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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

En casa de herrero, cuchillo de palo

En casa de herrero, cuchillo de palo. Sounds plain Spanish, well, what's the meaning of it?

There is a variant: En casa de herrero, cuchara de palo. Cuchillo is knife, cuchara is spoon. And herrero is blacksmith. With palo is a small issue: any dictionary will send you to the post office (palo meaning postal). It means also other things, among them wooden.

In Portuguese: Casa de ferreiro, espeto de pau. Sounds like in the blacksmith's house the skewer is wooden made. Wow! skewer sounds more funny than knife in the context.

In French: Les cordonniers sont toujours les plus mal chaussés.

In English: The shoemaker's son always goes barefoot.

Let me try a Romanian variant: Cizmarul umblă întodeauna cu pantofii rupţi, iar croitorul cu pantalonii peticiţi în fund (not bad; mixing the French cordonnier and the English shoemaker; or whatever).

Here is a story (told by palocortado), that explains the meaning of all this stuff: I was staying on a dairy farm, and we woke up one morning to no milk in the fridge (the farm house is a few kilometers away from the farm, so we'd usually bring milk home after the previous evening's milking). The hostess opened the fridge and announced that there was no milk. To that, her husbamd said, en casa de herrero, cuchillo de palo.

But, as everybody knows, a picture's worth thousand words, so, here you go:

(Refranero español)



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