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Grapes, Crabs and Foxes

Posted by Word Camel on November 06, 2002

In Reply to: "Sour Grapes" posted by James Briggs on November 06, 2002

: : : After reading "Money", the origin of "Sour Grapes" came to mind.

: : Try the Meanings and Origins section of this site for that one.

: I've just checked the Meaning and Origins. I've always puzzled why grapes should be 'sour'. Perhaps the grapes were unripe, but why try to steal them in that case? My reading suggests that the fox actually said about the grapes 'they're sour as CRABS anyway'. This is equally curious. Any suggestions?

I have no insight to offer with regard to the crabs, however, I do know something about grapes. Until grapes ripen they are exceedingly, cheek-suckingly sour. Sometimes it's possible to tell by looking but this isn't always the case with some varieties. Wild grapes are particularly bad. Some never really develop a sweet taste at all. Perhaps the fox didn't realise the grapes weren't ripe or perhaps they were just a sour variety. Although allegedly sly, many have had little or no formal education and lack even the most basic knowledge of the horticulture of grapes.