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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default Confusing phrases

    Sir/Madam,
    I am a translator want-to-be from non English spoken country. Could you please answer my confusion?
    What are the meanings for each of these items?

    1. Eager fingers squeeze juice out of grapevine.
    2. Pay the two dollars
    3. Full of yourself
    4. Preaching to the choir
    5. Set something on its ear
    6. Playing patty-cake
    7. Two-stop light
    8. Mean-edge.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    3. Full of yourself - big-headed
    4. Preaching to the choir - saying things to people who already belive them.
    6. Playing patty-cake - a children's game involving patting hands against each other
    8. Mean-edge. a creulstreak

    I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the others, but they are probably AE and I'm British.

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    Default Re: Confusing phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by upiupik
    Sir/Madam,
    I am a translator wannabe from a non-English speaking country. Could you please answer my question? What are the meanings for each of these items?
    1. Eager fingers squeeze juice out of grapevine.
    => a person who lacks patience; to want to do something before its time. One must wait for the grapes to grow before one can squeeze the grape juice from the grape.

    2. Pay the two dollars
    => Pay the unnecessary amount/fee; do the unnecessary task.

    4. Preaching to the choir
    => It's the preacher's job to convert non-believes (people who don't believe in God) into believers (people who believe in God). If a person is part of the church's choir (a group of people who praise God by singing), then that person is already a believer in God, and so the preacher need to try to convert them into believers; When I say "She is preaching to the choir" I mean that I believe her, that I agree with her, that I support her idea(s); In other words, she (the preacher) doesn't need so spend so much time and energy to convince me (a choir member) of something I already believe in, agree with, and support.

    5. Set something on its ear
    => To turn something sideways figuratively so as to confuse it.

    7. Two-stop light
    => As in "two stop light" town; A town that has two traffic lights only means, a very small town.

    :D

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    In BE we often say 'preaching to the converted'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    In BE we often say 'preaching to the converted'.
    You've converted me. :wink:

  6. #6
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    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Confusing phrases

    Quote Originally Posted by upiupik
    I am a translator want-to-be from non English spoken country. Could you please answer my confusion?
    We clear up confusion or dispel confusion. We answer questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by upiupik
    What are the meanings for each of these items?
    Say:
    • What are the meanings for each of these sayings/expressions?


    Quote Originally Posted by upiupik
    Pay the two dollars
    That could have been meant literally. Absent context, there is no way to tell. Possible scenario:
    • Mary: Sam says I owe him two dollars. What should I do?
      John: Do you owe him two dollars?
      Mary: Yes.
      John: Pay the two dollars.


    Quote Originally Posted by upiupik
    Full of yourself
    Someone who is full of himself is obsessed with his own feelings of importance.

    Quote Originally Posted by upiupik
    Playing patty-cake
    Absence context, it is impossible to tell if that one is meant literally or figuratively.

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