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You are watching: Take what they say with a grain of salt

I to be an experienced on every little thing in the cook world.

You may want to take it that v a grain of salt, because, if you believe it, I’ve acquired some ocean front building in Arizona you may like.

In the ahead sentence, girlfriend may understand the allusion in latter idiom without explanation. Arizona does no border any kind of oceans; it’s land-bound. Therefore, if you think I have such property, you’d think anything. But, why should you take the statement about my field of expertise with a ‘grain that salt?’ girlfriend may recognize that I median that you should be skeptical and not necessarily think me, however why a grain of salt? Why carry out we usage this expression and to what does the allude?

There are numerous salt-related expressions in the English language, and also in many other languages. Over there are also many superstitions about salt. The prestige of salt in the old world gave rise to the expression worth her salt, because that example. Friend may additionally be familiar with the superstition that spilling salt is negative luck. And, a very great and ethical person might be referred to as the salt that the earth. The expression ‘take something with a serial of salt’ undoubtedly has something to execute with the prominence of salt, just like most various other salt-related expressions.

Salt: A World history Mark Kurlansky

Some scholars think the the idiom began in roman inn times, comes from the Latin cum grano salis, attributed come Pliny the Elder. Pliny, in Natural History, from the first century BC, said a tale about Pompey who uncovered a toxicity antidote that connected fasting and the addition of a serial of salt (addito salis grano). So, the contemporary idiom, according to this theory, come from the idea that a serial of salt safeguarded on from poison, which transferred eventually to protecting one indigenous undue acceptance misinformation or untrue, misleading, or exaggerated statements. In English, this idiom appears in print as beforehand as the 1600’s.

It is additionally popular that the original intention was not to figurative invoke protection, yet seasoning. The is, a serial of salt is every it take away to enhance the odor of food and also make that go under a little bit easier. So, the allusion may have originally been to making untruthful statements “easier come swallow.”

The latter theory is the most most likely candidate, aligning through the view of salt together a protective, fan to its preservative qualities.

Usually, this expression is no a method of saying the something is an outright lie, yet rather the it is exaggeration or only partly correct. So, for example, if girlfriend take through a grain of salt my statement that ns am an expert on whatever in the cook world, you wouldn’t assume i knew absolutely nothing, yet that i was somewhat, or much less, than an expert.

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1. Ammer, Christine. Fruitcakes & Couch Potatoes, and Other delicious Expressions. Plume, 1995.2. Ratcliffe, Susan. Oxford Treasury of Sayings and also Quotations. Oxford university Press, 2011.3. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge thesaurus of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.