What does the saying duck soup mean

The world of idioms

The world of phraseologisms and idioms

At the latest when one deals more closely with such pictorial expressions as "get the cow off the ice" or "stick to the bar", many people also ask themselves the question: What is it actually? A phrase, a phrase or a proverb? At least with the two above, it is clear: These are idioms or idioms or fixed connections, idioms, phraseologisms, metaphors, even proverbial idioms - but not proverbs. Sounds complicated? We'll make a little digression into linguistics and explain the difference to you!

What is a phrase?

To anticipate: idiom is just another term for idiom. Both terms mean the same thing, namely a solid combination of several words that is viewed as a unit. Idioms belong to the phraseologisms that have the following characteristics: They are known in a more or less permanent association of a language community and consist of at least two words. But they can also be a whole (short) sentence. "Goodbye" is therefore just as much a phraseologism as "It draws like pike soup". The latter, however, would be a borderline case or a case of doubt in relation to the proverb and would therefore, from a linguistic point of view, most likely fall into the category of "proverbial idioms". In a phrase, the subject (who or what?), Often also the object (whom or what or who?) And sometimes even the verb are interchangeable. I can "steal horses" with a child as well as with an adult.

Phrases like "get the cow off the ice" or "stick with the bar" also have a third characteristic, namely the so-called idiomaticity. So they are idioms, which means that one cannot directly deduce their meaning from their components, for example "cow" and "ice cream", but must know them, in this case "master a difficult situation".

What is a saying?

Unlike a phrase or phrase, a proverb is usually a whole sentence that is only used in this fixed form. A proverb often has an educational character or contains wisdom. Subject, object and predicate can usually not be adjusted. Typical proverbs are, for example, the pawn rules.

If the farmer drinks rum in the morning,
all furrows become crooked.

Old farmer wisdomTweet

Proverbs are often only used in certain regions because they come from the respective colloquial language or the dialect of a region.

On the origin of well-known idioms

We have explained two phrases to you in every issue of our magazine since 2016. You can find a selection of them here on the website: