Posted by Lewis on May 08, 2007
In Reply to: If our cat was a cow... posted by R. Berg on May 07, 2007
: : : : If our cat was a cow, we could milk her behind the stove.
: : : : It's the translation of a Flemish saying, and I wondered if there's an English equivalent (I could really use in a lesson I need to give next week) The meaning is something in the style of "After things happened, you could wish that they went differently, but that's all vain whining".
: : : : I would greatly appreciate any help you can offer.
: : : : Already great thanks
: : : There are several here:
: : : https://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/5/messages/1558.html
: : : https://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/49/messages/1120.html
: : And "If your aunt had whiskers [or other masculine anatomical characteristics], she'd be your uncle". (VSD)
: "Don't cry over spilled (or spilt) milk" is a very old English saying that comes to mind immediately as an equivalent of "After things happened...," although it lacks the "If..." structure of your Flemish saying. ~rb
I heard it as "if my uncle had t i t s, he'd be my aunt" - as a riposte to pointless theorising.