock." If you were upset, you were "angry enough to spit nails." If you were very VERY upset, you were "angry enough to reload." You may have offered to slap someone "six ways to Sunday" or "into next week" or "so hard your children will be born dizzy." You might even malign his character, telling him he was "lazier than a bump on a log" or "so stupid he couldn't pour piss out of a boot with instructions on the heel" or "couldn't find his ass with a map and a compass." You might even strike him back although you "couldn't fight your way out of a wet paper bag." This would be particularly stupid, proving you "don't know shit from Shinola." If you fled at this point, that would be an excellent decision, because your assailant would probably be encouraging you to "take a long hike off a short pier." By fleeing, you will be "in like Flynn," unless you were so badly beaten that you had "more ills than Carter had pills," (that is, had many reasons to complain).
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:03 PM
Auntbeast Auntbeast is offline
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Useless as tits on a boar.
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  #32  
Old 07-04-2009, 08:21 PM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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Aha, but this graphic claims "tits on a boar are important".

Who knew ??
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  #33  
Old 07-04-2009, 09:02 PM
Claire Beauchamp Claire Beauchamp is offline
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Rode hard and put up wet
Usually used to describe someone who looks thoroughly debauched and/or prematurely aged. Keith Richards would be an excellent example.

Last edited by Claire Beauchamp; 07-04-2009 at 09:03 PM..
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  #34  
Old 07-04-2009, 10:23 PM
Auntbeast Auntbeast is offline
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Aha, but this graphic claims "tits on a boar are important".

Who knew ??
I love you.
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  #35  
Old 07-05-2009, 12:06 AM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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Aha, but this graphic claims "tits on a boar are important".

Who knew ??
I think that my work PC has new wallpaper!
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  #36  
Old 07-05-2009, 03:05 AM
Duck Quack's Echo Duck Quack's Echo is offline
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"Suckin' on the hind tit." If you look at the teats of animals that bear multiple young you will notice that the ones closer to the back legs and tail and away from the chest are bigger and fatter than the ones on the chest. This term means living well.

In the same vein "livin' high off the hog" means eating the best cuts of meat and living well.

"High, low, three jacks and the game" means having a big win. The expression comes from the card game, Pitch, which scores using these terms. Pitch is a card game played by rural folk is the US.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:39 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Spanish one. Short, common version: más feo que pegarle a tu padre con un calcetín sudado "uglier than hittin your Pa with a sweaty sock." Long, my family version: más feo que pegarle a tu padre con un calcetín sudado que lleve medio ladrillo dentro y luego pedirle la paga "uglier than hitting your Pa with a half-brick-filled sweaty sock and then asking for your Sunday money." Normally used to refer to behaviors, not faces.

Spanish one. No mezcles el tocino con la velocidad, "don't mix bacon and speed," also used as eso es mezclar el tocino con la velocidad, "that's like mixing bacon and speed." It's about non-sequiturs and interruptions that have nothing to do with the matter previously at hand. Mind you, tocino also means pig, and anybody who thinks pig and speed aren't related has never tried to grab a greased pig! (we used to do that in my high school's feastday, back before it became cruelty to animals).
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Last edited by Nava; 07-05-2009 at 03:41 AM..
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  #38  
Old 07-05-2009, 04:35 AM
BACI BACI is offline
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When someone just stands there when you ask them to do something: "What, are those ears painted on?"

Q. Hey, where are my shoes?
A. Up my arse hanging on a nail.
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  #39  
Old 07-05-2009, 12:50 PM
Lacunae Matata Lacunae Matata is offline
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Ah, yes! Southern American English is rich in idioms!

Busier than a: One armed paperhanger (referring to wallpaper, of course) or a one-legged man at an asskicking contest.

Ugly: "Looks like seven miles of bad road," or "Uglier than a mud fence daubed with lizards."

Confused: "Don't know whether to scratch my watch or wind my ass."

Happy: "Happier than a dead pig in the sunshine." I don't know the origins of this one. Maybe some sort of rictus that makes a dead pig look like it's grinning?

"Lower than a snake's belly," describes someone mean or underhanded.

If someone is odd or not very smart, s/he might be described as "two bubbles off plumb."

Smart: "Uses his head for something besides a hatrack," or "Uses her head for something besides growing hair." (In my family, we often say "Uses his head for something besides a coathanger," but that's because a former employee of my grandparents' used to mix her metaphors all the time. This was one of her most commonly used malapropisms.)
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:00 PM
Slithy Tove Slithy Tove is offline
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link to several election-night's worth of Dan Ratherisms
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  #41  
Old 07-05-2009, 01:51 PM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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Lacunae reminded me of another one:

"I didn't go to school to eat my lunch". This means that you actually learned something in school, rather than just warming the chair there.
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  #42  
Old 07-05-2009, 01:55 PM
delphica delphica is offline
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I learned a lot from my ESL students, because I'll ask them to pick an idiom from their own language, translate it literally and then describe what it's supposed to mean.

One that I use now is Russian, "the wolves of Tambov are your friends." Tambov is the location of a famous prison in Russia, the wolves are the violent criminals. So to malign someone's character, you can observe that the wolves of Tambov are his friends, implying that the guy is too sketchy to have normal friends.

Not from ESL, but a favorite that I picked up from a friend's mother who is from the Midwest is used to describe any of those times when you have a random ache or cramp, like if you've been sitting in one place for too long. Then you can say "I have a hitch in my git-along."
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  #43  
Old 07-05-2009, 02:23 PM
wolfman wolfman is offline
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"You might as well piss in the Ocean" For something that technically helps, but is of such little volume that is is effectively useless.
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  #44  
Old 07-05-2009, 02:45 PM
Nava Nava is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy Scissors View Post
Does anyone know the Spanish one along the lines of ' like trying to figure out the sex of angels' to describe a completely pointless, academic exercise?
Well, there's the direct one "ya dejad de discutir el sexo de los ángeles," "stop arguing about the sex of angels."

Then you have, when two people are talking very animatedly but about nothing much, "aquí, resolviendo los problemas del mundo" (here, solving the world's problems) or specific problems like "aquí, pacificando Israel" (here, pacifying Israel).

A conversation where neither part listens to the other is "un diálogo de besugos" (a conversation between two (fishes); I don't know what are besugos called in English but the word also means moron), or "de dónde vienes, manzanas traigo" (where do you come from, apples I bring).

There are two whole books dedicated to direct translations of Spanish idioms into English; sadly, they didn't add what the actual translations would be. If you're interested, they're called "speaking in silver" (literal translation of "hablando en plata" which means "speaking clearly") and "from lost to the river" ("de perdidos al río," best translated as "... so damn, let's do it!" or "from the frying pan into the fire").

Last edited by Nava; 07-05-2009 at 02:47 PM..
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  #45  
Old 07-05-2009, 05:08 PM
elelle elelle is offline
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One great phrase learned from Mississippi Elder Othar Turner is: "A Fail ain't nothing but a Try." He said it many times in talking to him, and, though I didn't quite get it at first, it comes up often now in my mind in understanding life. Great sweet wisdom and encouragement.
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  #46  
Old 07-05-2009, 07:31 PM
imfloating imfloating is offline
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I cut this thing twice and it's still too short.
That's about as obvious as balls on a tall dog.
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  #47  
Old 07-05-2009, 07:54 PM
lshaw lshaw is offline
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There's one in Chinese that, when literally translated, goes "Loud farts don't smell, the really smelly ones are deadly silent". This means if you want to have real impact, be deadly but silent... instead of blowing a lot of hot air.

Last edited by lshaw; 07-05-2009 at 07:55 PM..
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  #48  
Old 07-05-2009, 08:03 PM
MissTake MissTake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphica View Post
Not from ESL, but a favorite that I picked up from a friend's mother who is from the Midwest is used to describe any of those times when you have a random ache or cramp, like if you've been sitting in one place for too long. Then you can say "I have a hitch in my git-along."
My dad (Wisconsin) always said he had a hitch in his giddyup.

"That'll go over like a fart in church"
"As quiet (or as loud) as a gnat's fart"
"Looks like two riled cats in a sack" (regarding a large behind, usually on a woman)
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  #49  
Old 07-05-2009, 09:50 PM
Auntbeast Auntbeast is offline
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Ahh, as nervous as a whore in church!
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  #50  
Old 07-05-2009, 10:05 PM
Gleena Gleena is offline
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My dear old Grandaddy in Mississippi is sometimes very defeated by life in general or his health issues. Then he is in low cotton.

I love the Australian ones:
It was on for young and old! There's about to be a helluva fight - "Jim told Sally she was a slut in front of her brother and his mates, and then it was on for young and old!"

Off like a bride's nightie/bucket of prawns in the sun Something that is very quickly removed.

Two chances, Buckley's and none (Can also be said as just "He's got Buckley's.") No chance at all, Buckley was an explorer who died in the outback.

Rattle yer dags Move quickly (Dags being the dried sheep shit stuck to a sheep's butt - it rattles when they run.)
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