I should not have written 'agreed' without looking at the whole thread. In #13 Nenita spoke of 'beating a dead horse' to which ptak30 said in #16 'The English expression is "flogging a dead horse".' I took this as a correction of the English expression,
I don't know much about generational gaps in knowledge of idiomatic expressions (especially in the Spanish language), but I did run portions of these phrases through Google's Ngram and found the results rather interesting. Google's Ngram only allows you to search for phrases of four words or less, but assuming there are few phrases that begin with "buscarle la quinta pata" or "buscarle tres pies" it gives you something to go on and might explain why one version may be more familiar to some than to others. If anyone knows why "buscarle la quinta pata" seems to have emerged in the 1960s, I'd love to hear your theories. The link to the Google Ngram search I did is here. A similar search I conducted is here. As you can see, the results for both sets of phrases is roughly the same.Most of those expressions are quite familar to me also. But I have noticed that my 20-something children don't seem to understand some expressions that I think are perfectly common and obvious, so there may be some generational aspect here. Certainly something like "cows coming home" or "dog in the manger" seem like perfectly ordinary and easy to understand expressions to me. I should check to see if my daughter understands them.
En realidad no es lo mismo puesto que buscarle las 3 o 5 patas al gato es buscar lo que no existe, en cambio hacer algo que te haga romper la cabeza (split hairs) solo señala algo difícil de hacer pero no imposible.Hello. The best translation for this spanish modism "Buscarle tres pies al gato " would be "To split hairs"
En realidad no es lo mismo puesto que buscarle las 3 o 5 patas al gato es buscar lo que no existe, en cambio hacer algo que te haga romper la cabeza (split hairs) solo señala algo difícil de hacer pero no imposible.
|split hairs v expr||figurative (focus on trivial things)||buscarle el pelo al huevo loc verb|
|buscarle la quinta pata al gato loc verb|
Merriam Webster Dictionary says splitting hairs is to make often peevish criticisms or objections about matters that are minor, unimportant, or irrelevant.
split hairs v expr figurative (focus on trivial things) buscarle el pelo al huevo loc verb buscarle la quinta pata al gato loc verb
¿Qué tiene que ver "split hairs" con "romper la cabeza"?
No me parece lo mismo. Puedo estar equivocado.
I agree with how you have explained "to split hairs," and also that it is not the same as "buscarle las 3/5 patas al gato," but Agró was asking about how that is related to "romper la cabeza," which I think has a different meaning.
La expresión “romperse la cabeza” significa precisamente esto: pensar intensamente para encontrar la solución a una pregunta, una dificultad, una adivinanza, un problema, reflexionar de manera muy intensa.
I’m Spain, the original say when referring to somebody trying to convince you of something that´s not true, manipulating and lying is “no le busques cinco pies al gato”In Chile the original sentence in spanish has no sense. In Chile we say "buscarle la quinta pata al gato", where "pata" is the generic name for the extremities.
In this context, the sentence has no meaning, because any cat has "cuatro patas".
Anyway, I agree with the previous posts, you are looking for problems where there is no one.
Well... It seems to be a continental issue then. Because here in Argentina I just have heard as in Chile "buscarle la quinta pata al gato".I’m Spain, the original say when referring to somebody trying to convince you of something that´s not true, manipulating and lying is “no le busques cinco pies al gato”
but “pies” back then when talking about poetry and words meant “syllables“ and Cervantes was the first to use “no le busques los tres pies al gato” because obviously “gato” has two syllables/pies