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Thread: walls have ears

  1. #1
    maiabulela is offline Senior Member
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    Default walls have ears

    Can you please, give me more idioms that mean "Walls have ears" some famous ones?

    Thanks.

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    stanislaw.masny is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: walls have ears

    Quote Originally Posted by maiabulela View Post
    Can you please, give me more idioms that mean "Walls have ears" some famous ones?

    Thanks.
    Hi
    I have only one of Arabic origin: 'A secret is like a dove; when it leaves my hand it takes wing'.
    S.M.
    Last edited by stanislaw.masny; 16-May-2010 at 19:52.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: walls have ears

    'Careless talk costs lives' was used in the war as a slogan with a similar meaning and is still used sometimes.

  4. #4
    digitS''s Avatar
    digitS' is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: walls have ears

    Tdol, there is also the caption, "Loose Lips Sink Ships" from World War 2 posters.

    Are you thinking about the issue of keeping secrets, maiabulela?

    Here is a well-known quotation in the United States:
    Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. ~ Benjamin Franklin

    My grandmother often used a saying common to her generation: "Little pictures have big ears." It was difficult for the children to realize that she was refering to them, listening to the adult conversations.

    Steve

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    Seeker Liu is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: walls have ears

    Quote Originally Posted by stanislaw.masny View Post
    Hi
    I have only one of Arabic origin: 'A secret is like a dove; when it leaves my hand it takes wing'.
    S.M.
    I think, this saying is not the same as what maiabulela mentioned.

    "A secret is like a dove; when it leaves my hand it take wing" maybe, I think, means that to keep secret is difficult. And it also means when you tell a secret to some others, more people will know it quickly.

    "walls have ears" means, perhaps, that you must pay attention yourself's secret, not to let another to know your secret. Sometimes you will give your secret to another unconsciously.

  6. #6
    Seeker Liu is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: walls have ears

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    'Careless talk costs lives' was used in the war as a slogan with a similar meaning and is still used sometimes.
    Hi. Tdol.
    Does "Careless talk costs lives" mean that gossip makes no sense, or that gossip cost expensively, maybe about time, money, or other else. I don't know what exactly it stands for?

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    Default Re: walls have ears

    I have seen an English war poster with two talking soldiers behind the wall and a big ear at this wall. The poster was subtitled "Careless talk costs lives". England and America won the Second World War thanks to their military intelligences and inducing their enemies into error.
    Some big operations (landing at Normandy for instance) would not be possible if anyone spoke about it carelessly.

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is online now Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: walls have ears

    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker Liu View Post
    Hi. Tdol.
    Does "Careless talk costs lives" mean that gossip makes no sense, or that gossip cost expensively, maybe about time, money, or other else. I don't know what exactly it stands for?
    '...costs lives' means 'people may die because of it'. As Tdol said, this expression is still used as a general warning about gossip. The other phrase that has been mentioned - 'Loose lips sink ships' - isn't. It just applied during the war (especially for a country like the UK that imports a lot of food).

    b

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: walls have ears

    Quote Originally Posted by digitS' View Post
    Tdol, there is also the caption, "Loose Lips Sink Ships" from World War 2 posters.

    Are you thinking about the issue of keeping secrets, maiabulela?

    Here is a well-known quotation in the United States:
    Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. ~ Benjamin Franklin

    My grandmother often used a saying common to her generation: "Little pictures have big ears." It was difficult for the children to realize that she was refering to them, listening to the adult conversations.

    Steve
    Little "pitchers" is the phrase. Like a pitcher you'd serve lemonade in versus the one you'd serve cream for you coffee in.

    Compared to the size of the human hand, the handle stays about the same size. But viewed in relation to the size of the pitcher, it looked like the little pitcher had big ears (the hole for your finger to go through in order to grab it.)

    Little pitchers have big ears.

    Can mean anything from "don't tell secrets around children" to "watch your language or the neighborhood kinds will be cussing since you are."

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