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Take it with a pinch of salt

Posted by ESC on June 10, 2003

In Reply to: Take it with a pinch of salt posted by Leigh on June 10, 2003

: I've always thought this meant don't take what someones saying to be 100% fact. eg I take everything john says with a pinch of salt.

: I thought it came from flavorings, things are easier to swallow when flavored, this doesnt seem to relate to the meaning.

: Can any one clear this up for me, please

I think we had an extensive discussion about this phrase but I couldn't find it in the archives. Here's what I found in one reference:

TAKE IT WITH A GRAIN OF SALT -- "Be skeptical; examine it (a statement or an idea) carefully before you accept it. The thought seems to be that a bit of salt makes food easier to swallow. It is old enough to have a L*tin version: 'cum grano salis.' One of John Trapp's commentaries on the Bible in 1647 carried the line: 'This is to be taken with a grain of salt.'" From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985). A variation is "pinch of salt."