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The Circus Left. The Clowns Remain.

Following our conversation about the dismissive phrase, Not my circus, not my monkeys, Nelly, who is a professor of French and Russian in Marquette, Michigan, shares a handy Russian saying that translates as “the circus left, the clowns remain...

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

Charlie in Lexington, Kentucky, says his wife, who’s from the eastern part of the state, uses a peculiar phrase to indicate that something’s not her responsibility: Not my circus, not my monkeys. This dismissive saying is at least 30...

When Pigs Fly and Las Vacas Vuelen

In English, if we want to say that something will never occur, we say it’ll happen when pigs fly or when hell freezes over. In Spanish, you can express this idea by saying it will happen “when cows fly,” or el día que las vacas...

Said the Old Lady as She Kissed the Cow

Steve from Wilmington, North Carolina, wonders about a phrase his mother used: “Everybody to their taste,” said the old lady as she kissed the cow, meaning “Different things appeal to different individuals.” It’s an...

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