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    Wrong entry in LEO?

    as mute as a maggot - stumm wie ein Fisch

    Wrong entry

    as mute as a maggot - stumm wie ein Fisch

    Comment
    This gets dictionary Google hits only: http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=%22mute+as+a... - the last one is in an actual printed book, but you would expect to find it outside a dictionary, or in some of the reputable dictionaries, if it was used. Can't find it in any of mine.
    Author CM2DD (236324) 28 Jun 10, 19:24
    Comment
    I was just thinking, that one must be BE, but then I saw it was CM2DD ...

    It's certainly not impossible, since you can make comparisons out of almost anything, but I wouldn't have thought it was a familiar saying.
    #1Authorhm -- us (236141) 28 Jun 10, 19:54
    Comment
    certainly isn't to me...
    #2AuthorTodd (275243) 28 Jun 10, 20:35
    Comment
    oh how lovely! I shall give it a home in my every-day conversation once Leo has kicked it out.
    As flat as a cucumber, as sober as a house on fire and as mute as a maggot. Perfect!
    #3Authorspinatwachtel29 Jun 10, 08:00
    Comment
    I've never heard this in my life, personally....
    #5AuthorUKer29 Jun 10, 09:13
    Context/ examples
    Comment
    Strange CM2DD, my giggle found more than your giggle.

    #6Authormykl (442296) 29 Jun 10, 09:29
    Comment
    mykl, you used Der Guhgel, CM2DD used Google....

    übrigens, Geistesblitz: vielleicht ist es ja auch ein Tippfehler für "as cute as a maggot"?
    #7AuthorSpinatwachtel (341764) 29 Jun 10, 09:35
    Context/ examples
    We have been waiting for the Christchurch Conservative journal to condemn one of the latest conversions, but it has been mute as a maggot.
    The Star. Issue 5826, Saturday, Issue 5826, 20 March 1897, Page 4
    http://www.paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/...

    I never say a word. Sure-ly, I could hang half the parish, if I wasn't as mute as a maggot!
    Fraser's magazine for town and country, Volume 39, p. 656, 1849
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=UdYAAAAAYA...

    My uncle doesn't understand a word; embarrassed, mute as a maggot, he steps back and points to the sofa.
    Hoffman, E.T.A., Weird Tales, Volume 1, Fairford: Echo Library 2010, p. 24
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=kJV9I9N828...
    = reprint of Weird Tales, By Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, A New Translation from the German with a Biographical Memoir By J.T. Bealby. NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1885.
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=EA0PAAAAIA...

    She's more like a ghost than a tarrier dawg. Runs mute as a maggot, and is joost as fast as a greyhound.
    Baily's Magazine of Sports and Pastimes, Volume XL, 1883, p. 290
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3jfjlS4-x9...

    I had to keep mute as a maggot.
    Xueqin Cao, The dream of the red chamber: a Chinese novel of the early Ching period, New York, N.Y.: Pantheon Books 1958, p.Page 387
    "The English translation by Florence and Isabel McHugh, is based on the German version, Der Traum der Roten Kammer, Insel Verlag, Wiesbaden, which Dr. Franz Kuhn has translated and adapted from the Chinese"
     
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Hl5kAAAAMA...
    http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/350000?loo...

    He asked in all the languages he knew, but she remained as mute as a maggot. However, as she was so beautiful, the King's heart was touched and he fell passionately in love with her.
    Grimms' fairy tales, Translated by Vladimír Vařecha, London : Cathay Books, 1984 p.70
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=NlaNtOLOjC...

    Weit häufiger als der Reim begegnet in solchen Vergleichen jedoch Alliteration: mad as mud, mute as a maggot, right as rain, etc.
    Hansen, K., 'Rhyming Slang and Reimform im Slang'. Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 14 (1966), 343
    http://books.google.de/books?id=pt9ZAAAAMAAJ...

    maggot (...) See acting the maggot; gallop (one's) antelope; mute as a maggot; fool at one end . . .; when the maggot . . . maggot-boiler.
    (...)
    mute as a maggot
    . Excessively silent: proletarian coll.:—1923 (Manchon).
    Eric Partridge, Paul Beale, A dictionary of slang and unconventional English: A dictionary of slang and unconventional English: colloquialisms and catch phrases, fossilised jokes and puns, general nicknames, vulgarisms and such Americanisms as have been naturalised, London: Routledge, 8th ed. 2002 pp. 713, 770
    http://books.google.de/books?id=tvRp1whVFUsC...
    http://www.bookrags.com/tandf/mute-as-a-maggot-tf/

    Comment
    Mir scheint, die einfache Google.uk-Suche hat sich ein Vorbild an den schüchternen LEO-Suchen genommen, die gerne mal nicht alles zeigen, was es gäbe...;-) Bei Google-Books finde ich doch einige mute maggots in freier Wildbahn, allerdings meist recht angejahrt!

    CM2DD, welche Wörterbücher würdest Du denn als "reputable dictionaries" durchgehen lassen? Ältere Ausgaben von Muret-Sanders oder Langenscheidt verzeichnen as mute as a maggot jedenfalls. Interessanterweise ordnen Partridge/Beale den Ausdruck dem "proletarian coll." der 1920er zu, was nicht unbedingt mit den sonstigen Fundstücken übereinstimmt.

    Ich würde vorschlagen, den Eintrag beizubehalten (falls doch jemand ratlos über eine der englischen Maden stolpert), "as mute as a maggot" aber (um von der Ü-Richtung de->en abzuraten) als dated, rare o.ä. zu kennzeichnen.
    #8Authorlunatic. (406119) 29 Jun 10, 09:57
    Comment
    Old, few and far between and mostly translated from German, exactly. But your first link does make it look as if native English speakers did use it at some time. I just looked in my monolingual English dictionaries - the biggest I have is the Shorter OED, which doesn't have it under "mute" or "maggot", but maybe it is in the big OED?

    Mykl, you have to go to the last page of results - your search is then just as short as mine. http://www.google.de/search?q=%22mute+as+a+ma...
    #9AuthorCM2DD (236324) 29 Jun 10, 10:28
    Comment
    Ta CM2DD, had to smile a little smile as to next to last link in your link 'A dictionary of slang and unconventional English', very unconventional English. :)
    #10Authormykl (442296) 29 Jun 10, 10:40
    Comment
    Does this mean I have to stop talking to maggots and fish? *tear* It's amazing what they say when not muted.

    On-Topic: Never heard this term, but Googleland certainly proves its existence. I don't think they are errors. It seems a cross-species fit, and no living creatures are harmed by the entry.
    #11Authoropine (680211) 29 Jun 10, 11:16
    Comment
    Wenn das "unkonventionelle" Englisch des Eintrags als solches gekennzeichnet ist, bedürfte es ersatzweise einer "konventionellen" englischen Entsprechung für dt. 'stumm wie ein Fisch'. Denn 'as mute as a maggot' ist bisher die einzige engl. Entsprechung für diese dt. Redensart.

    Am naheliegendsten, wörterbuch- und netzverbreitetsten wäre natürlich 'mute as a fish'. Auch für 'silent...' oder 'dumb as a fish' finden sich zahlreiche Netzbelege. Doch auch der mute/silent/dumb fish fehlt in aktuellen einspr. Nachschlagewerken, in denen ich ihn eigentlich erwarten würde... Was meinen native speakers?
    #12Authorlunatic. (406119) 29 Jun 10, 11:34
    Comment
    "Netzbeleg" ist eine niedliche Wortschöpfung, die ab sofort auch über Google zu finden ist. Da werden sich vielleicht Englischsprachige den Kopf zerbrechen, ob und wie gebräuchlich dieses Wort ist.
    #13AuthorViorel29 Jun 10, 11:41
    Comment
    Am I right in thinking that "stumm wie ein Fisch" mean you are refusing to talk, as in this example?

    Tags zuvor, bei der Entscheidung über 100 Meter, ist sie [Almsick] nur Fünfte geworden. Sandra Völker, die andere Deutsche, gewann die Silbermedaille.
    Stumm wie ein Fisch war van Almsick, die Favoritin, aus der Halle geeilt.
    http://www.zeit.de/1996/31/Springen_-_und_seh...

    If so, then "quiet as a mouse" doesn't work too well, as it suggests timidity, tiptoeing. Maybe w's "silent as a stone/post" would fit better, though that is not remarkably common either. Not sure that we actually use any "as ... as" construction with this meaning that commonly; I suspect we might just stick with "tight-lipped", "without a word" etc.

    I'm not familiar with "silent/dumb as a fish".
    #14AuthorCM2DD (236324) 29 Jun 10, 12:42
    Comment
    Around-topic: tongue-tied, devil's got your tongue ?
    #15Authoropine (680211) 29 Jun 10, 12:53
    Comment
    Tongue-tied, or "the cat's got your tongue" (BE) mean that you don't know what to say, e.g. because you feel embarrassed. I don't get the impression that "stumm wie ein Fisch" means that, but we'll have to wait for a more detailed explanation of the German, I guess.
    #16AuthorCM2DD (236324) 29 Jun 10, 13:03
    Context/ examples
    Falls ein Fisch mit liest ...
    Comment
    ... soll er einmal etwas sagen.
    #17AuthorPachulke (286250) 29 Jun 10, 13:13
    Suggestions



    Comment
    Wie es scheint, werden hier zwei Dinge vermischt:

    - sprachlos sein (stumm wie ein Fisch)
    - sich geräuschlos verhalten (mucksmäuschenstill sein)

    Siehe dazu #14.
    #18AuthorViorel29 Jun 10, 14:38
    Comment
    Viorel, "sprachlos sein" ist doppeldeutig und darf in diesem Zshg. jedenfalls nicht als "überrascht sein" verstanden werden. Die "zwei Dinge" haben ja auch miteinander zu tun: wer mucksmäußchenstill sein will, muss stumm wie ein Fisch bleiben...

    re#14: Am I right in thinking that "stumm wie ein Fisch" mean you are refusing to talk, as in this example?
    CM2DD, ich verstehe "stumm wie ein Fisch" sein noch etwas weiter: nicht sprechen (egal aus welchem Grund). Der Fokus liegt auf dem (nicht) gesprochenen Wort.
    Bei "mucksmäuschenstill" sein liegt der Fokus dagegen auf der Geräuschlosigkeit. Nicht zu sprechen ist hier nur ein Teilaspekt, auch das sonstige Verhalten ist geräuschlos.

    #19Authorlunatic. (406119) 29 Jun 10, 15:14
     
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