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Old 26 October 2017, 07:14 PM
ejmeier ejmeier is offline
 
 
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Default Meanings behind weird sayings

I've heard the saying "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" many times before, and I understand what the saying is trying to mean. But I never understood why do you want to attract flies? Why can't it be something other than flies?
What are some sayings that you think are kind of weird? Or never understood?
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Old 27 October 2017, 02:54 AM
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Avril Avril is offline
 
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You want to catch the flies to get rid of them, I presume. But I put vinegar or wine in my fruit fly traps, not honey.
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Old 27 October 2017, 11:24 AM
pinqy pinqy is offline
 
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My 8 year old daughter pointed out that you can catch even more flies with poop. Which, while true, kind of ruins the whole point of the saying.
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Old 27 October 2017, 01:33 PM
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"Blood is thicker than water." Yes, I know it means that family loyalty is (or should be) stronger than non-family. But why is thickness considered desirable? And why is the bond between friends considered "water"?
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Old 27 October 2017, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katdixo View Post
"Blood is thicker than water." Yes, I know it means that family loyalty is (or should be) stronger than non-family. But why is thickness considered desirable? And why is the bond between friends considered "water"?
'Thick' also means 'close' or 'closely associated', such as in the phrase 'As thick as thieves'.

Definition 6 here: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thick
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Old 27 October 2017, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katdixo View Post
And why is the bond between friends considered "water"?
According to Wikipedia, water in the phrase originally referred to water as meaning a great distance such as when someone had sailed oversea and would be effectively out of contact. The full text of the quoted eda is available here (about 2/5 down the page). Neither Google nor Babelfish can translate it, probably because it is 12th century German, and I don't speak German of any century so I can't verify that the interpretation is valid.
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Old 29 October 2017, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
According to Wikipedia, water in the phrase originally referred to water as meaning a great distance such as when someone had sailed oversea and would be effectively out of contact. The full text of the quoted eda is available here (about 2/5 down the page). Neither Google nor Babelfish can translate it, probably because it is 12th century German, and I don't speak German of any century so I can't verify that the interpretation is valid.
I always thought it was actually a shortening of "The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb." Which is actually about how the friends you choose are more important than those you're related to. The shortening reverses the original meaning.
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Old 27 October 2017, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
You want to catch the flies to get rid of them, I presume. But I put vinegar or wine in my fruit fly traps, not honey.
When I was a kid I had several books of the "Believe it or Not" variety (including some that were not official Believe it or Not publications). I remember one of them saying you really can catch more flies with vinegar than honey.
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  #9  
Old 27 October 2017, 05:26 PM
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Dog

A bilingual one....

In French, the common saw "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" is "tu apprends pas a un vieux singe a faire des grimaces". You can't teach an old monkey to make new faces...

Why would you want/need to teach a monkey to make faces?
Also, a monkey? I was unaware that monkeys were common creatures in France!
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Old 27 October 2017, 06:25 PM
ejmeier ejmeier is offline
 
 
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Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
A bilingual one....

In French, the common saw "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" is "tu apprends pas a un vieux singe a faire des grimaces". You can't teach an old monkey to make new faces...

Why would you want/need to teach a monkey to make faces?
Also, a monkey? I was unaware that monkeys were common creatures in France!
Speaking of monkeys, there is a Polish saying that is translated into English to say: “not my circus, not my monkey.” Meaning, don’t get into other people’s business that doesn’t concern you. I should learn from Thisbe saying but sometimes it is hard.
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Old 28 October 2017, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
Also, a monkey? I was unaware that monkeys were common creatures in France!
Il y a plus des singes en France. Les singes sont dans les arbres...

(Sorry, something of an in-joke between me, a friend I fell out with more than ten years ago, and Eddy Izzard. It's OK if you don't get it. It's only funny to me, regardless of language. And my French is terrible anyway.)

This is another good question. I can't think of any strange expressions, though, by George. If only I were more on the ball. I'm as thick as two short planks at times.
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Old 28 October 2017, 03:17 AM
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My guess is that you're going to catch different kinds of flies with vinegar than with honey.
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  #13  
Old 13 November 2017, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Il y a plus des singes en France. Les singes sont dans les arbres...

(Sorry, something of an in-joke between me, a friend I fell out with more than ten years ago, and Eddy Izzard. It's OK if you don't get it. It's only funny to me, regardless of language. And my French is terrible anyway.)
Here's the bit, in case anyone wants to watch it. I always think of it when I think of the word singe.
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