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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • Kannada
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 2
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    ask a teacher

    What is the meaning of:

    'to pull chestnuts out of the fire'

    and how and where does one use the expression?

    Raghu Rao

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
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    Re: ask a teacher

    What's the context?

    The phrase has its origins in an old folk tale in which a clever monkey tricks a cat into reaching into a fireplace to pull out some roasting chestnuts. When the nuts were done, the monkey used the cat's paw to pull them out of the fire so he wouldn't burn his own fingers. The monkey got the chestnuts, but the cat got burned.


    Last edited by Casiopea; 26-May-2006 at 13:38.

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