Old sayings, which make no sense?

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Trenchfriend, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    One of the best examples:
    "Bone-dry", german "fart-dry".

    I never comprehended, what a fart has to do with "dry".

    Or:
    "Feel as fit as a fiddle", german "feel poodle-well!"

    What is the point with the poodle??
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2021
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  2. robrinay

    robrinay One Too Many

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    Not really nonsense more like money sense,
    ‘Many a mickle makes a muckle’ is Scots for, ‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’.
    However if you search for mickle and muckle they are apparently from the same root meaning large amount?
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2021
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  3. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Cat caught your tongue?
    Let the cat out of the bag.
    It's raining cats & dogs.
    There's more than one way to skin a cat.
    Curiosity killed the cat.
    All those sayings have nothing to do with felines. Think cat o' nine tails.
     
  4. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    Good one! I never had an idea, why the cat is in the bag. :D
     
  5. robrinay

    robrinay One Too Many

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    And also ‘not enough room to swing a cat’ (o’ nine tails)
     
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  6. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

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    My mother used to say “it’s raining children’s shoes” (Es regnet Kinderschuhe), which I thought was charming. Growing up in California, I never heard that phrase from anyone but her.

    The version I heard was “not enough room to swing a dead cat.” (Your version makes more sense.)
     
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  7. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

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    My dad used to say "shake a leg" for hurry up.
     
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  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    When somone struts around with an air of conceit, my mother's response is "don't she think she's the cat's ass." Which, I guess, if you spend a lot of time around cats, does make at least a little sense.

    In Maine dialect "muckle" means to latch onto something, to grab onto it tightly -- "Muckle ont' that table an' help me lug it out to the dump."
     
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  9. Fiver64

    Fiver64 A-List Customer

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    Would you prefer a wet one? :cool:
     
  10. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    Both my parents used that. British imports to Canada, I assumed it was a common saying there, though don't recall hearing it on British shows or films.
     
  11. MisterCairo

    MisterCairo I'll Lock Up

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    Back in 2001 or so, my favourite alt-rock station in Toronto, CFNY 102.1 The Edge, had a great morning show, Humble and Fred. They would run bizarre competitions or do other fun things.

    One event was to come up with a new noun and verb, one representing "the act of trying to pass a fart, and inadvertently passing more solid and/or liquid matter".

    The word they came up with:

    Flurch. As in "I did a flurch" or "I just flurched".

    They would then ask call in guests if they had ever "flurched", to which they would reply "what"?. Humble and Fred would explain, and the caller would then joyfully explain those times when they did just that.

    I am not aware it ever joining the urban dictionary.
     
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    • "If it’s drowning you’re after, don’t torment yourself with shallow water."
     
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  12. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

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    My dad was born and raised on a rural Connecticut dairy farm. I suspect "shake a leg" is more era related than geographic.
     
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  13. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    Make sense to the indirect german translation: "Sorry, I let one fly..."
     
  14. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    “The honorable ... “
     
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  15. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    Curiosity killed the cat is a comment on the penchant for felines to investigate things.

    It's Schrodingers' cat. He later purchased a box.

    When I was younger and would ask things like, "When are we gonna get there?" my mother's stock response was "Two shakes of a lamb's tail."

    But that makes sense.
     
  16. If you take it literally as stated it doesn't make sense. You can drown just as easily in a washtub as an ocean. I take it to mean doing something half-assed vs with your best effort.
     
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  17. robrinay

    robrinay One Too Many

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    When I used to ask my favourite Aunty what she had in her bag (usually sweets for me) she’d say “Wimwams for lame ducks”.
     
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  18. robrinay

    robrinay One Too Many

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    A friend one told me the origin of the saying, “It’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey”
    referred to the brass rings on stands (called brass monkeys?) used onboard ships to store cannon balls becoming so cold they shrank reducing their diameter and the cannon balls rolled off. Another explanation is that the original phrase was to freeze the balls on a brass monkey -ie ice glued the cannonballs to the brass ring.
     
  19. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I used to work in radio with a guy whose catch phrase whenever he read a weather forecast for a below-zero night was "Don't forget to bring in the brass monkey!"
     

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