Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,055
B
old hand
OP Offline
old hand
B
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,055
I guess most here know this one. Does its meaning stem from some American colonial times? It must be more rare than I thought as I did find any information.
As far as I know it essentially means to cull, or select the good/useful parts from the whole.
In German there's the self-explanatory 'die Spreu vom Weizen trennen' (to separate the wheat from the chaff), but the idiom isn't as clear cut in English. Are we separating the useful/good English from the unwanted Dutch here?.
I'd be interested to learn other foreign equivalents too :-)


Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 428
F
addict
Offline
addict
F
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 428
I've never heard the phrase, but it's a useful (and colorful) one. My shot-in-the-dark guess is it has something to do with New Amsterdam's change to New York - from Dutch to English control.


Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 609
R
addict
Offline
addict
R
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 609
Separate the English from the Dutch

This is a completely new one to me, B.Y., but we are already separated from the Dutch by the North Sea (not exactly where the English Channel -it IS ours - ends and North Sea begins).

New info: The only google reference I can find is within the lyrics of an expletive filled rap.

Separate the:
sheep from the goats
men from the boys

Rod


Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
I've never heard it, either....

Separate the:
sheep from the goats
men from the boys


No! As much as I wanna be one of the guys, I simply *cannot go there....


Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Thoreau's Journal, September 1858
... a new way of separating the chaff from the wheat.
========================================================
This is the earliest use I could take the time to find, but
the image is used several times in the Bible, though not
expressed specifically in those words that I know of.


Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,439
W
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
W
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,439
Separate the English from the Dutch

Two hereditary monarchs? Both women. Never happen!


Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,542
"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than
I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His
winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the
barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."......Matthew 3:11:12; Luke 3:17

[purportedly the words of John the Baptist]


Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,409
M
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
M
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,409
I guess most here know this one. Does its meaning stem from some American colonial times? It must be more rare than I thought as I did find any information.
As far as I know it essentially means to cull, or select the good/useful parts from the whole.
In German there's the self-explanatory 'die Spreu vom Weizen trennen' (to separate the wheat from the chaff), but the idiom isn't as clear cut in English.


Sorry, belligerentyouth, but "separate the English from the Dutch" doesn't appear to have made it all the way up here to Nieuw Zeeland - maybe that's because there are so many Dutch people in my part of the country! "Separate the wheat from the chaff", on the other hand, is a very common expression, at least in my experience.
Speaking of separating English from Dutch, that would appear to be getting more difficult to do. The Dutch(?) coffee house Moccona is running an ad here in which the the actor speaks Dutch while her words are translated in subtitles. The interesting thing is that many people I know who speak only English, have commented on how superfluous the subtitles are, that the entire script is quite comprehensible without them.



Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 609
R
addict
Offline
addict
R
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 609
men from the boys

No! As much as I wanna be one of the guys, I simply *cannot go there....


Sorry AS, I think I may be missing the point here. Were you refering to the practice of separating an English "the" from a Dutch "the"? Or were you commenting on "separating the men from the boys" being a cross thread reference to love handles? Or just on how many "the"s were in the sentence?

Confused of Portsmouth




Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,146
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,146
The Dutch(?) coffee house Moccona is running an ad here in which the the actor speaks Dutch while her words are translated in subtitles. The interesting thing is that many people I know who speak only English, have commented on how superfluous the subtitles are, that the entire script is quite comprehensible without them.

There are two messages in that ad. You're quite right, it doesn't need subtitles. In fact, it doesn't even need the sound. We could do with the coffee. Or the stage set. Or that ridiculously small summer dress ...

Here, we sometimes say that someone who is making no sense is speaking double-dutch.

Anyone else use that expression?



The idiot also known as Capfka ...
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4

Moderated by  Jackie 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,904
Posts227,979
Members9,147
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
accCngrssMRA, rexdee, gypsydancer, Astrostu, Chaske
9,147 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 members (wofahulicodoc), 160 guests, and 2 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,542
LukeJavan8 9,797
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2021 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5
(Release build 20201027)
Responsive Width:

PHP: 7.4.25 Page Time: 0.014s Queries: 34 (0.005s) Memory: 2.9384 MB (Peak: 3.2481 MB) Data Comp: Off Server Time: 2021-10-27 01:17:21 UTC
Valid HTML 5 and Valid CSS