Monday, November 23, 2015

odd expressions

Bought a farm: purchased land, probably with a barn
Bought the farm: died

Even: equal in length, or a multiple of two
Even odds: fifty/fifty chance (this one at least kind of makes sense, but try saying it to your average non-native English speaker and they will give you the same blank look they gave me)

Kool-aid: a strange synthetic sugary drink
To drink the kool-aid: to be thoroughly brainwashed to a dangerous degree
(WARNING: this is a horrible and deeply disturbing story involving a lot of death)

Back of a truck: the farthest part of the vehicle from the cab
Fell of the back of a truck: was stolen and is being resold, possibly by the mafia

Turkey: a delicious bird that I will be eating this week
Cold turkey: to quit something suddenly and without transition

Bless your heart: usually means 'You are completely useless and/or deluded.'

What's your favorite strange and incomprehensible idiom?


11 comments:

  1. As I am a native resident of Cold State, and at least a little Norweigan, I'd have to say Uff Da. Old people say it when sinking into or rising from a low couch. You say Uff Da when picking up a heavy box, or when pushing away your empty plate after Thanksgiving dinner. It's an appropriate response when someone tells you about a bad day. Wikipedia tells me it loosely translates into, "I am overwhelmed."

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    1. Oh, Cold State, you are so funny. Kind of like 'Oy gevalt?'

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  2. OMG, my mother says "Bless X's heart" all the time and it drives me NUTSO. There's a lot of condescension packed into that baby. And I'm so obsessed with how much I want her to stop that I can't think of any amusing sayings. But I'm currently doing a study that involves idioms, so I'll give you a good one: Do you know what "the goose hangs high" means?

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    1. That one's definitely incomprehensible! And possibly suggestive! (No.)

      I save bless your heart for special occasions. Like the week when the stockroom person who has LITERALLY one job - to prep for lab! - didn't and my lab section got totally fucked. Bless STOCKROOM PERSON's heart. No, really. SP is an idiot.

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  3. I've always been vaguely intrigued by "bite the bullet". In my head I conjure up an image of a stage magician doing the old "catch a bullet in the teeth" trick whenever I hear it, rather than anything more prosaically related to stepping up to do a nasty job you've been putting off. Don't know if it's a particularly British English phrase or not?

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    1. Hah! I always took that one literally (http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/bite+the+bullet) but people do say it here on the regular.

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  4. Where to begin??? I must say that the word "verbaliser" in French perplexes me a little in the context in which one hears it on the bus. There is an automated announcement reminding people to validate(?) their pass "sous peine d'ĂȘtre verbalisĂ©". I know that this means to receive a ticket, but the word "verbaliser" just doesn't sound that threatening really. Plus, it really doesn't make any sense that a verb that often refers to speaking aloud actually means here to receive something written. Anyhow, it's just one of those things that makes me twitter a little inwardly. (I would never verbalize this reaction, except here.)

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    1. Did they used to say something else? I seem to remember it saying sous peine d'amende, which at least makes more sense. Of course, those were not chic Parisian buses.

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  5. I was surprised the other day that my (non native english speaking husband) didnt know "here goes nothing" as he is pretty up on his idioms. its a bit of a strange one.

    then there was the mixup i had with a german speaker who used "hasnt seen the light of day" as in hasnt been born yet, which according to google is a real phrase in english but not one i was familiar with, its apparently a common thing to say in german

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    1. I've heard hasn't seen light of day (used by programmers to me!) but, uh, never for a baby not yet on the outside.

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