Persian: دست از پا درازتر برگشتن

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by seitt, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. seitt Senior Member

    Turkey
    English/Welsh
    Greetings,

    Courtesy of Morteza:
    دست از پا درازتر برگشتن

    I really think this fascinating expression deserves its own thread. As far as I can make it, the best English equivalent is “to return (come back) empty-handed”.

    But what is the actual image here? In other words, why “hands longer than feet”? What has this got to do with being empty-handed?

    All the best, and many thanks,

    Simon
     
  2. Treaty Senior Member

    Australia
    Persian
    Hi again,

    I don't know, but I just guess it may be related to دست دراز کردن (to take something without permission) and دست را پیش کسی دراز کردن (to ask/beg for something). Because when you want to take something you stretch your hand. It's a humorous idea that somebody has stretched their hand so much as if it becomes longer than their leg, while it has no use for them.
     
  3. searcher123

    searcher123 Senior Member

    My home ;-) /The Persian Gulf
    Farsi/Persian/فارسي
    I don't know the story of this proverb too, but even in western animations when a person want something but he can not catch it, he will come back with hands bigger than his/her legs!

    Oh! and a question please: So "I went for wool and came back shorn" is not a good equivalent to دست از پا درازتر برگشتن as we talked about it here?
     
  4. seitt Senior Member

    Turkey
    English/Welsh
    Many thanks - most interesting insights.


    No doubt you're right about this - I just hadn't noticed.

    Having thought about it, I would say sometimes but not always. In "I went for wool and came back shorn", you go to get something, in this case wool i.e. the hair of a sheep, but you end up shorn i.e, losing your own hair. So, in this saying, it is important that you lose something (as well as not gaining anything).

    However, you could take the very fact of wasting your time as a loss. As they say, time is money. Nevertheless, after much consideration I would personally prefer "آمد ابرو را درست کند، چشم هم کور شد" as a closer equivalent of "I went for wool and came back shorn", to be precise "He came for wool but went back shorn", I suppose.

    But does the آمد in this sentence mean "he came" or rather something like "he tried"?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  5. searcher123

    searcher123 Senior Member

    My home ;-) /The Persian Gulf
    Farsi/Persian/فارسي
    Thank you so much for your clarification.

    It mean "he tried". BTW, correct is آمد ابرويش را درست كند، ﴿زد﴾ چشمش را هم كور كرد
     
  6. seitt Senior Member

    Turkey
    English/Welsh
    Wow, thank you so much!
    Re this زد, does it simply mean that he hit his own eye, albeit accidentally, or is there more to it than that?
     
  7. searcher123

    searcher123 Senior Member

    My home ;-) /The Persian Gulf
    Farsi/Persian/فارسي
    Yes for "hit", but not for "own eye"! ;) Well, normally no one will embellish her own eyebrow. Why? I really like to suggest you a very very funny test to you find the answer yourself. Sit at the front of a mirror. Take a pen and put a piece of paper on the ground in front of the mirror. Take a thing as a veil between your eyes and your hands so that you be unable to see the paper directly; just look at the paper and your hands from between the mirror. Now try to draw a simple shape such as a square or a triangle only with looking at the mirror! Can you do it?! (Please do that practically. It is really funny) :D :D

    This proverb is:

    آمد ابروي او را درست كند، ﴿با قيچي يا هر ابزار آرايشگري ديگري كه در دست داشت زد﴾ چشم او را هم كور كرد
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  8. seitt Senior Member

    Turkey
    English/Welsh
    Thank you so much - indeed, I've just realized the importance of the fact that it's ابرويش and not ابروي خود. That's the important thing, isn't it?

    And you're right about the test - all I came up with was an extremely silly-looking squiggle!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  9. searcher123

    searcher123 Senior Member

    My home ;-) /The Persian Gulf
    Farsi/Persian/فارسي
    You are welcome as always my dear friend. Yes, it is.

    Do you know the reason? If not, I will explain. Your mind have learned during your life that every time he is ordering to your hands "turn to right", your hands turn to right and every time he is ordering to your hands "turn to left", your hands turn to left. But mirror is showing everything in reverse.

    So when your mind is ordering your hand "turn to right", your eyes are sending a message to your mind that "the hand was turning to left. change your order". You mind will correct his order and will send another message to your hand that "my order was wrong. turn to left". Your hand will turn to left, but this time your eyes will say to your mind "hand get wrong again and turned to right". Now, your mind will be bollixed :D
     

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