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  1. #1
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    your mouth doesn't become sweet by saying sugar

    Hello.

    In my language, we have a saying that translates like this:

    By saying sugar, your mouth doesn't become sweet.

    We use it when we want to suggest that saying something is not enough. You have to take action to achieve the desired effect.

    Is there an idiom like that in English?

    I already know "actions speak louder than words" but that is slightly different.

  2. #2
    Piscean is offline VIP Member
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    Re: your mouth doesn't become sweet by saying sugar

    Typoman - writer of rongs

  3. #3
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
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    Re: your mouth doesn't become sweet by saying sugar

    We use a somewhat similar expression to encourage kind words: You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. #4
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: your mouth doesn't become sweet by saying sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post

    How common is this?

    I also found this:

    Wishes don't wash dishes.

    How common is that one?

  5. #5
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: your mouth doesn't become sweet by saying sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    We use a somewhat similar expression to encourage kind words: You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
    Maybe I did not explain myself correctly, but that is different.

    The proverb you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar means that it is much easier to get what you want by being polite rather than by being rude and insolent.

    I'm looking for an idiom which means mere words do not get you results. You need to take actions.

  6. #6
    Piscean is offline VIP Member
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    Re: your mouth doesn't become sweet by saying sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    Wishes don't wash dishes.

    How common is that one?
    I've not heard it.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  7. #7
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    Re: your mouth doesn't become sweet by saying sugar

    And how common is this?

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fine_...er_no_parsnips

    Have you heard someone use it?

    Although I think this expression is more about flattery and people who are sycophantic and obsequious.

  8. #8
    Piscean is offline VIP Member
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    Re: your mouth doesn't become sweet by saying sugar

    My maternal grandfather (1986-1995) would use it of politicians and their promises at election times, and to salesmen trying to get him to buy something.. Probably the last time I heard him saying them was to my daughter when she told him of the incredibly earth-shattering dissertation she was going to write.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  9. #9
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
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    Re: your mouth doesn't become sweet by saying sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Fine words butter no parsnips?
    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    How common is this?

    I also found this:

    Wishes don't wash dishes.

    How common is that one?
    The first one is sadly unknown in American English. I can't recall having heard the second but it's certainly apt. Pithy, too.
    I am not a teacher.

  10. #10
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
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    Re: your mouth doesn't become sweet by saying sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by alpacinoutd View Post
    I'm looking for an idiom which means mere words do not get you results. You need to take actions.
    I'm told that my late father-in-law frequently said If wishes were horses then beggars would ride. That's a somewhat similar sentiment.
    I am not a teacher.

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