Archivo | 07/14/2014

A stick-in-the-mud

“Chapado a la antigua / anticuado / estar cerrado

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  • Meaning

A person who avoids adventurous activities, who sticks to their old beliefs, passtimes and routinary traditional lifestyle.

stick in the mud1

  • Origin

This idiom was coined in the 1700´s to refer to those people who feel comfortable with their traditional old beliefs and creedence and would hardly ever accept new ideas, take risks or change even a single thing from their traditional old-fashioned way of life. If we took a cane of any other similar thing and stuck it into the mud, when the latter is still wet, it would easily be removed. But what if the mud dried? It would be really difficult to remove the stick. The same happens to those who stick to their own old-fashioned ideas. It would absolutely be hard. It would take a  tremendous effort to convince them to stay apart from their own ideas and lifestyles.

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  • Example

-What happened to you? You look as if you had seen the death!

-Not exactly but almost there. The thing is that my parents are going on vacation to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

-And? What´s the problem with that?

-The problem is that they have asked my grandmother to stay with us to supposedly take care of us. It will be horrible.

-Why? She is a lovely person.

-You don´t know her. She wants us not to watch TV or play videogames. She asks us to go to bed at 8pm and to top it off, she wants us to go to church with her every single afternoon. She is so horrible.

-Have you ever tried to talk to her and convince her to change her manners?

-Hundreds! Thousands of times! But she would never listen to us. She is just a stick-in-the-mud!

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Stick to your guns

“Aguantar vara / mantenerse firme / amachinarse

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  • Meaning

To stay firm and stick to your ideas and beliefs when confronted to opposition no matter how strong this could be.

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  • Origin

In the 1700´s, soldiers who were encharged of the guns or cannon posts were given the command to stay in their positions no matter how difficult or how hard the situation could be. A coward would run in the face of danger but a brave soldier would firmly stick to their guns even when being seiged by the enemy. Nowadays, remembering these heroic soldiers who would never run away and abandon their duties, anytime that we confront opposition to our believes, we have to scare our fears away and just stick to our guns.

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  • Example

-I am very nervous. Today, I have a meeting with our CEO to present our proposal for the new marketing campaign.

-What´s the problem? I know of the quality of your work and I am pretty sure you will propose something good for the company.

-Yes, but the proposal implies changing the logo of the company in order to give a more modern image to the world and…You know how the CEO is, so traditional, so…fair and square…

-Yes, I know what you mean, he always sticks to his guns! But you have to do the same, fight the fire with fire, stick to your own guns. Show your ideas with enthusiasm. Keep your chin up and I am pretty sure you will convince him.

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Strike a happy medium

“Encontrar el punto medio / ni tú, ni yo

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  • Meaning

To get to an optimum solution that satisfies both parties involved in a problem. A person “A” wants something, but “B” wants something different; the happy médium satisfies both “A” and “B”.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/es/diccionario/britanico/happy-medium

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  • Origin

In his theory about virtue, Aristotle recommends that when any given person finds themselves between two extreme situations, which he called vices, they should live according to the so-called principle of the happy medium. This happy médium is what made a person virtuous. If we consider, then, that striking is hitting upon something, we could think of this idiom as if we were about to throw a dart or an arrow and we have to hit right in the middle of the target.

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  • Example

I wanted to watch the Worldcup final game, whereas my wife wished to go to visit her mother. After quarreling for a while, we stroke a happy médium; we all went to a restaurant to have lunch and I and the kids could watch the game on their big screen they have. It was awesome and everybody had a wonderful time!

 Aristóteles identifica la “virtud” (areté) con el “hábito” (héksis) de actuar según el “justo término medio” entre dos actitudes extremas, a las cuales denomina “vicios”. De este modo, decimos que el hombre es virtuoso cuando su voluntad ha adquirido el “hábito” de actuar “rectamente”, de acuerdo con un “justo término medio” que evite tanto el exceso como el defecto.

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