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to make "a right pig's ear" of something Options
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, January 29, 2018 5:54:36 AM

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Hello!

Could somebody kindly expalin what kind of idiom is this:

Being a trained economist is not everything. There have been trained economists – Arthur Burns in the 1970s, for example – who have made a right pig’s ear of running the Fed.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/nov/05/jerome-powell-boring-choice-fed-chairman-interesting-times

Thank you very much!
Kirill
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Monday, January 29, 2018 6:01:19 AM

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pig's ear on TFD

Also found in Wikipedia.


აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, January 29, 2018 6:03:53 AM

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Thanks a lot!
It's not in Mutitran, I think I am going to add it now.
thar
Posted: Monday, January 29, 2018 7:29:29 AM

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And 'right' is just an intensifier -complete, total.
Romany
Posted: Monday, January 29, 2018 9:42:18 AM
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It's not an idiom one hears often but it's still around - unlike its companion "In a pig's ear!" which was once a very colloquial phrase meaning "Rubbish!" or "I don't believe it!".

However, both are still understandable if one chooses to use them.
NKM
Posted: Monday, January 29, 2018 3:44:20 PM

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Note that American English doesn't use "right" to intensify a noun phrase; we'd say "real" instead, as in "made a real mess of it."

However, we do use "right" as an intensifier with adverbial phrases: "right on time", "moving right along", "come right to the point" etc.

Romany
Posted: Monday, January 29, 2018 4:17:05 PM
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NK - interesting: I'd never considered that.

We don't use in in Southern English, either: it's part of a Northern dialect originally.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 10:24:27 PM

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Romany wrote:
NK - interesting: I'd never considered that.
We don't use in in Southern English, either: it's part of a Northern dialect originally.

Yes - northern English is "right".
He made a right mess of it.

Northern British (Scottish) - at least in this area - it's "pure".
He's a pure numpty.
He's a right wally.
He's a total idiot.
She's pure bonny.
She's right bonny.
She's very pretty.

*************
There's also the idiom of making a silk purse from a pig's (sow's) ear.

However, it's not true.




Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 1:44:38 AM

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Too late to edit my last reply.
I asked a 'local' and he says that "very informal" idiom is actually "pure dead <adjective>" - often "pure dead brilliant".

That dinner was pure dead brilliant!

**********
"Wally" in English is "a stupid person" (may be a bit dated now) but in Scottish English it's an adjective and means "fine, splendid" - from Old Scots and Middle English "wale".

**********
In northern English, "right" is pronounced with a diphthong, one syllable but 'sliding' between two vowels, "a" and "i". /ræɪt/ or just /ræɪʔ/

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 3:55:20 AM

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Of course there is a class system even within intensifiers. Whistle

You can make a right royal mess of something.

I'm surprised you say it's not southern. It is certainly natural to me, although I can be a bit of a mish-mash.

But I don't say reet.

Quote:
Adjective
reet (comparative mair reet, superlative maist reet)

(Geordie) right
Usage notes
Generally this spelling and pronunciation of right applies only in the adjective and adverb (see below) senses of the word and of the noun sense.

Adverb
reet (not comparable)

(Geordie) right


I'm more of a 'rai'i't'!
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 4:54:10 AM
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Drago -

I love the "pure dead brilliant" !! It's very satisfying to say too!

"Wally" is on the decline down here, but is still used. I love it - but my favourites are "Numpty" and "Muppet" (fairly rare now except in the London dialect, it would appear. ). Unfortunately I discovered them too late to have them as part of my default vocab.and sound natural actually saying them. But they're handy to use on social media: rather sweet substitutes for "You silly bugger".

Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 10:01:03 AM

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Drago, do you mean "right" is pronounced as an Australian does? We've been watching "The Doctor Blake Mysteries" on PBS and I notice how the Australian actor says "right" every time he says it, and that's his go to response so he says it a lot. A bit of short a but mostly long i sound as if he were going to say "riot" (without the o). Our "right" is pronounced the same as "write".

We might use any of the three - right mess, royal mess, (right royal mess), or real mess. But we would also say "a total idiot".

The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
taurine
Posted: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 11:24:10 AM

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People living in Eastern European countries know smoked pig's ear as a delicacy snack.
I think that in Latvian or Lithuanian shop I have seen it once in Dublin.

J'ai perdu mes amis en Afrique durant la dernière semaine de 2017
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 6:48:17 PM
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Hope -

Wash your mouth out with soap, girl! Does an Englishman sound like an Aussie? That's blasphemous!!

No, but seriously, I can see how it may have looked that way. However, they are both very distinct. Perhaps Drago can tell you which particular dialect he's referring to and you can listen to it. You'll hear immediately that it's different to the bloke you hear.
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 7:55:10 PM

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They all sound the same to me, Rom. Whistle Whistle Whistle

Seriously, I love Aussie, British, Scottish, Irish, and even some southern US accents. I don't have an accent. Whistle .

My husband can discern what part of England and Scotland people are from when he hears them talking. He's always asking complete strangers if they are from such and such an area once he hears them speak. And he usually gets it right. People love to talk about it with him - have to drag him away sometimes.

The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
almo 1
Posted: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 8:06:49 PM
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taurine wrote:
People living in Eastern European countries know smoked pig's ear as a delicacy snack.
I think that in Latvian or Lithuanian shop I have seen it once in Dublin.







This?








Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 12:02:30 AM

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Hi Hope!

Romany's right - it's not the long "Rai - it!" as a response (a sort of ironic "I totally believe that!") which I think you mean.

It's fairly short.

This little girl says "It wa' right funny" a couple of times in the first two minutes then "Yeah" I go right really high". The whole interview is fun to listen to. She's from Yorkshire, so the accent is not exactly like mine, but close.



Lots of examples of the many different ways we say 't' and 'th' too!
"He don' juggle", "go t't'park", "on t'swings", "he pushed me all t'time", "all the time".

********
Hi thar!
Yeah - I hadn't thought about that.

"Reet" is Northern dialect, but "rait" is normal English with a Lancashire accent.
I've been away from Lancashire so long that I've mostly lost the dialect but kept the accent.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
taurine
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 9:25:11 AM

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almo 1 wrote:
taurine wrote:
People living in Eastern European countries know smoked pig's ear as a delicacy snack.
I think that in Latvian or Lithuanian shop I have seen it once in Dublin.







This?











Not first, but the second one.

J'ai perdu mes amis en Afrique durant la dernière semaine de 2017
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 10:26:42 AM

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Thanks, Drago.

Oh my goodness. I caught maybe two out of three words she said. I listened three times before I heard her say it with the swing and I wasn't even sure that's what she said then except you corroborated it. I have seen that little girl being interviewed before. She is sweet.

You are correct in that the actor I was talking about uses the word in a drawn out fashion where I often say "Okay" or "Yeah" or nod in agreement. But if he were to say it faster it would sound somewhat similar to the adult male interviewer who used it a couple of times.

Dah - day is very different from our pronunciation of Dad'dee. My husband calls "pants" - "trousers" - as she did. Lots of other differences too as you noted.

Rom, one can definitely know that the Australian accent is influenced by the British as there are similarities as well as differences. Not too unusual with the history.

I find talking about and hearing different accents very interesting.

The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
Romany
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 11:27:29 AM
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Hope - well yes, the Australian accent is, of course, based on the accents of the UK. However, it's the Irish accent which is closer to Oz-talk than what people think of as an "English" accent.

Up until the 70's Australians considered an Aussie accent uncouth and uncultured; public figures tried to dilute it as much as they could.And in schools we weren't supposed to speak "Australian": a BBC accent was the height of 'couthness'.

Fortunately Australia sort of came of age in the '70s and suddenly and deliberately started speaking Oz and celebrating all things Australian. Oz-talk was not just acceptable but really cool! (I think that was about the time 'Crocodile Dundee came out. It made older Australians cringe, but it became sort of cultish amongst many younger Australians)
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 1:34:07 PM

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Rom,

Of course you would know better than I do because my only exposure is listening to Australian guests on talk shows. Glad Australians decided to be who they are.

It blows my mind how some actors are so gifted that they can make a whole film in an accent they had to learn so that I had no idea they weren't from there until I heard them speak in real lfe. Usually there's at least one giveaway.

I forget who now but one example was an Aussie speaking American. I thought he was American till I heard him on a talk show. It may have been a curly-haired guy - I haven't seen him lately on TV, but I can picture him.

But when asked about the accent, he said, "Well, yeah. It's called acting".

Edited - checked the web - Simon Baker is the name of the actor I think it might have been.


The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
almo 1
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 1:47:29 PM
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taurine wrote:
almo 1 wrote:
taurine wrote:
People living in Eastern European countries know smoked pig's ear as a delicacy snack.
I think that in Latvian or Lithuanian shop I have seen it once in Dublin.







This?











Not first, but the second one.










I got it!






Romany
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 4:53:20 PM
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Hope - I actually used to work as a voice coach for one of the State Theatre companies in the early 2000s. Learning different accents is part of what actors just have to do. But for some reason not many American actors get it right (need I even *mention* Dick Van Dyke in 'Mary Poppins'?

And, I must admit that there is one which completely escapes me: and that's any kind of Scottish accent! I can do a sort of Dick Van Dyke with it, but any true Scot would probably clap their hands to their ears and scuttle out of hearing, totally affronted!
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 5:09:49 PM

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I don't doubt the Scottish accent would be hard. I've mentioned before it took me a year to get every word that my mother-in-law was even saying at first. My father-in-law was easier to understand but they came from different areas - they met on the boat on the way to Canada.

The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
almo 1
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 5:10:31 PM
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Hi! Ms./Mr. Romany,


This is not a chat room.






NKM
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 5:20:51 PM

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Mad Almo strikes again!

(and again, and again …)

Hope123
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 7:28:30 PM

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Rom, you have certainly had a varied career! No wonder you are so knowledgeable about history, literature etc.

The past is to be respected/acknowledged, not worshipped. It is in our future we will find our greatness. Pierre Trudeau
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 8:08:57 PM

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almo 1 wrote:
Hi! Ms./Mr. Romany,
This is not a chat room.

It is a discussion site. As it says on the main menu page:

Quote:
English Vocabulary
General discussion about the English language: definitions, usage, etymology, etc.
This is a discussion of accents and word-usage in different locations.

Just admit it - you are obsessed with Romany and can't resist posting something every time she does, no matter how non-sequitur your post may be.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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