Wednesday, February 17, 2016

5 Common Sayings I Don't Get

In general, I have to say that I have a deep love and respect for the English language because it's what I spent thousands of dollars on majored in when I was in college.

And I do, really. But there are many parts of the English language that I just don't understand. Such as when people say the following phrases to me:

1. "It's always in the last place you look."


Uh, yeah it is. Literally every time I'm looking for something, I stop after looking in the place where I find it. So weird.

I just can't trust a phrase that poses as a witty truism when really, it's nothing more than a benign observation.

2. "Better is the enemy of good enough."


Phillip says this to me all the time when I'm tweaking a project. I think he says it just to bug me.

Because the obvious answer to that is, "No silly, it's the other way around: Good enough is the enemy of better. Every perfectionist knows that."

3. "Don't worry about the dishes and the laundry, they'll still be there tomorrow."


Dear person saying this to me: I believe you're confused about the reason behind my anxiety.

On the surface I may appear to be distressed about the very real possibility that my housework will evaporate overnight, but that isn't actually so.

I'm afraid that my family is in serious danger of being buried underneath piles of filthy plates and/or clothes so high they collapsed beneath their own weight, and that no survivors will ever be found.

But thank you for trying to comfort me, anyway. I appreciate the sentiment.

5 Common Sayings I Don't Get -- I love the English language, I do, but I cannot for the life of me understand when people say these phrases to me.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

4. "Bob's your uncle." 


What the heck does this even mean? I've never heard a real person say it out loud before, under any circumstances, probably because nobody else knows what it means, either.

Phillip has started using it as you might use a curse word, just for fun, and the best part is that nobody can correct him.

5. "There's more than one way to skin a cat." 


Who skins cats? And why? What kind of a weirdo does this, and especially why would he invent more than one method?

Also, just practically speaking, isn't there only one way, which is removing the skin? Clearly I've thought about this one way too much. I need a shower.

And those are the five English language phrases that make my face go like this:


5 Common Sayings I Don't Get -- I love the English language, I do, but I cannot for the life of me understand when people say these phrases to me.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

What common sayings don't you get?

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25 comments:

  1. Hahahaha I was literally laughing out loud at these ones. I never noticed the benign observation of the "it's always in the last place you look" until you pointed it out!

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  2. I'm cracking up!! I'm giving a standing ovation to #3. You nailed it.

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  3. "all that glitters is not gold" actually means the opposite of what people want to say. What people want to say is "not everything that is glittery is also gold." - that is, there are some things that exist that are glittery and at the same time not gold. The saying really translates as : all glittery things can't be gold - so that every single thing that is glittery is not gold. (For the logicians out there, the universal quantifier was negated incorrectly.)

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  4. #3 made me burst into belly laughs! Good thing I live alone!
    I say #5.
    I love your "face"!!

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  5. Um my kids actually do have an uncle Bob, but I have never had someone say that to me. Do you think it is like an area kind of thing, because right now there is this sausage song my kids are singing from school, but no one else anywhere is singing it. Lucky me right?

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    1. Mine have a Grandpa Bob! My kids haven't introduced me to the sausage song yet, but I'll be on the lookout. Maybe if I introduce them to it and they introduce their friends, our family will be trendsetters!

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  6. Haha, I'm with you on these. Especially the skinning a cat one. I mean, ick!

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  7. I think my main concern IS that the dishes and laundry will still be there tomorrow if I don't worry about them...

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  8. I confess that as someone who also spent thousands of dollars on an English degree I never heard of #2. Sorry! Which brings me to sorry, not sorry. People say that and I get confused. Is that funny? A saying?

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    1. Ugh. I've only read it on the Internet so I don't think it's a spoken phrase - yet. But just like "hashtag" it probably will become one. I think it's supposed to be funny, but to me it just sounds like a 13-year-old talking back to her mom.

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  9. Ha! I like #1. So true! And I've never thought about that... Also #3. Too funny. I don't get that either.

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  10. I do stress about chores sometimes, then I remember I don't have time to stress so I cry over a bowl of icecream

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  11. Ha! Love this :) The first one is a particularly annoying one!

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    1. I've just chuckled my away through this again, nodding my head :) Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

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  12. Ah English - such a silly language. I've always rather liked 'bob's your uncle' just for the ridiculous nonsense of it. My friends mum makes a delicious 'Bob's your uncle pudding' No idea what goes into it but I think the idea is you just throw things in a dish, mix it round with some cream and, well, Bob's your uncle! Great post. x #theprompt

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  13. This is brilliant! And so very true!! I am really with you on number 2. I have to say that whenever someone says Bobs your Uncle to me I always follow it with Anne's your Gran - that is because it is my mums name and she is a gran to 7! #ThePrompt

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    1. Perfect, because it makes exactly the same amount of sense!

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  14. Lol! I love a good nonsense saying! :D

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  15. Ha Ha - loved this post and your pic says it all :) Saying hi through the Prompt linky and now I've found you I'm sure I'll be back! Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

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  16. Ha ha ha ha so hilarious!! Thanks for a good laugh. It's phrases like these that make me feel bad for esl students!

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  17. #4 is very common here but I didn't know where it came from. So, as I'm stupidly behind on blog visits anyway I looked it up!

    http://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/lessons/why-do-we-say-bobs-your-uncle

    My family always follow it up with "and Fanny's your aunt!" but that one is lost on me!

    Great post for #theprompt :)

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  18. So glad you reposted this!It reminded me of something I wanted to write the first time I saw it and then forgot about. I've decided to make it a meme instead. I will tag you in it as my inspiration when it posts.

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  19. My Mom LOVED #3. BTW - we're still looking for her . . . ; )

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