Saturday, September 20, 2008

i heart linguistics

Today, I read a terrific thing in Craig Storti's "The Art of Coming Home". Apparently, in Kenya, there is a curse that goes something like this:

--Your mother was a chicken, so you had to suckle a cow.

I am quite gratified that in this topsy-turvy world, the universality of your-momma jokes remains comforting and constant.

It also reminds me of a German saying that doesn't translate so well but still retains great amusement value:

--I've already seen horses throw up in front of the pharmacy.

I see your blank stare, and I raise you one sampling of flabbergasted befuddlement. ;o)


Spencer said...

So I told my sister about the horse one after I heard it in Chemnitz this summer (she is a big horse girl, and is about to begin training to be a professional trainer). She told me an interesting tidbit that suddenly gave the saying much more meaning. Apparently, the way a horse's anatomy is, it is impossible for them to throw up. Because of this, a stomach flu is very dangerous for them, and can actually kill them. That's really beside the point, but apparently by saying you've seen a horse throw up, you are basically saying you've seen the impossible. So, that statement tops anything anyone else could bring up. Now the part about in front of a pharmacy, I'm guessing that's just for amusement value. :-)

FRAU said...

So that saying is exactly what it means then! Whatever you've just told me that you think is so incredibly amazing, could never beat out having seen horses throw up in front of the pharmacy. My take on the "in front of a pharmacy" is that you can see one (sometimes two) at every intersection in Germany!! It must be THE BEST saying in German, EVER!!!!