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Posted by Lotg (OZ) on July 07, 2004

In Reply to: Foovoo valve? posted by ESC (USA) on July 07, 2004

: : : : : : : : : : : : In a recent conversation with my French friend Michel, he said something that made me laugh, and to which I responded that he was a 'dipstick'. He asked for a translation of 'dipstick', but included that he thought it might have meant 'fool, idiot or stupid'.

: : : : : : : : : : : : I said, no those words are too strong. Dipstick is much softer, more affectionate, a term of endearment suggesting you're a bit of a dope, silly, funny in a dopey way.

: : : : : : : : : : : : He came back and said he could think of no equivalent in French. That there were no soft words, or terms of endearment to that effect. That hadn't occurred to me. Michel also said that he felt English was full of nuances, and again I'm surprised, because surely that's also true of other languages?

: : : : : : : : : : : : I suppose I just assumed there'd have to be words in every language to describe every emotion. But it hadn't occurred to me that maybe not every culture shares the same range of emotions. It's very hard for me to imagine that emotions (and therefore the words to describe them) can be driven by a culture to the point where some emotions may not exist at all. But maybe they are.

: : : : : : : : : : : : I might add, that I now think this isn't just something that varies with other languages. Even within English, I suppose there are different nuances. eg. In some earlier threads, we've discussed words and terms that are politically incorrect in some countries and not others.

: : : : : : : : : : : : So can anyone suggest any words that belong to their culture for which there is no equivalent in English? Ummm - having said that, how the hell will I understand - chuckle! So maybe I should ask if anyone can suggest any other English words, for which there's no equivalent in other languages.

: : : : : : : : : : : President George W. Bush proclaimed, "The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur."

: : : : : : : : : : My favorite blond Aussie answered her own question in a recent e mail where she said someone (who will remain nameless) is a 'dill'.
: : : : : : : : : : I'll stick with twerp. How can that be translated?

: : : : : : : : : I'm not sure Ward, but after reading Henry's wonderful, yet disturbing offering, I'm thinking that maybe Twerp/Bush - pretty much the same thing.

: : : : : : : : Well, there are good French 'entrepreneurs', they left for the USA a long time ago. And those remaining in France are just on an everlasting strike.

: : : : : : : A unique Americanism would be Archie Bunkers famous term about his son in law --Dingbat.

: : : : : : All in the Family was based on the English TV show Til Death Us Do Part, which started in 1965. The part of the son-in-law was offered to Michael Caine, but he was unable to accept. The role was taken by Anthony Booth. Strangely, Prime Minister Tony Blair is Anthony Booth's real-life son-in-law.

: : : : : Speaking for myself and others I have discussed this issue with, I would say the Yanks really like Tony Blair. He seems to be what we call a 'stand up sort of guy' who is a strong leader.
: : : : : There is controversy in every country about its leader, but from here, the UK has an individual that Yanks respect.

: : : : I don't think most Aussies have an opinion about him either way. But Bush has left an impression. Still I will say this, I bet Tony knows the French word for entrepeneur - chuckle!

: : : Here's one for you that I doubt is translatable into any other language. Furthermore, I'm curious to know whether anyone's ever heard it before, or whether it's just one of my 'dadisms'.

: : : Foovu valve. I have no idea how to spell that, but it's pronounced "Foo", as in the oo in "look", and voo as in the oo in "too". So maybe it's spelt foovoo. Hell I dunno. Anyway, the context is as follows: When I was on my farm I asked my dad whether he thought I'd be able to carry our fire pump. He said, I doubt it, but why not have a go, but be careful not to bust your foovoo valve. What part of the anatomy is a foovoo valve - again a mystery, heart maybe???

: : : So is this just a parochial term, possibly confined entirely to my dad (certainly a term I grew up with), or has anyone else ever heard this before?

: : Sounds to me like the foovoo valve is right next to the whatsit muscle. You sure don't want to strain anything in that area! You'd be sitting on your knees.

: I checked a couple of regional slang dictionaries -- foovoo and fuvoo -- and haven't found anything.

Thanks ESC. I suspect it is a 'dadism'.