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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    For the sake of a beautiful word he will have mercy neither for his mother nor father

    There is the Russian expression "Ради красного словца не пожалеет ни мать, ни отца". I've got curious whether there is something similar in English. The expression could be roughly translated as "For the sake of a beautiful word he will have mercy neither for his mother nor father". It means that a person showing off with his "knowledge" or fancy vocabulary is ready to say bad things about his close friends, relatives and the like. What expressions would you use to describe such behaviour?
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  2. Senior Member
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    #2

    Re: For the sake of a beautiful word he will have mercy neither for his mother nor fa

    Or maybe it should be...
    For the sake of a beautiful word he will spare neither his mother nor father.

    Would you understand the expression if you saw it phrased this way? I guess there are no English counterparts for it...
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: For the sake of a beautiful word he will have mercy neither for his mother nor fa

    I'd say that's better with spare, yes.

    I think I would get at least a vague understanding of what is meant.

  4. VIP Member
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    #4

    Re: For the sake of a beautiful word he will have mercy neither for his mother nor fa

    I'd use bon mot rather than beautiful word.

  5. Senior Member
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    #5

    Re: For the sake of a beautiful word he will have mercy neither for his mother nor fa

    In pre-Regency style, I'd offer

    He would sacrifice his parents both, to be thought a wit.

    I can't think of any equivalent proverb in English, but, as Darcy says in Pride and Prejudice, "I should as soon call her mother a wit".
    Last edited by abaka; 19-Jul-2019 at 21:25.
    Retired proofreader; ESL tutor; not a teacher for present purposes.

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