Posted by Henry on March 07, 2004
In Reply to: Correcting a typo posted by ESC on March 07, 2004
: : : : : does anybody know this phrase and its meaning?
: : : : : thank you!
: : : : I'm not familiar with this as a phrase. It does of course have a literal meaning. This would usually indicate that the person needs a drink. In Westerns, where Indians were routinely portrayed as the bad guys, Indians were said to bite the dust when they were shot and fell to the ground.
: : : : thank you! maybe I should have given more context. I have it as a phrase in a book about Africa (the writer himself is Irish though)
: : : and here is the whole sentence: "He was undoubtedly one of the wealthiest men in the country, if not the wealthiest, but amongst the Batswana this counted for little, as none of the money had gone into cattle, and money which was not invested in cattle, as everybody knew, was but *dust in the mouth*.
: : : I can understand of course the general idea, but would like to know if it is a known phrase or maybe only local in Africa or invented by the author.
: : : thank you.
: : This is kind of funny. I vaguely remembered the expression "mouthful of ashes" and googled it. That led me right back here where we discussed the phrase and I posted this Bible verse:
: : Psalms 102:9 For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.
: : Maybe the two phrases are connected: dust in the mouth, mouthful of ashes.
The fruits of victory in war have often proved to be apples of Sodom, turning to dust in the mouth.
Apples of Sodom, a fruit described by ancient writers as externally of fair appearance but dissolving into smoke and ashes when plucked; Dead Sea apples. The name is often given to the fruit of Solanum Sodom[ae]um, a prickly shrub with fruit not unlike a small yellow tomato.
http://westover.searchgodsword.org/desk/?query=deuteronomy+32:32Book of Deuteronomy
32:32 - [In Context|Original Hebrew]
"For their vine is from the vine of Sodom, And from the fields of Gomorrah; Their grapes are grapes of poison, Their clusters, bitter.
CROSS REFERENCES: Leviticus 19:9,10; 23:22