Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain

    • Join Date: May 2015
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    Proverb meaning: "Don't carry water carts on both shoulders".

    Dear all,

    I have a selection of proverbs which I need to find the meaning of and I have been researching endlessly but cannot find anything.

    Does anybody know the meaning of this proverb?

    Thank you.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain

    • Join Date: May 2015
    • Posts: 2
    #2

    Re: Proverb meaning: "Don't carry water carts on both shoulders".

    Hi all,

    If it helps, I have to pick which two proverbs are similar in meaning.

    These are the other ones and where I could find the meanings, I have included them as footnotes here:

    A: A person without money is a bow without an arrow[H1] . B: Money is a merry fellow. C: Fine words butter no parsnips.[H2] D: Don’t try to carry water carts on both shoulders. E. The hot coal burns; the cold one blackens. [H3]

    [H1]Ability requires opportunity and resources in order to show its worth.


    [H2]Nothing is achieved by empty promises or flattery.
    [H3]“Extremes of anything can be detrimental;” “There may be bad aspects to things that appear good.”




    Thank you.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 3,592
    #3

    Re: Proverb meaning: "Don't carry water carts on both shoulders".

    I don't. It makes no sense. People don't generally carry carts on their shoulders. It's like saying "Don't put a garage in your pocket."
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain

    • Join Date: Sep 2014
    • Posts: 173
    #4

    Re: Proverb meaning: "Don't carry water carts on both shoulders".

    Not A Teacher.

    I have not heard of it either, it seems to mean do not take too much of a burden on to your shoulders at any time. However does it mean a literal weight or is it metaphorical weight of worry or stress?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,888
    #5

    Re: Proverb meaning: "Don't carry water carts on both shoulders".

    Could it be A & B as they both imply in some way that to is better to have money than not?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,843
    #6

    Re: Proverb meaning: "Don't carry water carts on both shoulders".

    Is this a test question from a book or did you see that proverb in use somewhere? I've never heard of it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 3,592
    #7

    Re: Proverb meaning: "Don't carry water carts on both shoulders".

    The word "both" is the problem. It means we should only carry water carts on one shoulder. But that would be dumb.

    If the saying were just "Don't carry water carts on your shoulders," that would make sense. Since carts have wheels, it's easier to pull them than carry them.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #8

    Re: Proverb meaning: "Don't carry water carts on both shoulders".

    I doubt whether this is an English proverb. It sounds more like a poor translation of a foreign proverb. Also, I'd doubt whether any of the sentences in #2 are English proverbs. I haven't heard heard any of them.

    "A proverb (from Latin: proverbium) is a simple and concrete saying, popularly known and repeated"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proverb
    Last edited by Raymott; 12-May-2015 at 01:11.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Great Britain
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain

    • Join Date: Sep 2014
    • Posts: 173
    #9

    Re: Proverb meaning: "Don't carry water carts on both shoulders".

    Not A Teacher

    I have heard "Fine words butter no parsnips" in BrE, meaning flattery will get you nowhere.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #10

    Re: Proverb meaning: "Don't carry water carts on both shoulders".

    Maybe it's a tad out of date, as some of the others might be.

    "You aren't very likely to come across 'fine words butter no parsnips' as 20th century street slang - you are more liable to hear it in a period costume drama."
    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/f...-parsnips.html

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Vocabulary] Are "Perform", "Carry out", "Fulfill" and "Implement" synonyms?
    By xxwzs in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 30-Sep-2014, 07:33
  2. [Vocabulary] verb "To bear" in the meaning "to carry"
    By olga shimanskaya in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-Feb-2014, 09:12
  3. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-Jan-2012, 03:13
  4. The meaning of "became smaller at the shoulders"
    By optimistic pessimist in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Mar-2008, 16:39
  5. carry water on both shoulders
    By unpakwon in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 30-Sep-2007, 09:49

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •