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  1. #51
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    Default Re: Idiom : "When pigs fly"

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    I think you were thinking of not in this lifetime. Also, over my dead body adds a personal aspect to it that the other expression does not. It means that the speaker is going to prevent whatever it is from happening or give up his life trying.

    :)
    Yes, I was, and thanks.

    BMO

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    I rather like that expression cries wine and sells vinegar. Maybe it will catch on here. :wink:

    (Selling a pig in a poke would certainly be quite different from buying a pig in a poke.)

    :)
    Okay, okay, let me start:

    He cries wine and sells vinegar - What he says he is selling is not what the buyer gets. The man yells, "Buy good wine! Buy good wine!" but it is vinegar inside the jar.

    EX: The tour organizer cries wine and sells vinegar. The so-called five-star, modern, tourist hotel advertised in the colorful brochure turned out to be a shack in a back alley in Bangkok.

    Buying a pig in a poke - Check before you buy, or you don't know what you are getting.

    The old-fashioned, arranged, marriages of the old Chinese custom could be full of surprises. It was buying a pig in a poke, the newlyweds could be in a real shock when they saw each other the first time at the wedding.

    Here is a story of a successful match-making. The man was hunchbacked, and the woman was hare-lipped. The matchmaker arranged a meeting where the man came riding on a horse galloping by, while the woman carried a flower covering her lips. Both like what they saw but were surprised at the wedding when the faults were uncovered. (Buying a pig in a poke?)

    BMO

  3. #53
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Caveat emptor.

  4. #54
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    :D :D :D :D :D


    BMO,
    That was a very good example.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmo
    You are welcome. I think Chinese's "Hanging up a goat head and selling dog meat" fits very, very well with "He cries wine and sells vinegar." Both are deceiving scheme and the first parts, hanging up a goat head and he cries wine, are all done out in the open. And in each instance, two things are involved, goat head, dog meat; wine, vinegar.

    I am still trying to figure out if "selling a pig in a poke" is close to a deceit. We know "buying a pig in a poke" isn't. Let's say you bought an old painting in a flea market without checking it out carefully and it turned out to be a Rembrandt . The seller wasn't cheating you, on the contray, he was the loser. What about if the pig in the poke you bought is a two-headed pig you could exhibit in a circus and make money with.

    Selling a pig in a poke is selling an unknown package to people, the seller is not telling you what is inside, but that package may have some goodies in it.

    How about Chinese "An ugly toad dreams of eating swan meat," an impossible and unrealistic dream?

    BMO
    Indeed.
    If an ugly toad can eat swan meat, that'll be a fresh flower stuck in feces. :?

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmo
    EX: The tour organizer cries wine and sells vinegar. The so-called five-star, modern, tourist hotel advertised in the colorful brochure turned out to be a shack in a back alley in Bangkok.
    I would say that is a good example of that idiom. (I don't think we have a comparable one in English unless it's bait and switch.)

    Quote Originally Posted by bmo
    Buying a pig in a poke - Check before you buy, or you don't know what you are getting.

    The old-fashioned, arranged, marriages of the old Chinese custom could be full of surprises. It was buying a pig in a poke, the newlyweds could be in a real shock when they saw each other the first time at the wedding.
    That is a good example of that idiom. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by bmo
    Here is a story of a successful match-making. The man was hunchbacked, and the woman was hare-lipped. The matchmaker arranged a meeting where the man came riding on a horse galloping by, while the woman carried a flower covering her lips. Both like what they saw but were surprised at the wedding when the faults were uncovered. (Buying a pig in a poke?)

    BMO
    I think there might be different opinions on whether that was a successful match. The matchmaker was happy, but were the bride and groom happy? (Buying a pig in a poke, yep.)

    :)

    (Say: "came riding by on a horse")

    :)

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Quote Originally Posted by bmo
    EX: The tour organizer cries wine and sells vinegar. The so-called five-star, modern, tourist hotel advertised in the colorful brochure turned out to be a shack in a back alley in Bangkok.
    I would say that is a good example of that idiom. (I don't think we have a comparable one in English unless it's bait and switch.)

    (Say: "came riding by on a horse")

    :)
    He cries wine, and sells vinegar is originally an Italian proverb, according to www.worldofquotes.com. Of the 21 listings shown in a Google search, almost all of them are from Asian idiom sites. Since very few English speakers know this idiom, its listings in Asain sites are puzzling.

    I think perhaps this is because the proverb fits nicely into a very popular Chinese idiom, "Hanging up goat head and selling dog meat," one Sabrina first mentioned. (And Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese borrow the Chinese idiom.)

    BMO

  8. #58
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    ""Hanging up goat's heads and selling dog meat" does, no doubt, mean that the seller is advertising one thing and selling another. (Apparently, goat meat is considered preferable to dog meat.) I don't think that particular expression will catch on here (USA).

    :)

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    Quote Originally Posted by bmo

    How about Chinese "An ugly toad dreams of eating swan meat," an impossible and unrealistic dream?

    BMO
    Indeed.
    If an ugly toad can eat swan meat, that'll be a fresh flower stuck in feces. :?
    "People in hell want ice water" is an unrealistic wish. Christians believe hell is a fiery place, and water is hard to come by, but they are some who want more than water, they want ice water.

    Example: Mom, can I have ten cookies instead for breakfast this morning? No. People in hell want ice water, finish the eggs and sausages before they get cold.

    Chinese's "An ugly toad dreams of eating swan meat" fits into this idiom although it usually describes an ugly man wanting to marry a beautiful woman.

    Teachers, is there an idiom describing an extreme contrast, like a very beautiful woman marries an ugly man? Chinese calls it, "A fresh flower stuck in cow feces?" (As Sabrina mentioned above.)

    Come to think of it, Chinese don't believe in "Beauty is skin deep," do they?

    BMO

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee

    (Say: "came riding by on a horse")

    :)
    Thanks. I can also say, "gallopped by on a horse," right?

    BMO

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