expression about "being selfish"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by ESC85, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. ESC85

    ESC85 Senior Member

    Korean
    I wonder if there's any similar expression or cliche about "being selfish".


    In my country, we say "that person is selfish to the marrow.", which depict an out-and-out selfish person.

    What do you say when referring to that selfish person? - using any word regarding "bone or body".
     
  2. Glenfarclas Senior Member

    Chicago
    English (American)
    "To the bone" is probably the expression you want; it means "completely, through-and-through." We use it with other traits in addition to selfishness, of course.
     
  3. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Strangely, English also has the concept to "to the marrow" "After an hour on the mountain, we were chilled to the marrow." which, I supposed to be one stage further than the more common, "to the bone" (NB singular 'bone')

    There is wider usage (may be not from native speakers) at http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/israel-criminal-to-the-marrow-of-the-bones/ The use seems natural and is entirely understandable.

    http://www.wordreference.com/definition/bone marrow also gives a very similar example to your Korean saying. So all in all, I would say that "that person is selfish to the marrow." is idiomatic in English.
     
  4. ESC85

    ESC85 Senior Member

    Korean
    I googled and found out there are;

    25,000 results for "selfish to the bone"

    but, 1,870 results for "selfish to the marrow".
     

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