The idiotic joys of idioms!

Idioms are not only great fun, they also cast fresh light on the less rational workings of the human mind. Why do we say “I’m not pulling your leg?” OR “He kicked  the bucket”? I don’t mean etymologically. I mean logically. Why do we use idioms?

I’m not hanging noodles on your ears means the same as I’m not pulling your leg used by Russians. They’re just nonsensical and they’re not alone!

To seize the moon by the teeth – Attempt the impossible (French)

To reheat cabbage – To rekindle an old flame (Italian)

When the crayfish sings on the mountain – Never! (Russian)

Cleaner than a frog’s armpit – To be poor, broke (Spanish)

To think one is the last suck of the mango – To be conceited (South American Spanish)

Onions should grow in your navel – A mild insult (Yiddish)

Brew tea from dirt under another’s fingernails – To learn a bitter lesson (Japanese)

Belch smoke from the seven orifices of the head – To be furious (Chinese)

The definition of an idiom is a phrase whose meaning isn’t clear from the words in it. What a bizarrely illogical way to communicate. Idioms are curious turns of phrase that require a sudden turn of meaning. As well as being illogical, idioms are idiotic. They are a form of private expression. They are cryptic language puzzles, solvable only if you already know the answer in advance.

Some examples that I think very rare being used or spoken of :

A DOUBTING THOMAS [ A skeptic who needs physical or personal evidence in order to believe something ]

BEAT A DEAD HORSE [ To force an issue that has already ended ]

CHARLEY HORSE [ Stiffness in the leg/ A leg cramp ]

DOOZY [ Something outstanding ]

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER [ The hottest days of the summer season ]

EXCUSE MY FRENCH [ Please forgive me for cussing ]

FUDDY-DUDDY [ An old-fashioned and foolish type of person ]

FULL MONTY [ This one can mean either “the whole thing” or “completely nude” ]

FUNNY FARM [ A mental institutional facility ]

GRAVEYARD SHIFT [ Working hours from about 1200AM to 0800AM. The time of the day when most other people are sleeping ]

HAVE AN AXE TO GRIND [ To have a dispute with someone ]

IN THE BUFF [ Nude ]

IF IT’S NOT ONE THING, IT’S ANOTHER [ When one thing goes wrong, then another, and another… ]

JAYWALK [ Crossing the street (from the middle) without using the crosswalk ]

JOSHING ME [ Tricking me! ]

KICK THE BUCKET [ Die ]

LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE [ To avoid restarting a conflict ]

METHOD TO MY MADNESS [ Strange or crazy actions that appear meaningless but in the end are done for a good reason ]

MAKE NO BONES ABOUT [ To state a fact so there are no doubts or objections ]

NEW YORK MINUTE [ A minute that seems to go by quickly, especially in a fast paced environment ]

NO DICE [ To not agree. To not accept a proposition ]

NOT PLAYING WITH A FULL DECK [ Someone who lacks intelligence ]

PEDAL TO THE METAL [ To go full speed, especially while driving a vehicle ]

PUT A SOCK IN IT [ To tell noisy person or a group to be quiet ]

QUEER THE PITCH [ Destroy or ruin a plan ]

RULE OF THUMB [ A rough estimate ]

SCOT-FREE [ To escape and not have to pay ]

SMELL A RAT [ To detect someone in the group is betraying the others ]

SOUTHPAW [ Someone who is left-handed ]

THIRD TIMES A CHARM [ After no success the first two times, the third try is a lucky one ]

TONGUE AND CHEEK [ Humour, not to be taken seriously ]

TWENTY THREE SKIDOO [ To be turned away ]

UP A BLIND ALLEY [ Going down a course of action that leads to a bad outcome ]

USE YOUR LOAF [ Use your head. Think smart ]

VAN GOGH’S EAR FOR MUSIC [ Tone deaf! ]

WHEN PIG’S FLY [ Something that will never ever happen ]

WILD AND WOOLLY [ Uncultured and without laws ]

YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS MINE [ I have no idea ]

ZERO TOLERANCE [ No crime or law breaking big or small will be overlooked ]

So now, there you go the ABCs joys of idioms. Use it wisely and if you do come across ones that you find interesting and as idiotic it may seems, holla at me!! 😉

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