Random Dictionary Fun

Okay, so from the title, you’re probably thinking I’m the most boring person you know. But I promise, it isn’t as bad as it sounds! I’m in the final verification of the words for the Beembe dictionary and the largest remaining task is to look at the cross-references one last time to make sure they’re still valid. This needs to be done because some words had their definitions changed or some parts of a definition taken out as part of the the revising process. Since the dictionary is in Beembe and French, sometimes I need to look up the French words to see if the two words are really related in some way. It’s okay for knee, foot and thigh to reference each other, but knee should not be referencing lizard, for example.

In the course of checking two words to see if they were related or not, I ran across the phrase “Ne reste pas là planté comme une souche!” Literally it means “Don’t stay there planted like a stump.” What’s amusing are the English free translations given. For British English: Don’t just stand there like a lemon! And for American English: Don’t just stand there like a turkey!

I thought the American English one was really funny because I’d never say that and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anybody say it. The closest I can come is “Don’t just stand there like a bump on a log!” So, what do you think? Do people actually say “turkey” or not? If not, what would you say instead?

– Sara

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