Common Idioms/Expressions That Never Made Sense To You

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
HG131 said:
Worgen said:
making history, I hate that term, you dont make history, history happens, at best you put a footnote in it
I hate to be cynical, ok no I don't, but you do make history. History doesn't happen, it is distorted, changed and modified. Out of all of America, how many people know about the WW2 Japanese Internment Camps? My point exactly, history didn't happen, it was made without that embarrassing little fact.
no history happens and certain events and actions stand out enough to be noted in it

my main annoyance with the phrase comes from the ironically named history channel (very little of whats on it now is real history) and they love to say so and so made history all the damn time
 

Nouw

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Worgen said:
making history, I hate that term, you dont make history, history happens, at best you put a footnote in it
Hitler begs to differ =P

I guess 'Hold down the fort' doesn't make sense but sounds alright.
Yes I saw that video about '_____ letter to America' xD
 

JUMBO PALACE

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Aby_Z said:
"All but [x]"

For example: "The building was all but destroyed."
You'd think this would mean that the building was still up, but damaged in many other ways, etc. Nope. Time and time again, I've seen this phrase used to say that the thing in question is [x]. Thusly, the above example means that the building has been destroyed.
Well then the person is just using the expression wrong. It is supposed to mean that the building is still standing.

And I agree with the posts above about "Could care less"
 

Azdron

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I believe the path the heaven is paved with good DEEDS, rather than good intentions. and the phrase is coined to illustrate the difference between what you meant to do and what you actually did.

Also I think the bird in the hand thing is supposed to be a metaphor for the time value of money (could just be my tertiary education speaking) where the value of having something now is added on to the actual value when calculating the value of having more later. Its one of the few aspects of accounting that actually held my attention.
 

newguy77

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emeraldrafael said:
I've always thought of the road to hell one referring to thinking about the consequences of your actions before you take them.

OT: Sure, I'll just go with could care less, like everyone else.
 

Fetzenfisch

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mazzjammin22 said:
Fetzenfisch said:
mazzjammin22 said:
"It's like trying to have your cake and eat it too."

Why wouldn't I want to eat cake that I have?
Because you than would not have cake anymore
So...it's the decision of whether to eat a cake now or later? I guess that makes sense.
Its just that having cake and eating cake are good things in their way, but you cant have both.
A better metaphor would perhaps be selling a car and driving it.
 

JC123

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Worgen said:
making history, I hate that term, you dont make history, history happens, at best you put a footnote in it.
I would have thought it was rather obvious - History is only the "important" events, to "make history" is to create something, do something etc that would be worthy of passing on to future generations rather than just acting normal and being nobody. Since your actions lead to the recording of that event, you "make" history. It could also be used as in "making the team." I.E. You made the cut and are included in the history books.

zidine100 said:
at the end of the day.

no its not the bloody end of the day, look at your watch..... oh well that's mabie a bad example, but you get what im meaning. no that makes no sence what so ever at the end of the day your argument is still going to be the same as the start of the day so why are you bringing up the time it makes no logical sense and has no meaning, confirmation or even relevance to your argument.
unless of course you are arguing about what your going to be doing at the end of the day, but come on im talking about the saying here.

bleh i just dont understand how people could even use that saying.
It means "In review," and is usually used in an argument to say "That is correct, but later, it will be shown to mean very little to the bigger outcome." Given your complete lack of grammar and spelling though, I would expect that a lot in this world is beyond your understanding.

emeraldrafael said:
OT: hm.... I never got "a bird in hand is worth two in the bush," mainly cause what purpose does a bird in my hand have? If its dead, is it still worth the two in the bush?
Something you have is worth twice as much as the possibility of it. A bird in your hand is one you have already caught for whatever purpose. There are more in the bush, but since they are only possibilities, they're not worth as much. I.E. You'd pay $1000 for a TV, but you wouldn't pay that much for a ticket in a raffle for the same TV.

emeraldrafael said:
Tht and "the path to hell is paved with good intentions." Does that mean that the path to heaven is paved in bad intentions? That you shouldnt do good and you go to heaven?
A lot of bad has been done with good intentions to begin with. Consider the overthrowing of a political leader for "the good of the people" that then leads to a dictatorship with worse conditions. The path to heaven would also be paved with good intentions, but the phrase is pointing out that intentions don't matter, it's the actions that measure your worth.

DragonsAteMyMarbles said:
"That's a different kettle of fish".
Who puts fish in a kettle?!
In the eighteenth century, a kettle was any large vessel used to boil things in.

acclimation pirate said:
To sound less smrts. "Red Herring" has always confused me (i.e. Never bothered to look it up)
Refers to the training of scent hounds. "Red" herring has been strongly cured in brine or heavily smoked, and has a very strong smell, and they used it to train puppies how to follow, and later to try and confuse the trails of foxes to further train adult dogs.
 

SkyeNeko

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Nouw said:
Worgen said:
making history, I hate that term, you dont make history, history happens, at best you put a footnote in it
Hitler begs to differ =P

I guess 'Hold down the fort' doesn't make sense but sounds alright.
Yes I saw that video about '_____ letter to America' xD
prevent it from being 'everything but destroyed' xD
 

Drakane

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[quote="Red Right Hand"

Any reason why I was quoted as well? I was talking about "To have your cake and eat it too".[/quote]

I may have missed an original post of yours, just saw your quote of the quote octa saying something about 3rd wheel v 5th wheel that also explained the "have your cake and eat it too", so I didn't know if your understanding of the saying was subsequent of further explanation of the cake statement or the original subject matter of the 3rd/5th wheel
 

Mr Montmorency

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A pot calling a kettle black.

It's been explained to me that apparently a pot is black and a kettle is black, but I never understood why, when they're not always black and that "a pot calling a kettle black" sounds incredibly stupid way of expressing euphemism for hypocrisy. Not to mention that anyone who says it usually comes off as a total prick when saying, "You know what we call people like you? A pot calling a kettle black".
 

Drakane

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Red Right Hand said:
Drakane said:
Red Right Hand said:
octafish said:
badgersprite said:
Am I the only person who finds the term "third wheel" to not make any sense? Being a third wheel means being extraneous, getting in the way, and basically ruining a good time, but that analogy never rang true to me. I mean, think about it; on a tricycle, doesn't the third wheel actually make the trike stable? Aren't tricycles much steadier in comparison to bikes, and a lot harder to knock over? Don't airplanes use three wheels for landing precisely because that is the most stable arrangement?

Two wheels seem rickety and more prone to accidents. And aren't there now three wheeled boles that let you peddle while lying down? That seems way more comfortable! I WANT a third wheel. It sounds appealing.

Anyway, that's me being overly literal with a figure of speech. How about you? What common phrases make absolutely no sense to you?
Who the fuck says third wheel? The saying is fifth wheel. As in a extraneous wheel that isn't doing anything.

Oh and for the fools who are going to bring up "To have your cake and eat it" Here is a cake just for you... You have your cake right, now give it to me... Thank you, you can have it back. Now eat it... Would you like a glass of milk?... Ok you've eaten it, now give it to me... What you can't? You've eaten it? You don't have it any more? Don't you have your cake?
That makes a whole lot of sense now. I'm slightly embarassed to have not thought of that already though...
I've always heard it as being the third wheel not 5th wheel. An unneeded and often unwanted addition that though in some circumstances is helpful makes shit way less fun. Sure a tricycle is more stable then a bicycle but its still not how most prefer to ride a "bike" once they are comfortable w/ 2 wheels.
Any reason why I was quoted as well? I was talking about "To have your cake and eat it too".
I may have missed an original post of yours, but the quoted text I saw of yours had both an explanation of 3rd wheel/5th wheel I had never heard and disagreed w/... ie what i commented on, as well as an explanation of having your cake and eating it too.. so you got lumped in w/ my response. Also, I am pretty crappy w/ forums so curtailing my quote to just you, like I wanted in this response is a bit difficult for me.

Edit: this may be seen in the fact that I pretty much double posted trying to edit my first mess up, sorry
 

Drakane

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Mr Montmorency said:
A pot calling a kettle black.

It's been explained to me that apparently a pot is black and a kettle is black, but I never understood why, when they're not always black and that "a pot calling a kettle black" sounds incredibly stupid way of expressing euphemism for hypocrisy. Not to mention that anyone who says it usually comes off as a total prick when saying, "You know what we call people like you? A pot calling a kettle black".
The original color of the pot/kettle is of no difference. From my understanding, this an old saying from back when everything was cooked on open flame/coal. So after being used a pot or kettle will become black w/ suit, thus a pot calling a kettle black means they would both be black from being used in the same way. ie. A drunk guy walks up to another drunk in the bar... Haha your fucking drunk! Well, aint that the pot calling the kettle black!. Though being different in shape and purpose, kettle v pot, they are both drunk, blackened by suit from use, so it is the pot calling the kettle black.
 

zombiestrangler

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This reminds me of a bit James P. Connolly does with sayings like this. He talked about changing them to something like:
"A friend in need...is a bloodsucking leech."
"You know what they say about big feet...probably a clown."
"A penny saved...is a really crappy savings plan."

OT: Sh*t-eating grin. I'll leave it at that.
 

thedoclc

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Worgen said:
I guess 'Hold down the fort' doesn't make sense but sounds alright.
Yes I saw that video about '_____ letter to America' xD
Sure it does. Hold in that phrase is like hold in the phrase, "hold this position." Holding down the fort would be an order to defend it as a garrison, so the phrase means, "take care of this place while I'm gone," and is also a farewell.

JourneyThroughHell said:
I would go with "could care less", too. There might be a reason why some people say it like that, I can't know, but I still just doesn't sound right.
Stephen Pinker discussed this in his book The Language Instinct as an aside, when he was criticizing "language mavens." His explanation was that some people missed its sarcastic tone, based on where syllables are stressed and the falling intonation.

Have one's cake and eat it too. Have as in possess, not consume. See, if I eat the cake, I can't have it any more; it's gone. I could recover it after eating it, but what I'll have is certainly not what I'd call cake.

The exception that proves the rule. This one annoys me because it gets misused and is based on an archaic definition of prove. It means the exception that challenges the rule, not the exception that confirms the rule. It's proof like the Provings in DA:O or in Aberdeen Proving Grounds. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating," as in, the correct test for a pudding is how it tastes.

I'd say "All but X" is the phrase I don't get. Yeah, sure, you could twist it to mean "It went as far as it could before X," or something like that, but it's just an odd phrase. And yes, the meaning is clear, but it still sounds odd.
 

Lukeje

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Father Time said:
I've undoubtedly been ninja's with these but

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Apparently Geico has no idea what the hell it means either.
It's best to have caught one bird than to try and get two and have them both escape. It's a hunting analogy.
Also

A stitch in time saves nine. What the hell is a stitch in time and what exactly is it saving nine of?
It saves nine stitches, i.e. extraneous work that could have been avoided if you'd mended the thing when it was only a little bit broken.