A question about 2 idioms

Guest   Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:04 am GMT
Can you please explain these two phrases to me: "the other side of the grass" and "proverbial deep end"
K. T.   Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:27 am GMT
"The grass is greener on the other side" is the idiom or proverb I think you mean.

It means that even though someone's situation seems better, it may not be. Be content with what you have.

Picture two sheep separated by a fence in the same grazing area. Each thinks the other's grass is tastier.

I understand the other one, but I'll let someone tackle that for you.
Guest   Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:30 am GMT
Thank you, yes I forgot the green part. I understand it now, I thought it was something like that. But I'm completely lost with the second one.
Guest   Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:35 am GMT
It means means being shallow irregardless of being deep.
Jon   Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:10 pm GMT
"deep end" is generally used to refer to some sort of insanity or craziness.

If someone has gone off the 'proverbial deep end', it means they've gone crazy, are hysterical, etc.

It usually refers to a temporary or unusual state of mental instability. It is NOT a euphemism for mental disability in general.

It might also refer to someone who has been talking, and suddenly their words don't make any sense... some theologians have a tendency for this. They can start with 'God', go off the deep end, and end up talking about something completely unrelated or nonsensical.

"What's Jim babbling on about now?"
"Not sure; seems like he's gone off the deep end again."

Guest   Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:14 pm GMT
davidab   Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:52 am GMT
'to go in at the deep end' means to go into a difficult situation without prior preparation or training. So the proverbial 'deep end' could also mean a difficult situation.
furrykef   Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:18 am GMT
I'll note that the word "proverbial" is not really part of the expression "off the deep end". Often when somebody uses a well-known idiom or cliché, they will insert the word "proverbial". For instance, the dictionary gives the example of "the proverbial smoking gun". "Smoking gun" is a common expression for a revealing clue that leaves no doubt about something (usually something bad), much as somebody carrying a real smoking gun a short distance from a murder scene leaves no doubt about who the murderer is.

I don't know why the word "proverbial" is used this way, and I have to admit I don't like it. It doesn't add any information or clarify anything, making it a needless word, and to top it off, most of the expressions referred to aren't even proverbs. All it tells you is that you're dealing with an idiom, which will usually be obvious enough anyway.

- Kef
oldGuest   Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:04 pm GMT
Hi, I have another question. If someone calls another person a "novelty act," what does that mean?
I'm sorry I have these questions. When I can help, I answer other people here, but I have nobody who can help me with these phrases that I encounter. I can't find the stuff in the dictionary.
Guest   Sun Nov 25, 2007 7:44 pm GMT
In the entertainment business (chiefly in music), a novelty act is a performer or group of performers whose artistic value is chiefly decorative, comic, or the like and whose appeal is often transitory. For instance, William Hung ("American Idol"), who released a record album of his atrocious interpretations of pop hits a few years ago, is regarded in the music industry as a novelty act.