Five more English expressions which may seem a little weird to foreign speakers...
A few months ago I highlighted a few weird English sayings which seem perfectly normal to me as an English person, but when you analyse them they perhaps might seem strange to speakers of other languages. Here's another collection of unusual words and expressions found in the English language...
1) "Egg and soldiers."
|Soldiers and soldiers. Can you spot the difference?|
If you look at the side by side comparison pictured in the photo, I'm sure you'll agree that there's very little resembance at all.
2) "Pins and needles."
Also on my travels I met a Dutch girl who one evening had pins and needles in her foot. She didn't know the English expression, but I quickly realised that she meant pins and needles. This prompted her to ask, "Why do you call it pins and needles?" I explained, "Because it feels like pins and needles sticking in your foot." The Dutch girl then raised a very valid question, "How do English people know what it feels like to have loads of pins and needles stuck into their foot?" It was a fair point, and I couldn't really answer her question.
Incidentally, the Dutch equivalent of 'pins and needles' is a 'lazy foot', which is a cool saying, but I'm not convinced it makes any more sense than the English expression.
|A cockerel making allegedly typical cockerel noises.|
(According to the English language.)
However, when you analyse it, I don't know where the 'doodle' bit comes from because I've certainly never heard a cockerel say, "Doodle!" In fact it's actually a totally ridiculous thought. A cockerel shouting, "Doodle! Doodle!"
'Cock-a-doodle-do!' is still a cool word though, even if it uses a generous helping of artistic licence in its description of the noise a cockerel actually makes.
As a greeting to be used in the morning this one seemingly makes perfect sense. As does the greeting, "Afternoon," used in the afternoon, and the greeting, "Evening," used in the evening.
But why should we greet each other by mentioning the time of day? It's no different from greeting someone on a Saturday by saying, "Saturday," or saying "October" to someone in October, and yet if you said those greetings to someone it would sound ridiculous and they wouldn't know what you were on about. Even after you explained the logic of your greeting they'd still think you'd gone a bit mad. So why is it normal to say, "Morning," to somone as a greeting in the morning?
I realise that "Morning," is actually an abbreviation of 'good morning' but would saying, "Good Saturday," or "Good October," make it seem any more sensible?
5) "If you love someone, set them free."
|"If you love someone, don't buy them an engagement ring."|
As it turned out Alan used this saying to justify dumping his Ukranian girlfriend when he adapted it to say, "If you don't love someone and don't want to hang around with them any more, set them free." He may have been a bit callous, but you can't argue that Alan's version of the saying is more logical and makes much more sense.
Anyway, the saying, 'If you love someone, set them free,' is totally illogical and surely, 'If you love someone, marry them,' would make more sense?
That's it for now, but if you want to read a few more weird English sayings, then you can find my original round-up at the following link:
Five Stupid Sayings
This post was written by Charles Fudgmeuffin. Not the original sayings obviously (Charles didn't invent the English language or anything like that), but the general commentary regarding these sayings were written by Charles Fudgemuffin. Charles is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available from Payhip, Amazon and various online ebook stores.