Saturday, April 22, 2006
Right under my nose
Meaning: right in front of me, (and I didn't see it!)
Example: I was searching for my keys all this time, and it was actually right under my nose!
Chinese version: 近在眼前
Get a leg up
Definition: to gain advantage, to get a boost
Example: In order to get a leg up on the competition, I must work harder and faster than they do.
Origin: came from trying to mount a horse. Most people can't do it without help. So the rider needed someone to give him or her a bit of help to get his/her leg over the horseback, and onto the saddle. Thus, "get a leg up".
Walk your talk
The whole expression is "You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?", but later the expression was a bit shortened and took on slightly different meaning.
The original expression "You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?" means "Can you do what you say?" or "Talk is cheap. Can you perform?"
Another version of this same idea is "Your mouth is writing a check your body can't cash!" Or if you remember Top Gun, Hondo told Maverick, "Your ego is writng a check your body can't cash!"
"Walk your talk", on the other hand, means "do what you say you can/would do".
Definition: a backseat driver is commonly defined as someone who offers a LOT of advice that you don't need nor ask for
Example: I don't want any backseat drivers in my car. When I drive, I don't want any advice on the route, which lane is better, and so on and so forth. Is that clear to everybody?
Origin: It came from driving, as you can guess. A backseat driver originally means someone sitting in the back that constantly criticize your driving or offers what s/he thought were helpful suggestions. "Signal earlier next time." "Keep it under 55 MPH." "Let that guy pass you." blah blah blah blah. Later it came to mean any one who comments too much.
Stew in (his) own juices
Definition: to worry with self-doubt, to think it over, usually after some sort of a mind game or interrogation
Example: We've explained quite well what the suspect's options are... Cooperate, or go to jail. We've left him alone to let him stew in his own juices for a while. We expect he will talk to us about the theft very soon.
Origin: In cooking, making a stew involves a LONG simmer over very little heat. At the end, you would turn off the heat and let the residual heat within the stew cook the meat inside.
This interrogation technique requires creation of self-doubt in the individual being questioned. With a few dropped hints, the suspect will convince himself to confess.