Astrology and English Idioms

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Astrology and English Idioms

Post by Mersenne » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:04 pm

For the attention of the Forum:

The influence of astrology in daily language is considerably greater than people realise.

Idiomatic expressions often have direct astrological correspondences, and these are very pervasive in the English language. Even a person who considers himself a disbeliever in astrology will happily describe an acquaintance as "a bonehead", evoking a Saturn/Capricorn/10th house (bone) and Mars/Aries/1st house (head) affliction which is likely to be in the acquaintance's horoscope.

The following is a list of idioms, largely based on the body and health. Particular keywords exploited are:

SU heart, centre, life, self, eyes; gold, golden
MO breast, milk, stomach, rib, roots; self, auto-, white, silver, warm, baby-, common, wet, anything to do with belonging
ME hand, digit, breath, bowels; quick, light, double
VE back, kidneys, pelvis, pelvis, hips, balance, carriage, neck, throat; soft, gentle, warm, even, green
MA head, face, nose; hot, red
JU liver, thighs, blood; big, full, open, varied
SA bones, knees, skin; cold, tight, dark, black, dry
UR legs, ankles, veins; wrong, left, off-, out-, all things contrary, inverted and sudden
NE feet; cloudy, soft, fuzzy, double, split, anything ill-defined or oleaginous
PL genitalia; under, secret, hidden, deep

In the following, take e.g. "SU/MO" to indicated "Sun, Leo, 5th house/Moon, Cancer, 4th house" involvements. The reader is begged not to take the interpretations too seriously. No such list can be exhaustive; any attribution is a matter of opinion and open to question; and idioms tend to have a negative connotation. Where the vocabulary may offend, I have used either a circumlocution or asterisks. Where the expressions are obscure or problematic, I've added a synonym in brackets.

SUN Involvements
SU/SU golden-hearted, self-centred
MO/SU baby-faced, heart and soul, heartfelt
ME/SU light-hearted, with hand on heart, the golden touch, the apple of his eye
VE/SU heavy-hearted, brass-necked, loud-mouthed (egotistic), tender-hearted, soft hearted, a soft centre, heart-warming, the green-eyed monster
MA/SU hot-headed, alpha-male, bare-faced
JU/SU golden touch, big-hearted, open-hearted
SA/SU cold-hearted, hard-hearted
UR/SU left-field, off-centre
NE/SU a big fish in small pond, all wet
PL/SU hides his light under a bushel, deep-seated, deep-down, heartache

MOON Involvements
MO/MO the milk of (human) kindness
ME/MO butterflies in the stomach, runs off at the mouth, self-serving, having the common touch
VE/MO self-loving, "on her hip", "hanging around her neck" (babied, dependent)
MA/MO flies off the handle
JU/MO lily-livered (cowardly)
SA/MO pours cold water on, home-bound, under house arrest
UR/MO a cuckoo in the nest, a square peg in a round hole
NE/MO "all around the houses" (indecisive), feels it in his water (intuitive)
PL/MO plays cards close to one's chest, deep-rooted

MERCURY Involvements
ME/ME light-fingered, tongue in cheek, small-minded
VE/ME even-handed, velvet glove, fair-minded, a finger in many pies, pencil-necked (studious, officious), "with hands on hips" (disapproving)
MA/ME light-headed, bare-faced, red-handed
JU/ME open-handed, broad-minded, far-reaching, running repairs, broad-beamed
SA/ME heavy-handed, tight-fisted, narrow-minded, tongue-tied, small-boned, hard-working
UR/ME left-handed, free-thinking, a leg-puller
NE/ME scatter-brained, woolly thinking, loose-limbed, butter-fingers, silver-tongued, under the heel, toes the line, loose lips, "runs off at the mouth", "verbal diarrhoea"
PL//ME with forked tongue, under-handed, back-hander, near the knuckle, deep throat (concerned with secrets, but also has sexual connotations... I'm told), "given to pleasures of the palm", to give someone the finger, making a blot on his copybook, "unable to discern the radial articulation from the fundamental sphincter" (confused)

VENUS Involvements
VE/VE hip (fashionable), neck and neck (equal), joined at the hip (inseparable)
MA/VE toffee-nosed, nose in the air, sticks his neck out (hasty), neck and crop (wholly, violently)
JU/VE all ears (attentive)
SA/VE keeps ear to the ground, finds things hard to swallow (cautious, cynical), thick-skinned, a frog in his throat, a sweet tooth, stiff-necked (stubborn);
UR/VE cloth-eared (inattentive, aloof)
NE/VE swallows anything (gullible), both feet on the ground
PL/VE "of negotiable affection" (inconstant), a pain in the neck (persistently objectionable)

MARS Involvements
MA/MA hot-headed
JU/MA big-headed, chin up!, hot-blooded, forward-looking
SA/MA bone-headed, backwards-looking, keeps his head down
UR/MA wrong-headed, a short fuse
NE/MA head in the clouds, best foot forward, head over heels (enthusiastic)
PL/MA "evinces cephalic genitalia" (stupid)

JUPITER Involvements
JU/JU larger than life, full of himself
SA/JU cold blooded, big-boned
UR/JU a law unto himself
NE/JU of loose morals, by a stretch of the imagination
PL/JU "replete with faecal matter" (a liar)

SATURN Involvements
SA/SA brittle-boned, all skin and bones
UR/SA black looks, knock-kneed, brown-kneed
NE/SA thin-skinned, lead-footed, to get cold feet, hard drinker
PL/SA "of constricted posterior sphincter" (officious), "a pain in the posterior" (objectionable), a skeleton in the cupboard

URANUS Involvements
UR/UR second-guesses himself
NE/UR wrong-footed, left-footed
PL/UR mad, bad and dangerous to know, "a**e backwards" (has anyone thought about this one? Aren't posteriors supposed to be backwards?), "the excrement has hit the extractor" (a disaster has occurred)

NEPTUNE Involvements
NE/NE puts his foot in it
PL/NE down at heel, footloose

PLUTO Involvements
PL/PL "up his own a**e" (tormenting himself; not implying actual contortionism)

The above may be a trivial case of the "poetic" influence in modern, prosaic English. Readers are invited to submit their own suggestions.
See on this Forum:
Mersenne’s Astrological Statistics & Datasets
Mersenne’s Microcosm
Mersenne’s Transneptunians

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Re: Astrology and English Idioms

Post by admin » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:21 pm

I very much enjoyed this, and laughed at lot, even after finding much that is relevant to my own personal chart matters, and which is – gulp – a bit ‘confronting’ but which I know to be...true in essence. :roll:

Clearly a lot of time and work has gone into this and I hope others will take the time to read it through, enjoy it, and comment.

Thanks for this.

Admin.
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
Chinese proverb

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Re: Astrology and English Idioms

Post by karma » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:59 pm

Hi Mersenne,

:lol: This was real fun to read. I had to read the post twice before getting it into my head because I have never heard of any comparison like this before. I checked these combinations against my horoscope and that of my hubby's. I did not want to accept some of them though deep under I knew they were almost true.. :roll:
It was a cool read. Thanks for the effort! You have an interestingly unsual bent of mind. :D

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Re: Astrology and English Idioms

Post by karma » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:01 pm

admin wrote:I very much enjoyed this, and laughed at lot, even after finding much that is relevant to my own personal chart matters, and which is – gulp – a bit ‘confronting’ but which I know to be...true in essence. :roll:

Clearly a lot of time and work has gone into this and I hope others will take the time to read it through, enjoy it, and comment.

Thanks for this.

Admin.
Oh Admin, I could have just plainly said, I second yours. :D

Mersenne
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Re: Astrology and English Idioms

Post by Mersenne » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:28 am

karma wrote: ... This was real fun to read... I checked these combinations against my horoscope and that of my hubby's. I did not want to accept some of them though deep under I knew they were almost true... Thanks for the effort! You have an interestingly unsual bent of mind.
And thank you, karma, you're very kind. If only the people who disparage astrology knew how deeply it permeates the English language, and how often they invoke astrology in everyday conversation!
See on this Forum:
Mersenne’s Astrological Statistics & Datasets
Mersenne’s Microcosm
Mersenne’s Transneptunians

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