Sunday, 13 July 2014

Five Stupid Sayings

English expressions which may seem a little strange to foreign speakers...


Sshhh!!  Don't wake the baby.
Previously on this blog I've highlighted some of the sayings and expressions in other languages (such as Swedish and Korean) which may seem a little weird to English speakers, but once you analyse them they make perfect sense.

This week I'm going to take a look at a few English sayings, but unlike the logical Swedish and Korean expressions, the following English expressions don't really make much sense at all...

1) "I slept like a baby."


Rather bizarrely, this expression is used to indicate that you had a relaxing night's sleep.  However, from most of the parents I've spoken to, 'sleeping like a baby' would more accurately suggest that you woke up every couple of hours crying your eyes out for no apparent reason.


2) "I know it like the back of my hand."


I actually couldn't tell you what the back of my hand looks like.  I know it's a typical hand shape obviously, but if you asked me to draw a detailed illustration showing vein locations and birth marks, etc, then I wouldn't know where to start.  And I suspect that most people would struggle to draw a detailed illustration of the back of their hand.

So when you say, I know it like the back of my hand, what you really mean is, "I don't know it very well at all."


Chocolate cake.
According to the saying, not for eating.

3) "You can't have your cake and eat it too."


Well what else are you supposed to do with cake?  What's the point of buying or baking a cake if you're not going to eat it?


4) "If it's not one thing, it's another."


Well obviously!  What other option could it be?  I mean, you're really going out on a limb there with that statement.  If it's not that one thing, then it must be something else.


5) "It's always the last place you look."


Of course it is!  Why would you keep looking for something once you've found it?

The following conversation demonstrates what a stupid saying 'It's always the last place you look' is...

Wife:  Why are you looking behind the settee?
Husband:  I'm looking for my keys.
Wife:  I thought you found them ten minutes ago.
Husband:  I did.

That was an absurd example but it illustrates what a stupid saying it is.  Unless you're extremely foolish, once you find something you generally stop looking for it, so obviously 'It's always the last place you look'.

They were just a small selection of the daft sayings you can find in the English language, but if anyone has any more then feel free to leave a comment.


The above sayings were originally created and popularised by various unknown English speakers and then compiled by Charles Fudgemuffin.  Charles is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books, and you can currently download the first book in the series for free from Payhip:
Download 'How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy' for free!

Or for anyone who doesn't own an ereader, you can also download the paperback edition from the following link:
Download the paperback edition

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.