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Talumpati

By | September 2010
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Eyes are bigger than your stomach

Meaning: When a person wants more than is good for them.

Origin: A person seeing a table piled high with sumptuous food has a tendency to get too many and/or too large a portion. Since the problem is brought on by the eyes and a lack of reason, the person is portrayed a one whose eyes are bigger than their stomach.

Elephant in the room

Meaning: An important and obvious topic, which everyone present is aware of, but which isn't discussed, as such discussion is considered to be uncomfortable.

Origin: The theme of the exhibition was global poverty. By painting the elephant in the same bold pattern as the room's wallpaper, Banksy emphasized the phrase's meaning, by both making the elephant even more obvious and by giving those who chose to ignore it (like the woman in the tableau) an opportunity to pretend that it had blended into the wallpaper background.

Even at the turning of the tide

Meaning: The phrase is used to denote some change from a previously stable course of events.

Origin: The phrase comes from Shakespeare’s Henry V where he use turning of the tide in a letter.

Ear candy

Meaning: Music with an instant appeal but with little lasting significance.

Origin: The term may have been in use before 1977, although I can find no references to it in print that predate Reddy's album title. The term did get picked up though and soon became a generic term for music that was initially attractive but with little lasting substance. Candy is of course what the US calls the confectionery that many parts of the English-speaking world call sweets. The sugary, insubstantial imagery is well suited to these phrases.

Excuse my French

Meaning: Please forgive my swearing.

Origin: A coy phrase used when someone who has used a swear-word attempts to pass it off as French. The coyness comes from the fact the both the speaker and listener are of course both well aware the...
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