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"The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again."

Mathilde Blind, April Rain
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Live (from) hand to mouth

HeknerHekner Posts: 1,493 ✭✭✭✭✭
"The Lepido family, she informed Dom, lived hand to mouth in a rundown old property they couldn't buy because the bank kept refusing them the loan." ("Watercolours")



to live (from) hand to mouth - to have just enough money to live on and nothing extra


My father earned very little and there were four of us kids so we lived from hand to mouth. (Cambridge Idioms Dictionary)
"The world was a fantastic, marvelous, awesome place, Rose decided."

Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Subsistence farming?
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited August 2014
    We have this idiom in Farsi too, which has exactly the same meaning @Hekner @mheredge. By the way, " Hand to Mouth" is the name of a book written by Paul Auster an American author.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    "One of the most original and audacious autobiographies ever written by a writer, Hand to Mouth tells the story of the young Paul Auster's struggle to stay afloat. By turns poignant and comic, Auster's memoir is essentially a book about money - and what it means not to have it. From one odd job to the next, from one failed scheme to another, Auster investigates his own stubborn compulsion to make art and, in the process, treats us to a series of remarkable adventures and unforgettable encounters. "

    Another famous story about living from hand to mouth is George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London where he relates his adventures as a tramp in the two cities. You can download the book from here:

    http://www.george-orwell.org/Down_and_Out_in_Paris_and_London/index.html
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    When I think about living from hand to mouth, I can imagine one person who spend his
    own time doing nothing but the simple act of handing a bit of food to his mouth, more and more times, endlessly, for being, his main trouble, all day long, just how to get that bit of food, nothing else.
    I hope I've got the right interpretation of what the phrase is intended to represent

    By the way, I've not got what the meaning of the adjective 'rundown' is. I mean I can't associate' rundown' with 'poor conditions'
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • What I think about this idiom is that a man works very hard from early morning up to the late night but his wage is very low and by which he can prepare just a little bread for his wife and children. In persian we say نان بخور و نمیر the bread for eating just for not dying.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Hand to mouth @filauzio, is a phrase describing a person spending all their time working to put food in their mouth, but with nothing left over. Subsistence farming is a good example of living from hand to mouth.
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    welcome back @mheredge‌

    Thank you, I've got it. I already thought that the poor man living that way, wouldn't have to leave over any other activities.
    I was just trying to find out what the ordered words were suggesting me.
    For example, reading the phrase ' rundown old property', I can imagine, before consulting my dictionary, an almost destroyed building, a ruined one.
    I'd like to know where the word came from, for obviously it was from a different context.
    I think I'll got it by reading much more
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Yes, you're perfectly right. A run down old property means that it's been neglected and might be ruined or in a state of disrepair.

    But run down has a lot of meanings. It can also mean to be tired or exhausted, or in a state of poor health. A watch or a clock might be run down if it needs to be wound up. You can give someone a run down of what has happened (a summary). If you are talking about baseball, a run down is when a runner is caught between bases by two or more players of the opposing team. And if you're feeling hungry, a run down is a Jamaican fish stew!
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You always exhaustive, @mheredge‌ ... oh, I just was forgetting it... I have to immediately run down to buy the eggs for tomorrow's breakfast !

    Can I add this?

    P.S. nothing compared with a Jamaican fish stew, although enough to me to wake up
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    edited September 2014
    :D

    Enough to wake you up @filauzo! I have just had breakfast. Fried eggs on toast. My favourite!
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge‌

    What about beated eggs with sugar and a bit of coffee? I admit being greedy but the truth is that I couldn't be satisfied with only salty food on breakfast, I wouldn't be able to spring out to life.
    I would just fall down asleep
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Beaten eggs with sugar for breakfast @filauzio‌? I'm not sure. This sounds more like a dessert. I don't really have much of a sweet tooth. The coffee's usually enough to make sure I don't fall asleep. (You don't need to say 'fall down').
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I admit, @mheredge‌, it isn't that sort of breakfast I get so often, although I like it.
    However I suppose that whoever should live hand to mouth, would probably have breakfast that way
    He would, at least, save gas or electricity

    P.S. I know that, it was a bonus correction! :)
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Someone living from hand to mouth might not even get a chance to eat breakfast at all. I was very sad talking to a Tibetan refugee who told me that in his town in Tibet, there are some people who only find enough to eat by going into restaurants and eating the scraps left on the plates by diners after they've left.
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge‌

    We all are lucky people, no doubt about it
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Often people don't realise just how lucky they are until they see with their own eyes how people live in poor countries @filauzio.
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge‌

    You're right, nevertheless I think that you needn't going to poor countries to get knowledge of poverty, for, more often than it used to, poor people can be seen everywhere in rich cities too

    I'm afraid here I need a bonus
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    @filauzio here you are: you needn't go to poor countries....more often than in used to be....

    That's very true too. But it used to be a lot better hidden in the past. I remember crossing one particular roundabout near Waterloo station in London where lots of tramps slept rough. It was always a shock to see this in what is one of the richest cities in the world.
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge‌

    Yes, I agree.

    I remember, on the contrary, that when I spent a period in Berlin, I met no tramp ever.
    Better saying, I was approached once, at a metro station, by an old man who was begging something, surprisingly to me, with really good manner
    After a while I realized that he just needed my empty bottle of water.
    Probably he would have got some sort of refund for any returned.
    I felt regretted not having given some change to that person
    He had really a great dignity, I liked it
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Many tramps are not beggars by choice and have their pride, not wanting to impose. But others can sometimes get quite wealthy from begging. It's difficult to know who are the genuine down and outs and who are the career-beggars.
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I agree, @mheredge‌, every day I meet a lot of career-beggars, they are the artists of cheating. To me they are just excessively boring, they insist too much on trying to get what I decisely denied them.
    But what I hate most, is that, among them, there is someone who try to fool old people out of their money
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Sadly here it's not just the old who get cheated @filauzio‌, but even business people who you'd think would know better. People in Nepal are still very innocent and naive. They are too trusting and can be cheated very easily.

    There are many beggars who come from India to beg in Kathmandu. They usually have many scams like the 'buy my baby milk' ploy.
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge‌

    I suppose in Italy it isn't quite the same. People is too accustomed either to career-beggars or to other individuals living over expedients.
    In addition to this, organized crime widespread all over the nation.
    You have to be very careful not to be cheated whatever business you were going to undertake
    There is a maxim, I don't know wherever it comes from, probably it is shared all over the world altough in different versions, telling that every morning, two individuals wake up, a clever one and a fool one, they meet and have their business, and eventually both of them come back, everyone being happy about how favourably to him the affair ended up.
    Well in Italy, according to my own experience, you have more than fifthy-percent probabilities of being the latter
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    'Living over expedients' @filauzio‌? I'm not quite sure what you mean here. Do you mean living beyond their means? So spending more money than they have and running up big debts, maybe on credit cards or by borrowing?

    Italy is one of the more corrupt European countries. I remember many years ago when I was working in a big international bank in London, the bank was instructed not to deal with any Italian bank without extra checks, because of the fear of money laundering.

    Bonus correction:

    There is a maxim, I don't know where it comes from, but probably it is shared all over the world although in different versions. It tells how every morning, two individuals wake up, a clever one and a foolish one. They meet and do their business, and eventually both of them go back, happy about how favourably the affair ended up.

    Well in Italy, according to my own experience, you have more than fifty-percent probabilities of being the latter.

    I wasn't quite surewhat you meant, but guess this means that the foolish businessman doesn't even realise that he's been taken for a ride. (http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/take+for+a+ride)
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sorry, @mheredge, saying 'living over expedients' I used the series of words I would have used in my native language.
    I meant vagabonds who live over little crimes, I'm referring to pickpockets, for example. Sadly to say but it's right, Italy is mostly famous all around the world for its organized crime called 'mafia'.
    It spreads everywhere as the tentacles of an octopus, and it is represented that way when referred to .
    Unfortunately I've born here,I wish not having been.
    Yes you're right, the foolish businessman didn't realize of having been taken for a ride, but he was. In Italy although being cautious to higher degree, you'll probably be the foolish businessman
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    Petty crime, pickpocketing and the cons hat beggars resort to, @filauzio‌ are not so much organised crime like that the Mafia is famous for, surely? I understand that Sicily is in fact relatively crime-free in terms of small break-ins and petty crime! The Mafia have the monopoly on crime there.

    I was interested to see a new signboard: 'Money Laundering Investigation Unit.' For a long time I have wondered when this will hit Nepal. (This used to be my bread and butter - preventing it I might add, not doing it!
  • filauziofilauzio Posts: 1,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ah, @mheredge, I'm sorry I've not got the meaning of 'the cons hat beggars', if 'hat' stands for head's covering and 'cons' stands for contra, I can't understand their relation.
    Answering your question I think you're right, petty crime is not merely a individual's crime. The mafia acts as an employer who settles its workers all over the city.Daily they keep on begging at every crossroad, metro and rail-station, sidewalk, subway.
    At the end of the day, some sort of mafia's collector picks up their charities, for the beggars have to remain the same.
    Unfortunately I think that mafia has his monopoly entirely over the nation
    If you had been working in Italy, I suppose that 'money laundering' could have been your breakfast, lunch and dinner... probably afternoon snack as well
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 31,060 mod
    I'm sorry @filauzio‌, but I've lost what you mean by 'the cons hat beggars' - do you mean 'the cons that beggars....'?

    Cons here means confidence tricks.

    If you had been working in Italy, I suppose that 'money laundering' could have been your breakfast, lunch and dinner... probably afternoon snack as well

    Working in banking, not just in Italy but anywhere in the world, money laundering is a huge problem. Some countries though, are very high on the blacklist. Nigeria is probably still number one, with Russia and Colombia also top of the list.
  • kindgnicekindgnice LEO Motivator!!! Posts: 7,790 mod
    My salary in Singapore is too low and I'm living with this compensation from hand to mouth every month.
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