I mentioned proverbs last week, Irish proverbs.
Some of them are beautiful, some a little mysterious.
But some English language sayings baffle me completely.
For example, what possible sense could there be in saying that it’s a good thing people are getting on “like a house on fire.”
Great. You two are so friendly that it’s just like inhaling smoke, losing your home and possessions and causing a fire crew to risk their lives putting out the blaze.
And how would you feel if you told a friend you were feeling “below par,” and he or she responded by saying. “That’s great news.” Turns out, they were golfers.
‘The best things in life are free” and “God helps those who help themselves” are sayings, neither of which would stand up in court as a defence for shoplifting.
“Cheaters never win and winners never cheat.” Lance Armstrong. Ben Johnson. Tonya Harding. Hanse Cronje. Donald Crowhurst. Donald Trump. Thierry Henry…..!!!!
“Christmas comes but once a year.” Maybe. But it’s for four months.
(The photograph was taken in August last year in BT.)
“All Roads lead to Rome.” Not much use if you’re trying to get to Donnycarney.
“If you lie with dogs you’ll rise with fleas.” Not once. And Penny sleeps at the end of the bed.
“A trouble shared is a trouble halved.” Not in my experience. Mostly a trouble shared results in me being told to stop moaning.
“People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Probably safe enough if you’re IN the glass house throwing them out. Mind you, Spike’s version was better. “People who live in glass houses should pull down the blinds before removing their trousers.”
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Sorry,” you tell the person at the checkout in Dunnes. “Could I have a separate basked for each of those eggs please?”
“Practise makes perfect.” Have you heard me play the guitar?
“Good things come to those who wait.” So where’s my Lottery win?
There are lots of them.
I suppose they do no harm.
And after all “A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.”
If you can figure that one out, do let me know!