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Take it with a pinch of salt

Posted by James Briggs on June 10, 2003

In Reply to: Take it with a pinch of salt posted by ESC 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."

I agree.
If you hear something of doubtful truth, something that is unpalatable then, if you take it 'with a pinch of salt', it becomes more acceptable, just like some foods.