9
   

A Question about English Idioms

 
 
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 12:31 pm
In Chinese, we have an idiom which describe a behavior that if a person was bitten by a poison snake in the hand, the person has a strong determination to cut off his wrist within seconds. Because if he don't do that, he eventually will die.
So in English, do we have similar idioms? anything involves wrist like that? or if I just say somebody has to cut off his owns wrist with little or no contexts, can a native English speaker understand me?
Thanks!
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 2,584 • Replies: 39
No top replies

 
View best answer, chosen by remington318
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 01:55 pm
@remington318,
Quote:
if I just say somebody has to cut off his owns wrist with little or no contexts, can a native English speaker understand me?


Naw, probably not. There's probably a number of expressions which contain the same sentiments, but I can't think of one offhand. Perhaps something like:

Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.

"A stitch in time saves nine" (more stitches) is not indicative of any dire situation, but might be similar in the sense of taking quick, necessary action to avoid worse consequences if you don't.
saab
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 01:58 pm
Being caught between the deep blue sea and the devil.

dalehileman
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 02:17 pm
@remington318,
One that rushes to mind: Cutting off the nose to spite the face

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=cut+off+his+x+to+save+his+y
McTag
 
  0  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 02:40 pm
@dalehileman,

Oh for goodness sake, Dale.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 02:44 pm
@remington318,

England (where the language comes from) has no poisonous snakes or insects, so we've never developed an idiom for that.

How abot "to grasp the nettle"? That means, to take decisive action on an unpleasant task.
Nettles are a stinging plant, whose sting leaves a rash. But you can handle them, and receive fewer stings, if you're decisive about it.
layman
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 02:49 pm
@McTag,
Quote:
How abot "to grasp the nettle"?


Don't run around sayin that in the USA, though. Aint nobody ever heard of it.

A similar expression the the US might be to "bite the bullet."

Before anesthesia was available, before a guy was about to be "operated on," he would stick a bullet between his teeth to clamp down on and thereby avoid the distraction of excruciating screams of pain.

Of course ya would always drink about a fifth of hard liquor first, too.

Example: I have no choice but to bite the bullet (and let it happen).
0 Replies
 
Tes yeux noirs
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 03:04 pm
@saab,
Quote:
between the deep blue sea and the devil

Usually reversed in BrE
layman
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 03:09 pm
@remington318,
Quote:
...a person was bitten by a poison snake in the hand, the person has a strong determination to cut off his wrist within seconds.


A guy would definitely have to bite the bullet first, that's for sure.
0 Replies
 
timur
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 03:26 pm
Time to cut the deadwood out...
layman
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 03:50 pm
@timur,
time to git choppin...
time to separate the wheat from the chafe...
cream always rises to the top...
I like peanut butter, I like toast and jam...



Yeah, that's what I'm talkin about.
0 Replies
 
remington318
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 05:20 pm
@saab,
This is not good. your example is two unacceptable options which are both bad.

My idiom was asking about to make a quick and painful scarification in order to save the most important one.

Thank you though.
remington318
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 05:24 pm
@layman,
do you have something like cut one's arm or leg?
layman
 
  0  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 05:26 pm
@remington318,
Quote:
do you have something like cut one's arm or leg?


Maybe, but if so, I can't think of it right now.

We have a saying that's goes something like: " And let the devil take the hindmost."

This is sometimes used when you put yourself (say that's the hand) in danger or sacrifice yourself for the tribe (say that's the body). Like if I'm charging into the teeth of an enemy army, I may say that.

But it really just means something like: to hell with what happens. Whoever comes out worse will be the loser.
remington318
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 05:27 pm
@dalehileman,
this one is not a good neither.

"Cutting off the nose to spite the face" is an expression used to describe a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem: "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face" is a warning against acting out of pique, or against pursuing revenge in a way that would damage oneself more than the object of one's anger.[1]
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 05:44 pm
@remington318,
Your OP describes two bad things - one is dying of snake bite, the other is cutting off a body part. Both are considered very bad choices.

The person with those two choices would be between a rock and a hard place.

___


saab's suggestion was quite good, given the OP.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 05:45 pm
@remington318,
no.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 05:47 pm
@remington318,
remington318 wrote:
if I just say somebody has to cut off his owns wrist with little or no contexts, can a native English speaker understand me?


no
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 05:47 pm
@ehBeth,
But the OP added this. That's his distinction:

Quote:
the person has a strong determination to cut off his wrist within seconds.


Often the devil/sea dilemma just indicates that you're indecisive. That's why I didn't think "choosing the lesser of two evils" fit.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 05:52 pm
@McTag,
Quote:
Oh for goodness sake, Dale
Oh but Mac, why
I thought it fit very nicely
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

deal - Question by WBYeats
Drs. = female doctor? - Question by oristarA
Let pupils abandon spelling rules, says academic - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Please, I need help. - Question by imsak
Is this sentence grammatically correct? - Question by Sydney-Strock
"come from" - Question by mcook
 
  1. Forums
  2. » A Question about English Idioms
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.61 seconds on 11/23/2020 at 10:33:04