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Weird Phrases in English - Eating Like a Bird or Eating the Popes Nose

Updated on December 28, 2015



I Heard Phrases When I Was Growing Up

Clearly one phrase that I heard was in stories about my great grandmother who asked for the Pope's Nose every time they had chicken. The Pope's Nose? "Yes," my mother explained. "This was what she called the rump of the chicken. That was all she would eat was the little fatty piece". "That's not very complimentary to the Pope, now is it?" I asked.My mother looked at me strangely and said, "I never thought of it that way!" and I said, "Well?" and shrugged my shoulders

Pardon my French, is what you would hear when someone would say words that were uncomplimentary. It was funny [odd] because my family is from France. Now, when people talk about France and talk about how the French are, I think to myself, "If you only knew, you'd shut up!"

Or, perhaps they would not.

Sleeping Like a Baby

So, what does this really mean? Does that person sleep through the night, or are they up every two hours rummaging in the refrigerator. After all, my experience with babies is that they wake you up yelling because they are wet, cold, scared and hungry.

Is that what you meant to say you were?

Sleeping Like a Log

Okay. First one must ask oneself if a log does indeed sleep. The action of laying prone and being too heavy for anyone to move may be what this is all about.

Have you ever tried to move or pick up a log? They are extremely heavy. I lived by a lumber mill when I was a child and we were pretty much warned to stay off the log piles. There was one time that I was with a group of other small children and we were all climbing the logs and one of the logs decided to start rolling and one of the girls was pinned underneath the log. It pinned her between two logs. She had fallen backwards and the log, thankfully, stopped on her shins. I am very thankful the log didn't roll across her stomach, chest or head. She is still here, very much alive. Thank God for that!

This Was Where the Logs Rolled


The List Goes On and is Not All Inclusive

Now mind you, I am speaking only of phrases that do not make sense to me. These are the phrases that people say that are merely filling spaces in their sentence. They don't really know why they are using the phrase, they just do.

Like when people say Colder than Hell. Well, I am sorry to point it out, but from what I have read in the good book, Hell is not cold. It is hot. Unless you live in Norway, then, Hell Freezes Over some years...

How About You

Are there phrases that you don't quite get the meaning of?

See results

Do You Get My Drift?

Being from a snow covered state, I don't quite know where this phrase came about. It means, Do you understand what I am talking about without me explaining to you?

You Can Search Elsewhere and Find More

These are not the only phrases there are. I am sure if you Google, you can find many, many more. That was not my point. I merely wished to point out that when people talk of eating like a bird, I get a little confused. Almost headache-y. I start start thinking too hard and I almost need a hug.

Do you?

Have You Ever Noticed These Things

Double Edged Words - I have the words highlighted that I am talking about...

A vegetarian eats vegetables.

One would expect a

Humanitarian to eat people,

Like a zombie.

But they don’t.

I bring my car to a shop,

But shop at the mall.

I use a maul to tenderize meat,


Meet someone for lunch.

There are people who have their

Own methods and

Their own words.

They’re not the exception!

Are they?

Let us own our own words.

It may take at least an hour.

When I was young,

I used to hear,

Many words that would bend your ear.


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    • firstcookbooklady profile imageAUTHOR

      Char Milbrett 

      3 years ago from Minnesota

      It depends on the bird The birds around here, feed on rocks for their gizzard, bird seed if people have bird feeders, suet, dead animals on the road... so eating like a bird does not sound appetizing to me...

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      I fear you have taken it very seriously. Don't be so sensitive. What I say is that we must try to understand things and the circumstances.

    • firstcookbooklady profile imageAUTHOR

      Char Milbrett 

      3 years ago from Minnesota

      Thank you for your explanation. I found that the experts on idioms from the US National Library on Medicine states that Schizophrenia patients have been reported to be more impaired in comprehending non-literal than literal language since early studies on proverbs.

      Nice, huh? So, if you don't 'get' an idiom as being an idiom, you might get yourself checked for Schizophrenia, just saying...

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      I will explain to you "eating like a bird". A bird eats one -by-one grain. And while eating it scatters the food all around and some times it sticks around its nose and wings also. It spills more than it consumes. So, when somebody eats like that, he is called as eating like a bird. It happens when you are not hungry. Children mostly scatter food when they are not interested in eating.

      I think all of these phrases and proverbs have some meaning, if you can try to understand them properly.

      More cold than hell also has some meaning. In hell you undergo tortures and you dread of those experiences even in your dreams. Cold is compared to such severe torture here. It does not mean that hell is cold. It refers only to the degree of torture that you experience. So, when you say "colder than hell", it means that you are experiencing more severe punishment and unbearable torture which you might have undergone in hell.

      So, we should try to understand the relevance of these proverbs and do not reject them as silly.

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 

      3 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      I had written a hub on these types of sayings a few months ago and it was such fun. There are thousands of them

      And we all use them daily without a whisper of remembrance that they passed through our lips

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      3 years ago

      Eating like a bird-- I remember that one, I remember when I found out birds eat all the time and eat like twice their body weight per day or something, and I immediately said, "well then 'eating like a bird' is really an insult, isn't it?" Funny stuff. Never heard of the Pope's nose-- in my family they called it the tushy. More to the point, I guess. Great hub

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 

      3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I thought it was the Parsons nose, at least that was what my family called it (still odd though!). The eating like a bird means rarely eating as often birds can not find food at all. Some of the phrases are logical, but many are not especially the first time you hear them.

      A lot of them go right back in history and were appropriate when first used. The Parsons or Pope's nose relates to the fact the early church were Roman Catholics and many clergy had the large Roman nose as a result. How they attached that to the rump end of a fowl eludes me!

    • mactavers profile image


      3 years ago

      Your Hub is the "Cat's Meow."


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