keep your breath to cool your porridge

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by pbasil, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. pbasil Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    Hi all,

    what is about this saying?

    keep your breath to cool your porridge

    What is the meaning of it?
    Is it to advise other people that they should not get into your business? Or is it rather like this other expression "wasting their breath", therefore trying giving you advice which will be ignored by you.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Banzai Member

    Cincinnati, OH
    Ohio, USA - English
    Hi pbasil,

    It sounds like they're telling the person that there is a better use for their breath (or words). You're probably right that it means they are "wasting their breath" or maybe they are just bothering someone by talking too much.

    I've never heard anyone actually use this, though, which is probably because it's a very old saying. The only time I've actually encountered this was in the novel Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen in the 1800's. Maybe it's more popular in Britain. :)
  3. pbasil Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    Hi Banzai,

    what a coincidence! Pride and Prejudice is the novel where I found the expression in today. But I think it is still being used in Engalnd as I have heard this saying in the film Snatch too.
  4. el alabamiano Senior Member

    I have never heard it quite like that, though I know what it means. See below for an explanation from here.

    Keep your Breath to Cool your Porridge Look after your own affairs, and do not put your spoke in another person's wheel. Husband your strength to keep your own state safe and well, and do not waste it on matters in which you have really no concern. Don't scold or rail at me, but look at home.
  5. Banzai Member

    Cincinnati, OH
    Ohio, USA - English
    You two are really quick with the responses...

    Wow, alabamiano, that's a really interesting site. If anyone knows of a similar one that could help me with Spanish idioms/etc. please let me know. :)

    Pbasil, I was wondering where you had heard that phrase, haha. I didn't notice it in Snatch, but that's cool, I'll have to listen for it next time.
  6. plgol

    plgol Member

    USA English
    I've never heard it anywhere. I'd agree with Banzai that it sounds like it means "don't bother saying anything, you're wasting your time (breath = words).

  7. mora Senior Member

    Canada, English

    Jane Austen y los ingleses lo han robada de Cervantes...Don Quijote Cap. v.

    Significa 'no entrometerse en las cosas de otros'

  8. inmyshoes New Member

    American spanish
    Banzai, I think that in spanish it could be: "En boca cerrada no entran moscas" if it means that you should not get into someone else business.
    But I think that in Pride and prejudice means that you're wasting your time, that they're not listening to you and won't change their minds, in this case I can't remember any idiom in spanish, if I find one I'll tell you!
  9. pbasil Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    I heard it in Snatch, as many others here.

    Mora, what expression in El Quijote are you referring to? I got a bit surprised by your statement, can you share it with us?

  10. irea

    irea Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain
    I think in Spanish we'd just say 'calla y come" LOL

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