From the chaff and strife

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Dymn

Senior Member
I've run into the following sentence and the text in bold makes no sense to me:

We tested a selection of supermarket sourdoughs to sort the staff of life from the chaff and strife.

I've looked up the meaning of "chaff" and "strife" but I still don't get it. Is it a kind of set phrase?

Thanks in advance :)
 
  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It's based on the saying "to sort/separate the wheat from the chaff". The staff of life is bread: that's the reference to wheat. "Strife" is for the purposes of a rhyme; it adds no meaning.

    Chaff:
    something of little worth; rubbish (esp in the phrase separate the wheat from the chaff)
    (WR dictionary)
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    What is the source, please?
    If it's British, I hear an echo of rhyming slang - "trouble and strife=wife". British journalists go in for this kind of wordplay quite a lot.
     
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