Where it is not a person’s first language, English to many foreigners may seem very confusing. Is there any other language where you would have at least 4 words that sound completely the same yet were spelled differently?Given time though, people learning my mother tongue will eventually get use to these little idiosyncrasies.But when it comes to our idiomatic phrasing for things, that’s where those trying to learn our language go into a major tizzy, especially when many of these common phrases to us, lose something in the translation to someone else’s language. To give an example of this, and a bit of a cute one to start us off, take this one:
“(like) water off a duck’s back.”
This one I’m sure everyone has heard of and it refers to the idea that ducks aren’t phased at all about water because they have a coating of oil on their feathers which helps keep these guys dry and cozy, by preventing moisture from getting to their bodies. So, logically, if you don’t get wet you don’t get cold. Any water that gets on them rolls right of. So, when we use this expression, we are referring to the idea that something isn’t going to bother us or annoy us..we’ll just let it roll right off of us like “water off a duck’s back.”
Here’s another one:
“the top dog.”
Now, everyone wants to be the top dog…he’s the person in charge of a group, a boss at work, or just someone of authority and importance, someone everyone looks up to.
All right, brief English lesson is almost over, so I can give you today’s clip. Here’s one more and it is the theme of today’s post:
“being lead around by the nose.”
Those familiar with our mystifying language of English know that it refers to a person who is “easily led” or “being dominated or controlled by someone else”. The origins of the phrase came from back when they would lead bulls around by a loop that went through their nose and a chain was attached to it so he could be lead around or tethered.
So this brings me to today’s funny clip. This is a brief one that I grabbed from the scene of Mark and Josh from Out In Africa (2006) I posted before this past weekend.I chuckled with amusement when I first saw this. It was a bit that only added to the cuteness of the scene, and of course, my joy at having finally found this one. Looking at it again made me laugh even harder and I thought: “I’ve heard of being lead around by the nose, but not by the….ahem! Well, you’ll see what I mean. 🙂