Thursday, 31 August 2017

Fun Philosophy

Over a year ago the British voted to leave the European Union and not a day goes by without it being somewhere in the news. Whatever your thoughts on the matter you can't have missed all the debates and questions that appear daily.
The British have been accused of 'wanting their cake and eating it' and today they were arguing about paying for 'everything including the kitchen sink.'
This reminded me of how often my mum and dad used these one liners to express their opinions.
Maybe they say a lot about a nation. British people will often say about something they are not sure about, 'it's not really my cup of tea.' When translated into another language these one line philosophies could sound quite funny.

My earliest memories involve hearing my parents talk to each other using a variety of these expressions. I would be playing with my dolls and their voices would quietly drift around me, comforting and reassuring with their soft tones.

'Old Fred has bitten off more than he can chew.'
'Well Betty always did have a bee in her bonnet about that .'
'It's the pot calling the kettle black really.'
'Well you know what they say about the early worm.'
'Don't beat about the bush and tell me what's the matter.'
'Ah, the other man's grass is always greener.'
'John's over the moon about his new job.'
'I think you're barking up the wrong tree.'

And so on, a seemingly endless supply of phrases to express in a calm way what was going on around them.

Their favourite ones to say to me while growing up were.-

'you can't put old heads on young shoulders'
'familiarity breeds contempt.'
'Actions speak louder than words'.
'Two wrongs don't make a right.
"Practice makes perfect.'
'Don't bite off more than you can chew.'
'Look before you leap.'
'Walls have ears'
'Keep wise counsel.'

Back to Brexit and having your cake and eating it, my mum and dad would say that too, to mean you can't have everything. It seemed it a bit strange because why would you have a cake and not want to eat it? It would go stale.
As for the kitchen sink one in the paper today, that would be used if we were going on holiday and there was too much luggage.

Just one final one tat is always good to remember, 'where there's a will, there's a way.'

Barking up the wrong day, a gentle reminder that you might just have got it wrong

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful expressions. I would forget these if it weren't for my teaching. They come into the highest level English proficiency exam :) The one my mother always used to use to us was 'if wishes were horses then beggars would ride'. Thanks for a lovely post, as always, Angela!