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Nature-related sayings 'n' proverbs, etc.

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Offline Technopat

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« on: March 22, 2007, 12:52 PM »
Greetings All,

Recently tabled* the possibilty of setting up a thread for Spanish and English sayings and expessions referring to nature-related matters:

http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php?topic=132.0

As so often is the case in this world of Mice and Men, none of the Teeming Millions© ** out there seemed at all interested, but as I continuously come across them (the sayings), and as I have since come across loads more in Francis' food articles, in true Scott spirit, am pressing ahead regardless. I had been thinking of listing 'em in alphabetical order by fauna/flora/fungi name rather than by first word in the saying order, but am open to suggestions.

Today's great expression was:
Gorriones, frailes y abades, tres malas aves - which is reflected in a décima by Horozco which contains the lines:

El gorrión y el abad
nunca siembran pero cogen
y en caso de humanidad
tienen grande habilidad
y adonde pueden se acogen.

Sebastián de Horozco (Teatro universal de proverbios 1558-80)

I make no judgement as to the interpretation of the saying - personally I love sparrows - and I do not mean baked in a pie.

*to any anyone out there who doesn't have the good fortune to be a native British-English speaker, that means present formally for discussion or consideration, and not, as in US English, postpone consideration!

** © Cecil Adams - The Straight Dope

Regards,
Technopat

« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 19:37 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2007, 15:44 PM »
Greetings All,
Following my previous post, which followed on from a prior posting (this post/posting thing's been bugging me for a while - does anyone else agree that something you/we post - apart from a letter, etc. - should be a posting, rather than a post?) which had referred to two animals in the same saying: "¡Que no te den gato por liebre!", I reckon these should be cross-referenced for people like me who can more or less remember the expression, but never which way round it should be (Starve a fever, feed a cold? - is what I do, but always have that nagging feeling that I'm doing it all wrong!)

Then I s'pose we'd have to cross-reference the En.-Sp. versions.

Regs.
Technopat
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 19:38 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline nick

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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2007, 18:57 PM »
Really like this topic. Will be replying soon Tecnopat
Nick
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2007, 08:07 AM »
Great topic heading!
Thanx Nick!
Foresee/predict fruitful and bountiful participation from all Iberianature Forum adepts!
Regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Dave

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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2007, 19:16 PM »
Dear All
'Que no te den gato por liebre', refers to the fact that when you purchase something, unseen, and receive something of lesser value, I reckon this equates to the English equivalent of 'buying a pig in a poke'.
Marias Mum used to say 'Hasta el treinta de Mayo, no te quites el Sallo' equates to 'ne'er cast a clout 'til May is out.
I will be back with more
Regards
Dave

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2007, 21:21 PM »
Greetings Dave, and All,
My first year here, mid-spring, blazing heat, helping f.-in-law in his garden in the pueblo, I took my t-shirt off and he shook his head at my imprudence and came out with the Mayo/sayo crack. Having skinny-dipped in frozen lakes, slept under the stars in the middle of same, amongst other things, in other climes (passing ref. only), I laughed it off and continued sweating away. Spent next two days in bed with high fever, etc.
Have since learnt to pay more attention to these old sayings.

Regs.
Prudent Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2007, 00:02 AM »
Greetings All,
Today's trivial fact:
clout , as in the above expression, doesn't mean what I, at first, thought it meant (two things). It actually refers to a piece of cloth or clothing often used as a patch (and also has at least 2 other meanings, but that's beyond the scope of this thread).

Regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Dave

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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2007, 17:37 PM »
Dear All
A few popular sayings with translation into English
not strictly nature sayings#
A boca de borracho, oídos de cantinero.                            Foolish talk falls on deaf ears.
Al que madruga, Dios le ayuda.                                   The early bird catches the worm.
Andarse por las ramas.                                          To beat around the bush.
Arriba, abajo, al centro, y para adentro.                   Bottoms up!
Cada oveja con su pareja.                                 To each his own.
Caras vemos, corazones no sabemos.                        You can't judge a book by its cover.
Comer como pelón del hospicio.                                   To pig out.
Como me la pongan, brinco.                               I take life as it comes.
Con dinero baila el perro.                                   Money talks.
Cuando el gato se sale, los ratones se pasean.                   When the cat's away, the mice will play.
Cuando el río suena, agua lleva.                            Where there's smoke, there's fire.
De aquí para el real.                                             From now on.
Del dicho a hecho, hay gran trecho.                         Easier said than done.
El que a hierro mata a hierro muere.                         He who lives by the sword, shall die by the sword.
El que no la debe, no la teme.                                   If your conscience is clear, there's nothing to fear.
En donde la fuerza sobra, hasta la razón estorba.               Where force reigns, reason has no place.
En menos que canta un gallo.                               As quick as a the wink of an eye
Entre más pronto, mejor.                                 The sooner, the better.
Es un estuche de monerías.                                 He's just a bag full of surprises.
Las apariencias engañan.                                    Never judge a book by its cover.
Mala hierba nunca muere.                                 A bad penny always turns up
Mandar a uno a ver si ya puso la marrana.                       Tell someone to go fly a kite.
Más vale paso que dure, y no trote que canse.                    Easy does it!
Me entiendes, Méndez, o te explico, Federico?                    If you don't get it, I'll draw you a picture.
Mucho ruido y pocas nueces.                                All talk, no action.
Navegar con bandera de tonto.                                   To play stupid.
No diga de esta agua, no beberé.                           Never say never.
Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.                             Out of sight, out of mind.
Para todo mal, mezcal; para todo bien, también.                   Any old excuse will do
Planchar oreja.                                                  To hit the sack.
Querer es poder.                                        Where there's a will, there's a way.
Se encontró la horma de su zapato.                           He met his match.
Te juzgué melón y me saliste calabaza.                            I misjudged you: you let me down on the first try.
Tras de cuernos, palos.                                             To rub salt in an open wound.


Regards
Dave

Offline SueMac

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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2007, 20:09 PM »
Copied your list and putting it on my firdge to learn off - great stuff Dave
SueMac
SueMac

Now mainly blogging on www.suevista.blogspot.com Vistas from Afar - A European Garden Blog

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2007, 20:46 PM »
Greetings Dave,
Many thanx! Some nice ones in there.
You've set the listón so high, it'll be hard trying to match it, let alone superar it - but the race is on!

Regs.,
Technopat

Ps.
SueMac, I find that sticking things on the fridge door with a magnet a more useful way of rmebmering 'em - not too many firs in my neck of the w. ;D
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 19:40 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2007, 00:30 AM »
Greetings All,
Following on from Dave's blockbuster, time to slow down a bit and put things into perspective. Translations anyone?:

1. Una golondrina no hace verano (originally from La Celestina and quoted in the Quixote) =

2. Más vale pájaro en mano que buitre volando (originally from Guzmán de Alfarache and quoted in the Quixote) =

3. Ládreme el perro, y no me muerda =

4. Manos duchas comen truchas =

5. Crí­a el cuervo, sacarte ha el ojo =

6. A otro perro con ese hueso =

7. All­ se mete como piojo en costura =

8. A casas viejas, puertas nuevas =

9. A buey viejo no cates abrigo =

10. Para cada puerco hay su Sanmartí­n =

Happy hunting!
Regs.
Technopat

Ps.
Not even I know the corresponding Eng. saying to all of the above (can give a pretty good translation and general idea, though), so look forward to optimistic proposals!

Pps.
Have made a huge effort to be PC and avoiding many of the more common sayings - v. difficult 'cos many Sp. sayings are either extremely earthy i.e. irreverent, sexist or scatological.

Ppps.
Cervantes said, more or less, that there's no saying that is not true; however, it would seem that from each saying we could find one meaning the opposite, as can be seen from the following example: The early bird gets the worm, and ... (anyone?)

("No hay refrán que no sea verdadero; sin embargo, parece ser que de cada refrán podemos encontrar su contrapuesto, como nos indica el siguiente ejemplo: Al que madruga, Diós le ayuda y No por mucho madrugar, amanece más temprano.")
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 19:52 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Dave

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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2007, 17:13 PM »
Hi technopat
1. One swallow does not a summer make - apparently Aristotle
2. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush - unknown
3. You do not have a dog and bark yourself - traditional
4. I know what it means - expert hands, eat trout, I cannot think of an E*****h equivalent
5. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind
6. You're pulling my leg
7. Snug as a bug in a rug
8. Red (Posh) hat, no knickers, and few others I can think of, but this was my dads favourite.
9. not sure, could be 'you cannot teach an old dog, new tricks'
10. every dog has his day or everyone will meet their Waterloo
A great Spanish sayings page with English translation can be found at
http://www.viajoven.com/proverbios/proverbios1.asp
SueMac, you are gong to need a big fridge for this lot

How have I done so far.
Regards
Dave
« Last Edit: April 16, 2007, 17:42 PM by Dave »

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2007, 23:43 PM »
Greetings Dave and All,
Not bad – didn’t think yer Collins would be up to it!
Thanx for the link – will check it out.
Meanwhile, a couple of variations on a theme:

1. Una golondrina no hace verano = One swallow does not a summer make (Yes, Dave, it was your mate A, but I was referring to the Sp. v.)

2. Más vale pájaro en mano que buitre volando = A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

3. Ládreme el perro, y no me muerda = You do not have a dog and bark yourself (I don’t know this one, Dave)/ My version: a barking dog never bites (his bark is worse than his bite?)

4. Manos duchas comen truchas = skill is the mother of good results (Not too happy 'bout this one)

5. Cría el cuervo, sacarte ha el ojo = Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind (I don’t know this one, Dave)/ My version: Bite the hand that feeds you

6. A otro perro con ese hueso = You’re pulling my leg/Tell it to the Marines

7. Allí se mete como piojo en costura = Snug as a bug in a rug /(Packed) like sardines in a can

8. A casas viejas, puertas nuevas = Red (Posh) hat, no knickers, (I don’t know this one, Dave, but sounds great!)/ My version: Mutton dressed as lamb

9. A buey viejo no cates abrigo = you cannot teach an old dog, new tricks /Don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs

10. Para cada puerco hay su Sanmartín = every dog has his day or everyone will meet their Waterloo /My version: (Everyone) gets their come-uppance/just desserts

Keep 'em coming - there's a lot of nature-related sayings out there!
Regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2007, 14:39 PM »
Greetings All,
Taking my cue from Nick's unfortunate self-inflicted chestnut wound (which, unlike Sue's selfless act of courage with nettles, was not an officially sanctioned iberianature forum experiment), I thought the following might be of interest:

DRAE: DICCIONARIO DE LA LENGUA ESPAÑOLA - Vigésima segunda edición
castaña.
(Del lat. castan?a).

4. f. coloq. borrachera (? efecto de emborracharse).
5. f. coloq. Bofetada, cachete.
6. f. coloq. Golpe, trompazo, choque.
7. f. coloq. Persona o cosa aburrida o fastidiosa.

dar a alguien la ~.
1. loc. verb. coloq. Engañarle.
2. loc. verb. coloq. Molestar, fastidiar a alguien.

dar a alguien para ~s.
1. loc. verb. coloq. dar para peras.

parecerse algo a otra cosa como una ~ a un huevo.
1. loc. verb. coloq. parecerse como un huevo a una castaña.

sacar ~s del fuego con la mano del gato.
1. loc. verb. coloq. sacar el ascua con la mano del gato.

sacar las ~s del fuego.
1. loc. verb. coloq. Ejecutar en beneficio de alguien algo de lo que puede resultar daño o disgusto para sí­.

Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

Downloaded from the following web site:
http://buscon.rae.es/draeI/SrvltGUIBusUsual?LEMA=casta%C3%B1a&TIPO_HTML=2&FORMATO=ampliado&sourceid=mozilla-search

Any Eng. versions or variations on a theme?

Regs.
Technopat
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 23:22 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline nick

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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2007, 15:07 PM »
And then there's "!toma castaña!" - Take that!/What do you think of that!

More chestnuts here:

http://www.iberianature.com/material/spainchestnuts.html
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
http://www.iberianature.com/
A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
The Amazon/Forum Bookshop - lend us a hand
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/shop/index.htm
And also now The Natural History of Britain
http://iberianature.com/brita

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2007, 15:29 PM »
Good link - the mention of canker begs the question of the origin of our "conker"! Probably just another case of "folk etymology"
Will be back on this one soonish.
regs.
Technopat

No time like the present:

–noun British Informal.
1.   a horse chestnut.
2.   the hollowed-out shell of a horse chestnut.
3.   conkers, a game in which a child swings a horse chestnut on a string in an attempt to break that of another player.
[Origin: 1840-50; prob. orig. conquer; cf. conquering a game played with snail shells (the name of the game presumably later transferred to the playing pieces)]

Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
conkers
"child's game played with horse chestnuts," originally with snail shells, 1847, probably a variant of conqueror.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

http://www.etymonline.com/
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 23:23 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline nick

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« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2007, 15:57 PM »
Yes, tecnopat http://www.etymonline.com/  is a great site. I visit it frequently. It says:

canker 
O.E. cancer, from L. cancer (see cancer); influenced in M.E. by O.N.Fr. cancre . The word was the common one for "cancer" until c.1700.

chestnut  (and so also castaña)
1570, from chesten nut (1519), from M.E. chasteine, from O.Fr. chastaigne, from L. castanea, from Gk. kastaneia, which the Greeks thought meant either "nut from Castanea" in Pontus, or "nut from Castana" in Thessaly, but probably both places are named for the trees, not the other way around, and the word is probably borrowed from a language of Asia Minor. Of the dark reddish-brown color, 1656. Applied to the horse-chestnut 1832. Slang sense of "venerable joke or story" is from 1886, probably from a joke (first recorded 1888) based on an oft-repeated story in which a chestnut tree figures. The key part of the 1888 citation is:
"When suddenly from the thick boughs of a cork-tree --"
"A chestnut, Captain; a chestnut."
"Bah! booby, I say a cork-tree!"
"A chestnut," reiterates Pablo. "I should know as well as you, having heard you tell the tale these twenty-seven times."
horse-chestnut 
1597, from horse + chestnut. A tree probably native to Asia, introduced in England c.1550; the name also was extended to similar N.Amer. species such as the buckeye. Said to have been so called because it was food for horses. The nut resembles that of the edible chestnut, but is bitter to the taste.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2007, 15:59 PM by nick »
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
http://www.iberianature.com/
A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
The Amazon/Forum Bookshop - lend us a hand
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/shop/index.htm
And also now The Natural History of Britain
http://iberianature.com/brita

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2007, 16:18 PM »
Nice one, Nick,
While you were posting yours, I was getting the following:

sacar ~s del fuego con la mano del gato.
1. loc. verb. coloq. sacar el ascua con la mano del gato. (Typically useless DRAE definition leaves you worse off than when you started!)

Got this from NODE: pull someone's chestnuts out of the fire - succeeed in a hazardous undertaking for someone else's benefit. (origin. with reference to the fable of a monkey using a cat's paw to extract roasting chestnuts from a fire.)

Regs.
Technopat

Ps.
Mrs Technopat, a native speaker of Sp., says that castaña can also mean years, as in tiene 30 castañas, a bop, car crash, etc. as in ¡Vaya castaña se ha dado! AND that ¡Vaya castaña! can also mean What a drag/hassle!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 23:24 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2007, 18:58 PM »
Greetings All,
Just came across the following snippet on a Junta de Andalucí­a webpage (http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/medioambiente/site/web/menuitem.a5664a214f73c3df81d8899661525ea0/?vgnextoid=59d97bf4ef044010VgnVCM1000000624e50aRCRD&vgnextchannel=5739185968f04010VgnVCM1000001625e50aRCRD) which referred to the large-scale burning of forests during the Middle Ages as a military tactic to prevent an

emboscada (ambush).

My Eng. dictionary gives the Eng. word as coming from the Old French embusche (noun) and embuschier (verb), but I'm willing to bet that the origin is Spanish (ever seen a castillo in Castille surrounded by forest?).

DRAE is useless of course - as usual.

Regs.
Technopat
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 23:25 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2007, 23:14 PM »
Greetings All,
Grass is always greener (on t'other side of the fence) = siempre anhelamos lo que no tenemos

Once again, suffers in translation.
Regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266