The 'Fishwife' Misconception
There is a saying in my mother tongue that says: “you’ll never go to sleep without learning something new.”
And yesterday was one of the days that proved that this saying is totally right.
Having studied English ever since I was 6-7 years old (I don’t really recall when I actually started), I should know pretty much everything about this language… at least from the grammatical point of view (even though when I speak/write I undoubtedly keep on making mistakes due to the other languages messing up the message in my head). However, when it comes to idioms, I still feel like a little child that has just started to speak. And maybe I am like a child because of that: never before living in Glasgow was I so immersed in this language.
One of the funny things is that, because I don’t know many of these idioms, communication with other people can lead to funny stories. And this is one...
Yesterday at the labs my colleagues were joking about someone who really likes to gossip. And to express that, they said exactly this sentence: “She gossips more than a fishwife.” I never heard that term, so my mind rapidly imagined a Scotsman with his kilt marrying a big fish with a fancy wedding dress. Very odd indeed. So I just answered something like “You British are really weird. In Spain, we don’t marry fishes.” To that, they just smiled and kept on with the chat. It wasn’t until later that another colleague explained to me that fishwife referred to “fisherman wife” and then everything made sense!
I guess that stories like this make it worth living abroad, and I look forward to having more.
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