phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: I thought it was *flag*

Posted by SR on October 14, 2004

In Reply to: Re: I thought it was *flag* posted by Brian from Shawnee on October 14, 2004

: : : : : : : Where does the saying 'like a red rag to a bull' come from?

: : : : : : The color red is supposed to enrage bulls. Actually it's probably the waving of the rag that attracts the bull's attention. I believe a bull is suppose to be color blind. Anyone know?

: : : : : I heard that too. The capes that matadors use in bullfighting are red and that's where the phrase comes from.

: : : : Bulls are certainly colour blind - which can be seen from the structure of their eyes, it is not merely a guess. It is the flapping movement which would attract a bull's attention (though in bull fighting, having had the 'pics' stuck into its shoulders first probably don't improve its temper very much either!)

: : : I thought it was "like a red *flag* to a bull". I'd never heard the word "rag" used in this phrase.

: : It's rag as far as I'm concerned - I've never heard 'flag.
: : Incidentally, a brief newspaper report a week or so ago described what happened when a bull escaped and got into a Scottish china shop. The animal was apparently confused, very quiet and was eventually led away having produced no damage whatsoever!

: Truth is stranger than fiction, isn't it? But did you hear about the time the color blind bull got loose at the St. Patrick's Day Parade? Made Pamplona look like a cakewalk!

: P.S. 474 Google hits for "like a red flag...", and 974 for "like a red rag...". Rag wins.

Thanks for the laughs!