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Witleastisms

witleast

In the second chapter of IN THE DOGHOUSE’S HOT WATER, you’ll meet a bird by the name of Witleast. Despite his penguinlike appearance, he’s no penguin; if you want to know, he’s a Black Phoebe, a small flycatcher. Witleast is also a flubphrase; that is, he has a bad habit of flubbing common expressions that we almost always use right. These nutty mistakes can be called Witleastisms, and they seemingly occur whenever he opens his beak.


For example, one common expression is “Don’t put the cart before the horse.” It means that you shouldn’t get ahead of yourself by doing things in the wrong order. What Witleast says is “Don’t put the art before the horse.” One special kind of expression is an idiom. With idioms, even though you know what all the words mean by themselves, unless you already know it’s an idiom, you won’t understand what the idiom means when you put the words together. One common idiom is “Hot under the collar.” It means that someone is angry. What Witleast says is “Hot under the cauliflower.”


If you want to, every time Witleast appears, pay close attention to what he says; when you find one of his many bungled expressions (there are 80 plus 1 of them!), keep track of it.


As soon as you’re done, take a look at the full list below.




CHAPTER 2

1. WITLEASTISM: Don’t put the art before the horse

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Don’t put the cart before the horse (do things in the right order)

Above him, Witleast, a small, jolly bird, landed on a wire that soared from pole to pole. His bobbing body was black, his chest was white, and his dark feet clung to the wire’s snaky footing. His tail flicking, he gawked at Thoorl below him, and out of his jumbled head, he spoke. “Don’t put the art before the horse.” (p. 6)


2. WITLEASTISM: Hot under the cauliflower

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Hot under the collar (angry)

“Fair,” Witleast said. “But there’s no need to get hot under the cauliflower about it.” (p. 7)


3. WITLEASTISM: At your wheat’s end

RIGHT EXPRESSION: At your wit’s end (desperate for an answer)

“Is that so?” Witleast asked. “Well, to me, it looks like you’re at your wheat’s end.” (p. 8)


4. WITLEASTISM: Cut the mouse turd

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Cut the mustard (to do well)

“And that being the case, why won’t you let me help?” Witleast asked. “Are you afraid that I won’t be able to cut the mouse turd?” (p. 8)


5. WITLEASTISM: Make the grape

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Make the grade (to do well)

“Or make the grape or fill the billy goat?” (p. 8)


6. WITLEASTISM: Fill the billy goat

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Fill the bill (to do well)

“Or make the grape or fill the billy goat?” (p. 8)


7. WITLEASTISM: Suit your elf

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Suit yourself (do what you want)

“Well then, suit your elf.” (p. 8)


8. WITLEASTISM: In the doghouse’s hot water

RIGHT EXPRESSIONS: In the doghouse and In hot water (in trouble)

“Are you going to be in the doghouse’s hot water?” (p. 9)


9. WITLEASTISM: Never look a gimp horse in the mouth

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Never look a gift horse in the mouth (be thankful for gifts)

“The pillow was a gift for her? Did she love it?” Witleast asked. “Of course she did. Never look a gimp horse in the mouth.” (p. 10)


10. WITLEASTISM: Once in a whale

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Once in a while (sometimes)

“Hmm,” Witleast said, and he was silent for a moment. “Once in a whale, I have nightmares.” (p. 11)


11. WITLEASTISM: Scare the living nightlights out of me

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Scare the living daylights out of you (to really scare you)

“They scare the living nightlights out of me when they do come.” (p. 11)




CHAPTER 4

12. WITLEASTISM: Bull you over

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Bowl someone over (to amaze someone)

“Didn’t I bull you over?” Witleast asked. (p. 17)


13. WITLEASTISM: Hit the snail on the head

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Hit the nail on the head (to be exactly right)

“I see what you’re getting at,” Witleast said, and he cocked his head. “But I’m not sure that you hit the snail on the head.” (p. 18)


14. WITLEASTISM: The bottom lion

RIGHT EXPRESSION: The bottom line (the most important point)

“Don’t shilly-shally,” Witleast said. “The bottom lion is that we’re here how and we’ve got to go up, and so let’s go up.” (p. 20)


15. WITLEASTISM: Ants in your plants

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Have ants in your pants (to be fidgety)

“What’s wrong?” Witleast asked. “Have you got ants in your plants?” (p. 21)




CHAPTER 7

16. WITLEASTISM: A piece of snake

RIGHT EXPRESSION: A piece of cake (easy)

“What they said? You thought it would be a piece of snake to understand?” Witleast asked. “But are you at least ready to try to see if what they said is true? We know when: tonight. And we know where: the tree with two white stripes. We even know what to look for: a small, masked seeker.” (p. 36)


17. WITLEASTISM: You can’t have your cane and eat it too

RIGHT EXPRESSION: You can’t have your cake and eat it too (you can’t have something both ways)

“Well, you can’t have your cane and eat it too.” (p. 37)


18. WITLEASTISM: Jump to a contusion

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Jump to a conclusion (to make a hasty judgment)

“I’m looking forward to it,” Witleast said. “I don’t want to jump to a contusion, but I think we’ll find what they said we’d find.” (p. 37)


19. WITLEASTISM: Get something off my treasure chest

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Get something off your chest (to say something you’ve been reluctant to say)

Witleast saw the sulking, and it didn’t sit well with him, and he felt that he had a gripe. “Do you mind if I get something off my treasure chest?” (p. 37)


20. WITLEASTISM: Add in salt to an injury

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Add insult to injury (to make something worse)

“I know your Co’s nightmares are rankling, and I don’t want to add in salt to an injury, but I went out and got us this opportunity, and now you don’t seem to care.” (p. 38)


21. WITLEASTISM: Hit the boar’s eye

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Hit the bull’s-eye (to be exactly right)

“You hit the boar’s eye!” (p. 38)


22. WITLEASTISM: Skating on thin eyes

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Skating on thin ice (to be in a dangerous position)

Witleast mocked harshness. “You’re skating on thin eyes, you know?” (p. 38)


23. WITLEASTISM: See the world through rose-covered glasses

RIGHT EXPRESSION: See the world through rose-colored glasses (to be optimistic)

“Sometimes, I think I see the world through rose-covered glasses. But you see what I see, and it inspires optimism, right?” Witleast asked. (p. 38)


24. WITLEASTISM: Mongoose bumps

REAL EXPRESSION: Goose bumps (little bumps on your arm)

“Like now. Maybe I’m just a strange bird, but I get mongoose bumps from hearing what we’re hearing.” (p. 38)




CHAPTER 9

25. WITLEASTISM: Broke wind of

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Get wind of (to hear about)

Witleast had his head aslant and his eyes fixed on Thoorl. “I hope we’re the only ones who broke wind of this news. I don’t want anyone else to come and take what’s ours.” (p. 44)


26. WITLEASTISM: Knock on a woodchuck

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Knock on wood (you hope something doesn’t change)

“Well, knock on a woodchuck, let’s hope it stays that way.” (p. 45)


27. WITLEASTISM: You can slay that again

RIGHT EXPRESSION: You can say that again (you’re right)

You can slay that again,” Witleast said. “It’s raining calves and dogs.” (p. 45)


28. WITLEASTISM: It’s raining calves and dogs

RIGHT EXPRESSION: It’s raining cats and dogs (it’s raining hard)

“You can slay that again,” Witleast said. “It’s raining calves and dogs.” (p. 45)


29. WITLEASTISM: Pick up the sack

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Pick up the slack (to do more than your part)

“I’ll need to do it. I’ll do it. I’ll pick up the sack.” (p. 45)


30. WITLEASTISM: Kill two birds with one stove

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Kill two birds with one stone (take care of two problems at once)

Witleast was unbending. “Why not kill two birds with one stove? You rest, and I’ll stand on your back.” (p. 46)


31. WITLEASTISM: It makes scents

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Make sense (to be reasonable)

“Look,” Witleast said. “It makes scents. You want to rest. I want to be watchful.” (p. 46)


32. WITLEASTISM: Put tooth and tooth together

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Put two and two together (to put two facts together and realize something)

“I think I just put tooth and tooth together,” Witleast said. (p. 46)


33. WITLEASTISM: Downed on me

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Dawn on you (to realize something)

Witleast was certain. “It just downed on me what the nestlings meant.” (p. 46)


34. WITLEASTISM: The strawberry that broke the camel’s back

RIGHT EXPRESSION: The straw that broke the camel’s back (the small, final thing in a series of things that makes you lose your temper)

Witleast was a tad disappointed about the turn of events, and with a bashful tone, he whispered to Thoorl. “Don’t be mad with me. I hope this isn’t the strawberry that broke the camel’s back.” (p. 48)


35. WITLEASTISM: Have ache on my face

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Have egg on your face (to be embarrassed about a mistake)

“I guess I have ache on my face,” Witleast said. “Perhaps we’ll be surprised though.” (p. 49)




CHAPTER 10

36. WITLEASTISM: Count our chickens before they scratch

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Count your chickens before they hatch (to celebrate a success before it’s happened)

“What do you think? Is this going to work out?” Witleast asked, and his eyes were on the raccoon’s ringed tail. “Can we count our chickens before they scratch?” (p. 50)


37. WITLEASTISM: Parking up the wrong tree

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Barking up the wrong tree (to ask the wrong person)

“I’m not afraid,” Witleast said. “You’re parking up the wrong tree if you’re looking for a coward here.” (p. 51)


38. WITLEASTISM: For pizza’s sake

RIGHT EXPRESSION: For Pete’s sake (good grief)

“We should have known,” Witleast said. “For pizza’s sake, he was eating donuts!” (p. 53)


39. WITLEASTISM: Turn the candle at both ends

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Burn the candle at both ends (to work extra long)

“To the trashcans?” Witleast asked. “Let’s turn the candle at both ends.” (p. 55)


40. WITLEASTISM: Fold your horses

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Hold your horses (wait a minute)

“Whoa! Fold your horses! That’s why?” Witleast asked. “Well, to me, it sounds like a long shop. But what do I know?” (p. 55)


41. WITLEASTISM: A long shop

RIGHT EXPRESSION: A Long shot (something unlikely to happen)

“Whoa! Fold your horses! That’s why?” Witleast asked. “Well, to me, it sounds like a long shop. But what do I know?” (p. 55)




CHAPTER 12

42. WITLEASTISM: Wake up on the wrong side of the bread

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Wake up on the wrong side of the bed (to be grumpy)

“Did someone wake up on the wrong side of the bread this morning?” Witleast asked. (p. 62)


43. WITLEASTISM: Need another hassle like I need a hole in my head of lettuce

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Need something like you need a hole in the head (to not need something)

“I’m with you,” Witleast said. “I need another hassle like I need a hole in my head of lettuce.” (p. 62)


44. WITLEASTISM: Sleeping like a log cabin

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Sleeping like a log (soundly sleeping)

“Look at him. He’s sleeping like a log cabin,” Witleast said. (p. 64)




CHAPTER 13

45. WITLEASTISM: Cost an arm and an egg

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Cost an arm and a leg (to cost a lot)

“It won’t cost an arm and an egg. I’m sure of it,” Witleast said. “It’ll be as easy as taking candy from a bumblebee.” (p. 69)


46. WITLEASTISM: As easy as taking candy from a bumblebee

RIGHT EXPRESSION: As easy as taking candy from a baby (very easy)

“It won’t cost an arm and an egg. I’m sure of it,” Witleast said. “It’ll be as easy as taking candy from a bumblebee.” (p. 69)


47. WITLEASTISM: Sweating bowl lids

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Sweating bullets (sweating a lot from fear)

Witleast was earnest. “Well, I’m not sweating bowl lids, but I’m worried.” (p. 69)


48. WITLEASTISM: Time is monkey

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Time is money (time is valuable, so hurry up)

“When?” Witleast asked. “Time is monkey. If not now, then when?” (p. 69)




CHAPTER 15

49. WITLEASTISM: Stamped you in the back

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Stab someone in the back (to betray someone)

“You think I stamped you in the back. Do you? I do,” Witleast said. “And now you’re giving me the coal shoulder. Is that what’s happening?” (p. 79)


50. WITLEASTISM: Giving me the coal shoulder

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Give someone the cold shoulder (to ignore someone you’re angry at)

“You think I stamped you in the back. Do you? I do,” Witleast said. “And now you’re giving me the coal shoulder. Is that what’s happening?” (p. 79)


51.WITLEASTISM: Tastes the cake

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Take the cake (to be the most impressive of all)

“I know, this tastes the cake, but long story shorned, I thought that we could always get more sweets for the raccoon at a later time, and I thought that you would be more eager to do so if getting something for Co was the goal. It was hard for me to believe that getting something for my father would motivate you much, although I do put stork in your kindheartedness, and so I did what I did, and now here we are.” (p. 79)


52. WITLEASTISM: Long story shorned

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Long story short (in a nutshell)

“I know, this tastes the cake, but long story shorned, I thought that we could always get more sweets for the raccoon at a later time, and I thought that you would be more eager to do so if getting something for Co was the goal. It was hard for me to believe that getting something for my father would motivate you much, although I do put stork in your kindheartedness, and so I did what I did, and now here we are.” (p. 79)


53. WITLEASTISM: Put stork in

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Put stock in (to trust)

“I know, this tastes the cake, but long story shorned, I thought that we could always get more sweets for the raccoon at a later time, and I thought that you would be more eager to do so if getting something for Co was the goal. It was hard for me to believe that getting something for my father would motivate you much, although I do put stork in your kindheartedness, and so I did what I did, and now here we are.” (p. 80)


See Number 8. WITLEASTISM: In the doghouse’s hot water

RIGHT EXPRESSIONS: In the doghouse and In hot water (in trouble)

“Am I in the doghouse’s hot water?” Witleast asked, and he got his answer when Thoorl turned tail and went away. (p. 80)




CHAPTER 17

54. WITLEASTISM: Mind my peas and cubes

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Mind your P’s and Q’s (to be obedient)

“I know I didn’t mind my peas and cubes,” Witleast said. “But I’d like you to listen to me. I want to right the sheep. I want to eat humbug pie.” (p. 88)


55. WITLEASTISM: Right the sheep

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Right the ship (to correct an error)

“I know I didn’t mind my peas and cubes,” Witleast said. “But I’d like you to listen to me. I want to right the sheep. I want to eat humbug pie.” (p. 88)


56. WITLEASTISM: Eat humbug pie

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Eat humble pie (to admit a mistake)

“I know I didn’t mind my peas and cubes,” Witleast said. “But I’d like you to listen to me. I want to right the sheep. I want to eat humbug pie.” (p. 88)


57. WITLEASTISM: You have to break a few legs to make an omelet

RIGHT EXPRESSION: You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet (you sometimes have to do things you don’t want to do in order to accomplish something)

“No. Listen. My thinking was that you have to break a few legs to make an omelet. So I did. But I was wrong to.” (p. 88)


58. WITLEASTISM: If you scratch my buck, I’ll scratch yours

RIGHT EXPRESSION: If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours (if you do something for me, I’ll do something for you)

“I didn’t set out to do what I did. Believe me. At first, my thinking was that if you scratch my buck, I’ll scratch yours. But then I had second dots.” (p. 88)


59. WITLEASTISM: Had second dots

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Have second thoughts (to think twice about something)

“I didn’t set out to do what I did. Believe me. At first, my thinking was that if you scratch my buck, I’ll scratch yours. But then I had second dots.” (p. 88)


60. WITLEASTISM: Make a fountain out of a molehill

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Make a mountain out of a molehill (to make a big deal out of something small)

“It’s still that way. It’s still cold,” Witleast said. “But there’s no need to make a fountain out of a molehill.” (p. 89)




CHAPTER 18

61. WITLEASTISM: A sprain in the neck

RIGHT EXPRESSION: A pain in the neck (a difficult nuisance)

“It was a sprain in the neck trying to get it all,” Witleast said. (p. 94)


62. WITLEASTISM: I smell a cat

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Smell a rat (to suspect that something suspicious is going on)

I smell a cat,” Witleast said. (p. 94)


63. WITLEASTISM: Something’s fishing

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Something’s fishy (something is suspicious)

Something’s fishing, if you ask me,” Witleast said. (p. 94)


64. WITLEASTISM: Pull a few string beans

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Pull a few strings (to use personal connections to get something you want done)

“Can’t you pull a few string beans?” Witleast asked. (p. 95)




CHAPTER 20

65. WITLEASTISM: Like looking for a beetle in a haystack

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Like looking for a needle in a haystack (like looking for something impossible to find)

“It’s like, well, it’s like, well, look, looking for the right words is like looking for a beetle in a haystack,” Witleast said, as flustered as could be. “Ugh. You two, I’m sure, bake it from granite, that is, your wits and the words that come from them, but not me. No. Sure, every once in a now and then while, something eloquent is mistakenly brought forth from my beak. But that’s once in a balloon moon. More often than snot, it’s one sleep of the tongue after another. I might even be better off being quiet all the time. I think that. But I’m not one to throw out the tabby with the bathwater. What would you do if the shoe was on the otter’s foot? What would you do if you made so many blunders? No one could mold a candle from me. But that’s that, I guess. You can’t teach an old dog’s new ticks. Maybe it’s a blessing in ducks’ eyes. All in all, eloquence isn’t for everybody.” (p. 104)


66. WITLEASTISM: Bake it from granite

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Take it for granted (to assume something)

“It’s like, well, it’s like, well, look, looking for the right words is like looking for a beetle in a haystack,” Witleast said, as flustered as could be. “Ugh. You two, I’m sure, bake it from granite, that is, your wits and the words that come from them, but not me. No. Sure, every once in a now and then while, something eloquent is mistakenly brought forth from my beak. But that’s once in a balloon moon. More often than snot, it’s one sleep of the tongue after another. I might even be better off being quiet all the time. I think that. But I’m not one to throw out the tabby with the bathwater. What would you do if the shoe was on the otter’s foot? What would you do if you made so many blunders? No one could mold a candle from me. But that’s that, I guess. You can’t teach an old dog’s new ticks. Maybe it’s a blessing in ducks’ eyes. All in all, eloquence isn’t for everybody.” (p. 104)


67. WITLEASTISM: Every once in a now and then while

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Every now and then or Once in a while (sometimes)

“It’s like, well, it’s like, well, look, looking for the right words is like looking for a beetle in a haystack,” Witleast said, as flustered as could be. “Ugh. You two, I’m sure, bake it from granite, that is, your wits and the words that come from them, but not me. No. Sure, every once in a now and then while, something eloquent is mistakenly brought forth from my beak. But that’s once in a balloon moon. More often than snot, it’s one sleep of the tongue after another. I might even be better off being quiet all the time. I think that. But I’m not one to throw out the tabby with the bathwater. What would you do if the shoe was on the otter’s foot? What would you do if you made so many blunders? No one could mold a candle from me. But that’s that, I guess. You can’t teach an old dog’s new ticks. Maybe it’s a blessing in ducks’ eyes. All in all, eloquence isn’t for everybody.” (p. 104)


68. WITLEASTISM: Once in a balloon moon

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Once in a blue moon (rarely)

“It’s like, well, it’s like, well, look, looking for the right words is like looking for a beetle in a haystack,” Witleast said, as flustered as could be. “Ugh. You two, I’m sure, bake it from granite, that is, your wits and the words that come from them, but not me. No. Sure, every once in a now and then while, something eloquent is mistakenly brought forth from my beak. But that’s once in a balloon moon. More often than snot, it’s one sleep of the tongue after another. I might even be better off being quiet all the time. I think that. But I’m not one to throw out the tabby with the bathwater. What would you do if the shoe was on the otter’s foot? What would you do if you made so many blunders? No one could mold a candle from me. But that’s that, I guess. You can’t teach an old dog’s new ticks. Maybe it’s a blessing in ducks’ eyes. All in all, eloquence isn’t for everybody.” (p. 104)


69. WITLEASTISM: More often than snot

RIGHT EXPRESSION: More often than not

“It’s like, well, it’s like, well, look, looking for the right words is like looking for a beetle in a haystack,” Witleast said, as flustered as could be. “Ugh. You two, I’m sure, bake it from granite, that is, your wits and the words that come from them, but not me. No. Sure, every once in a now and then while, something eloquent is mistakenly brought forth from my beak. But that’s once in a balloon moon. More often than snot, it’s one sleep of the tongue after another. I might even be better off being quiet all the time. I think that. But I’m not one to throw out the tabby with the bathwater. What would you do if the shoe was on the otter’s foot? What would you do if you made so many blunders? No one could mold a candle from me. But that’s that, I guess. You can’t teach an old dog’s new ticks. Maybe it’s a blessing in ducks’ eyes. All in all, eloquence isn’t for everybody.” (p. 104)


70. WITLEASTISM: Sleep of the tongue

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Slip of the tongue (a verbal mistake)

“It’s like, well, it’s like, well, look, looking for the right words is like looking for a beetle in a haystack,” Witleast said, as flustered as could be. “Ugh. You two, I’m sure, bake it from granite, that is, your wits and the words that come from them, but not me. No. Sure, every once in a now and then while, something eloquent is mistakenly brought forth from my beak. But that’s once in a balloon moon. More often than snot, it’s one sleep of the tongue after another. I might even be better off being quiet all the time. I think that. But I’m not one to throw out the tabby with the bathwater. What would you do if the shoe was on the otter’s foot? What would you do if you made so many blunders? No one could mold a candle from me. But that’s that, I guess. You can’t teach an old dog’s new ticks. Maybe it’s a blessing in ducks’ eyes. All in all, eloquence isn’t for everybody.” (p. 104)


71. WITLEASTISM: Throw out the tabby with the bathwater

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Throw out the baby with the bathwater (to completely get rid of something useful because something related to it is no good)

“It’s like, well, it’s like, well, look, looking for the right words is like looking for a beetle in a haystack,” Witleast said, as flustered as could be. “Ugh. You two, I’m sure, bake it from granite, that is, your wits and the words that come from them, but not me. No. Sure, every once in a now and then while, something eloquent is mistakenly brought forth from my beak. But that’s once in a balloon moon. More often than snot, it’s one sleep of the tongue after another. I might even be better off being quiet all the time. I think that. But I’m not one to throw out the tabby with the bathwater. What would you do if the shoe was on the otter’s foot? What would you do if you made so many blunders? No one could mold a candle from me. But that’s that, I guess. You can’t teach an old dog’s new ticks. Maybe it’s a blessing in ducks’ eyes. All in all, eloquence isn’t for everybody.” (p. 104)


72. WITLEASTISM: What would you do if the shoe was on the otter’s foot

RIGHT EXPRESSION: What would you do if the show was on the other foot (what would you do if you were the one facing a difficulty)

“It’s like, well, it’s like, well, look, looking for the right words is like looking for a beetle in a haystack,” Witleast said, as flustered as could be. “Ugh. You two, I’m sure, bake it from granite, that is, your wits and the words that come from them, but not me. No. Sure, every once in a now and then while, something eloquent is mistakenly brought forth from my beak. But that’s once in a balloon moon. More often than snot, it’s one sleep of the tongue after another. I might even be better off being quiet all the time. I think that. But I’m not one to throw out the tabby with the bathwater. What would you do if the shoe was on the otter’s foot? What would you do if you made so many blunders? No one could mold a candle from me. But that’s that, I guess. You can’t teach an old dog’s new ticks. Maybe it’s a blessing in ducks’ eyes. All in all, eloquence isn’t for everybody.” (p. 104)


73. WITLEASTISM: No one could mold a candle from me

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Can’t hold a candle to someone (you can’t compare to someone)

“It’s like, well, it’s like, well, look, looking for the right words is like looking for a beetle in a haystack,” Witleast said, as flustered as could be. “Ugh. You two, I’m sure, bake it from granite, that is, your wits and the words that come from them, but not me. No. Sure, every once in a now and then while, something eloquent is mistakenly brought forth from my beak. But that’s once in a balloon moon. More often than snot, it’s one sleep of the tongue after another. I might even be better off being quiet all the time. I think that. But I’m not one to throw out the tabby with the bathwater. What would you do if the shoe was on the otter’s foot? What would you do if you made so many blunders? No one could mold a candle from me. But that’s that, I guess. You can’t teach an old dog’s new ticks. Maybe it’s a blessing in ducks’ eyes. All in all, eloquence isn’t for everybody.” (p. 104)


74. WITLEASTISM: You can’t teach an old dog’s new ticks

RIGHT EXPRESSION: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks (you can’t teach people who are too old)

“It’s like, well, it’s like, well, look, looking for the right words is like looking for a beetle in a haystack,” Witleast said, as flustered as could be. “Ugh. You two, I’m sure, bake it from granite, that is, your wits and the words that come from them, but not me. No. Sure, every once in a now and then while, something eloquent is mistakenly brought forth from my beak. But that’s once in a balloon moon. More often than snot, it’s one sleep of the tongue after another. I might even be better off being quiet all the time. I think that. But I’m not one to throw out the tabby with the bathwater. What would you do if the shoe was on the otter’s foot? What would you do if you made so many blunders? No one could mold a candle from me. But that’s that, I guess. You can’t teach an old dog’s new ticks. Maybe it’s a blessing in ducks’ eyes. All in all, eloquence isn’t for everybody.” (p. 104)


75. WITLEASTIM: A blessing in ducks’ eyes

RIGHT EXPRESSION: A blessing in disguise (something that looks bad but turns out to be good)

“It’s like, well, it’s like, well, look, looking for the right words is like looking for a beetle in a haystack,” Witleast said, as flustered as could be. “Ugh. You two, I’m sure, bake it from granite, that is, your wits and the words that come from them, but not me. No. Sure, every once in a now and then while, something eloquent is mistakenly brought forth from my beak. But that’s once in a balloon moon. More often than snot, it’s one sleep of the tongue after another. I might even be better off being quiet all the time. I think that. But I’m not one to throw out the tabby with the bathwater. What would you do if the shoe was on the otter’s foot? What would you do if you made so many blunders? No one could mold a candle from me. But that’s that, I guess. You can’t teach an old dog’s new ticks. Maybe it’s a blessing in ducks’ eyes. All in all, eloquence isn’t for everybody.” (p. 104)


76. WITLEASTISM: Stick out like a soaring thumb

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Stick out like a sore thumb (to stand out)

“Yeah?” Witleast asked. “It’s just that my flaws, at times, seem to stick out like a soaring thumb. It’s at those times that I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a fireplace. But maybe that’s not so. Maybe that’s just how the cookie’s crumb bowls, right? After all, I’m me, and there’s more than meets the ivy. We shouldn’t judge a brook by its clovers, and if someone does, then they do.” (p. 105)


77. WITLEASTISM: Stuck between a rock and a fireplace

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Stuck between a rock and a hard place (in a difficult position between two bad options)

“Yeah?” Witleast asked. “It’s just that my flaws, at times, seem to stick out like a soaring thumb. It’s at those times that I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a fireplace. But maybe that’s not so. Maybe that’s just how the cookie’s crumb bowls, right? After all, I’m me, and there’s more than meets the ivy. We shouldn’t judge a brook by its clovers, and if someone does, then they do.” (p. 105)


78. WITLEASTISM: That’s just how the cookie’s crumb bowls

RIGHT EXPRESSION: That’s how the cookie crumbles (that’s the way things turn out)

“Yeah?” Witleast asked. “It’s just that my flaws, at times, seem to stick out like a soaring thumb. It’s at those times that I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a fireplace. But maybe that’s not so. Maybe that’s just how the cookie’s crumb bowls, right? After all, I’m me, and there’s more than meets the ivy. We shouldn’t judge a brook by its clovers, and if someone does, then they do.” (p. 105)


79. WITLEASTISM: There’s more than meets the ivy

RIGHT EXPRESSION: There’s more than meets the eye (there’s more to something than you think)

“Yeah?” Witleast asked. “It’s just that my flaws, at times, seem to stick out like a soaring thumb. It’s at those times that I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a fireplace. But maybe that’s not so. Maybe that’s just how the cookie’s crumb bowls, right? After all, I’m me, and there’s more than meets the ivy. We shouldn’t judge a brook by its clovers, and if someone does, then they do.” (p. 105)


80. WITLEASTISM: We shouldn’t judge a brook by its clovers

RIGHT EXPRESSION: You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (you shouldn’t make a decision based only on the appearance of something)

“Yeah?” Witleast asked. “It’s just that my flaws, at times, seem to stick out like a soaring thumb. It’s at those times that I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a fireplace. But maybe that’s not so. Maybe that’s just how the cookie’s crumb bowls, right? After all, I’m me, and there’s more than meets the ivy. We shouldn’t judge a brook by its clovers, and if someone does, then they do.” (p. 105)


81. WITLEASTISM: Water under the brick

RIGHT EXPRESSION: Water under the bridge (something forgiven and forgotten)

Witleast looked at the kite, and it made him happy. “Pardon my moping. Is it all water under the brick now?” (p. 105)