ForumsThe TavernOld Saying and Idioms That Make No Sense Literally

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blk2860
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blk2860
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Okay, basically, these are phrases that make absolutely no sense. I'll start with three.

1. "Have your cake and eat it too." This basically builds on the premise that it's normally the opposite. How can you eat a cake you don't even have? And why would you have a cake you couldn't eat? This isn't Portal.

2. "Get up on the wrong side of the bed." What if your bed is against a wall? What about then? I suppose in the case of a bunk bed this might make sense.

3. "Let the Cat Out of the Bag." Right off the bat, you're likely wondering "What kinda sicko puts cats in bags?" That's a good question. If you're intending not to, then you clearly have a good reason to keep it secret! Seriously, whoever made that one... clearly has some problems.

-Spirit

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Jacen96
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Jacen96
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YOLO, because Time Lords like me can regenerate 12 times.

In a bad mood, what makes a mood bad, how can you define it as such? If you mean you are angry, or disinterested, why not say so?

~~~Darth Caedus

Reton8
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Reton8
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(According to wiktionary)One of my favorite idioms is this one from Chile and Rio de la Plata:

Durar menos que un pedo en un canasto.
Which translates to:
It will last for less than a fart in a basket.
and means:
It won't last long.

SSTG
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SSTG
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When someone says "I can't wrap my head around it".
Of course he can't because if he did, hell be dead or he's amazingly flexible. xD

MagicTree
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MagicTree
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A watched pot never boils;

Yes it does!
If it didn't we wouldn't be able to look at cooking Ramen and imagine justin Timberlake's old hairdo.

Terry_Logic
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Terry_Logic
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"It's raining cats and dogs." Obviously this couldn't really happen, as cats and dogs are solid carbon-based objects, and could not be evaporated by the sun's rays. Even then, once evaporated, they would no longer hold their form as cats and dogs, but rather rain down as the liquid form of what was left of these creatures, after condensing from their gas form. But that would be impossible in our atmosphere, as the land temperature would have to reach over 3600 degrees Celsius (a little over 6500 Fahrenheit) in order for a carbon-based life form to completely sublimate, and there is no life on our planet that could survive temperatures anywhere near that high, and therefore no cats or dogs would exist on a planet with such extreme temperatures. Thus, the very idea of raining cats and dogs is scientifically impossible.

2. "Get up on the wrong side of the bed." What if your bed is against a wall?


Would you be in a good mood if you got up and faceplanted into a wall?
Minotaur55
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Minotaur55
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"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth"

How the hell is one supposed to understand this? And who thought of this? One saying I do not like. There are a lot I don't like but for now this is the only one I can think of.

Jacen96
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Jacen96
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"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth"

How the hell is one supposed to understand this? And who thought of this? One saying I do not like. There are a lot I don't like but for now this is the only one I can think of.


Most horse diseases show symptoms around this area (the major ones).

So by looking it in the mouth you are implying that the giver didn't give the best he could.

Would you be in a good mood if you got up and faceplanted into a wall?


For my bed I would be stuck between the bed and the wall, there is that perfect amount of space.

~~~Darth Caedus
StormWalker
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StormWalker
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'Oh, that's no skin off my nose.'
I know it means 'No problem' or something, but where did that even come from? It's not like anyone is asking "Can I have some of your nose skin?'. I'm friends with a lot of weird people and nobody has ever said that at all, except for me when I'm debating the point of this idiom thing. So, what, is there a condition in which people are asking certain things and it requires you to peel some skin off your nose?

'You're all pushing the envelope."
So, by not agreeing with you, I'm pushing an envelope? What, am I pushing it up your nose or in any of your facial orifices or something? 'Oh, I'm just going to disagree by pushing some paper at you."

'I've got a bone to pick with [fill in the blank].'
So, you and this random Joe were picking a bone. Were you stripping it of flesh or something and then one of you had to leave? And now you want to argue/rant at them because...of what? I don't get it.
All courtesy of my fifth grade teacher, of course.

GandalftheGrey666
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GandalftheGrey666
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"The straw that broke the camel's back."
First of all... how can a straw break a camel's back? This they somehow put 10 tons in a small straw. Second, where the hell can you find a straw in a dessert? Third, the straw would fall off the camel's back, because the camel is constantly moving and if a dessert storm happens, the straw wold fly away.

pangtongshu
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pangtongshu
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1. "Have your cake and eat it too."


This is usually said with things like relationships and whatnot. The cake would be the girl/guy (hint: don't take the idea of eating literally, please), and having her/him would be like friendship or whatever..and being able to eat it would be the next step (i.e. romantic relationship).

Or, in more harsh terms, having something and then being able to use that for its intended purpose.

-----

Annnnnndddd....I just saw the literally part..oh well, I'm still going to leave what I have so far. Blah.
Terry_Logic
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Terry_Logic
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and having her/him would be like friendship or whatever..and being able to eat it would be the next step (i.e. romantic relationship).


*Josh Peck voice* Yeah it would!

The old cake saying literally means that once you eat your cake, you won't have it anymore. You can only have it as long as you don't eat it. The reason it makes no sense when phrased the way it's phrased is because most people think about the process of eating the cake rather than the cake before and after it's eaten when they hear the phrase, which throws people off and makes them think that the proverb makes no sense. In the process of eating the cake, the cake is eaten a little at the time, so while the person is eating the cake, they still have part of the cake in front of them. This is what confuses people. When they hear "you can't have your cake and eat it too," they hear "you can't have your cake in front of you while you're eating it," instead of the better-phrased "you can't have a cake in front of you if you've already eaten it," and this makes people think, "But you have to have a cake in order to eat it!" and then they blame the proverb for being stupid. This is why our society is collapsing.
StormWalker
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"The straw that broke the camel's back."
First of all... how can a straw break a camel's back? This they somehow put 10 tons in a small straw. Second, where the hell can you find a straw in a dessert? Third, the straw would fall off the camel's back, because the camel is constantly moving and if a dessert storm happens, the straw wold fly away.

I think it refers to a camel having a big bundle of straw tied to it, and it can barely support the weight, and then the next piece of straw, no matter how little, overloaded the camel. I'm not sure.
EmperorPalpatine
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"Let the Cat Out of the Bag."

I think this comes from the 'pig in a poke' days. *checks Wiki* HOLY CRAP I WAS RIGHT! Tradesmen would sell pigs in sacks called pokes. Some were dishonest and sold cats or dogs (generally a much cheaper meat) when the buyer expected a pig. To "Let the Cat Out of the Bag" was to reveal the scheme.

'I've got a bone to pick with [fill in the blank].'

I think this started as a way of saying "I want to discuss something over dinner", as you'd be picking the bone clean of meat while talking.
stinkyjim
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2. "Get up on the wrong side of the bed." What if your bed is against a wall? What about then? I suppose in the case of a bunk bed this might make sense.

3. "Let the Cat Out of the Bag." Right off the bat, you're likely wondering "What kinda sicko puts cats in bags?" That's a good question. If you're intending not to, then you clearly have a good reason to keep it secret! Seriously, whoever made that one... clearly has some problems


First one makes sense. I usually sleep on my right side, and if I slept on my left side then I would wake up sore and grumpy.
Second one is referring to when people used to put cats in bags and throw them in rivers. It was how they got rid of unwanted pets/kittens.
stinkyjim
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stinkyjim
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"The straw that broke the camel's back."
First of all... how can a straw break a camel's back? This they somehow put 10 tons in a small straw. Second, where the hell can you find a straw in a dessert? Third, the straw would fall off the camel's back, because the camel is constantly moving and if a dessert storm happens, the straw wold fly away.


I think what people mean by that, is that the camel is already overburdened and that that was the last straw.

Which brings up an old saying that I don't understand, 'that was the last straw'. I know it means that it was the final thing that finally pushed them over the edge, but how does that relate to running out of straw?
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