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English language



  • Oops - checking on dinner and see you have all come up with so many more.

    Question remains - is the use of animal terms more prevalent in the English language than any other ?  Pity we don't have a more international base really but as this is a UK based garden forum, I shouldn't complain.image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 65,492

    Pa's version was ... a poke is  a sack ... you shouldn't buy a pig without looking at it carefully ... as my Pa who was a farmer would tell you, you need a sow to have enough teats to feed a decent sized litter and you need a boar to have strong sound back legs and trotters to support him when he 'performs his duty'.  

    So ...... check before parting with your money! image

    Last edited: 11 January 2018 17:29:09

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,214

    English is a fantastic language! It has a much larger vocabulary than many other languages and is rich in metaphor and simile. It is possible to express a wide and nuanced range of ideas, experiences and feelings, while the 'refined' and vernacular both contribute to enrich eachother. I love it!

  • Obelixx - thank you - the pig in a poke explanation rings a faint bell and I can see the Cat out of the bag in that context too. 

    We tend to use these expressions from day to day and whilst we all know what we mean, it's interesting to know how they came into being. 

  • pbffpbff Posts: 433

    Donkey's years 

    (Was originally 'Donkey's ears' - the long length of a donkey's ears used to describe a long period of time)

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,777

    Mad as a box of frogs.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 65,492

    From time to time worms turn, apparently image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • pbff - another good example of just a slight corruption - I suppose a lot are obvious when you really think about it but it's interesting to know the origin.  

    Not altogether sure this was a good idea...........I swear I could have listed from A to Z when I started this thread but then ?????image

    However, not just the usage but why ?  

    In a more modern context, we say someone has trumped someone - was there a Trump before that well loved figure presently in the White House ?  I imagine we already know the other word for trump  but I'll leave that to everyone's imaginationimage

    Lyn - I'd forgotten that one but again why ?  It is very descriptive but why would we associate frogs/box/mad ? Weird really.

    Thanks to all who have humoured me so far - as usual, you learn something new every day on this forum.

  • Thick as 2 short planks

    Thick as thieves 

    Face like a back of bus (used predominately in the Black Country) 

  • Correction

    Face like a back of a bus 

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