Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Tale of the Teacup

This week in my first grade English classes (that's 10th grade to you and me) students have been learning some vocabulary and idioms related to weather terms. Idioms are crucial to becoming fluent in any language, so I sneak a few in as often as possible.

The idioms I chose included taking a rain check, dry spell, cloud nine, it never rains but it pours. And storm in a teacup. In over half of my classes, the word teacup got repeated sotto voce, to a general smattering of titters from the assemblage. I couldn't figure out why, and no one would tell me.

Until today.

A student put his hand at his chest and made a curving motion, like as to a woman's breast, and said, "A-cup, B-cup, C-cup ..."

... T-cup. T-cup! It just never occured to me--I guess I'm getting to the age where the intense imaginings due to hormonal imbalance are fading from memory. But, really, I mean, a T-cup?

Fortunately, I don't meet any first grade classes on Friday, I don't think I could get past that slide.


Chris said...

Don't forget "it's raining cats and dogs", see if that translates well into korean.

Tuttle said...

Ah, but "raining cats and dogs" is actually about the weather. I was showing idioms using weather terms, but which are NOT about the weather. For storm in a teacup, there's no actual storm. A batter could have a dry spell in the middle of rainy season.

I was trying to reinforce the point that idioms are not about what they say they are about.

Chris said...

Like a bold of lightning Tuttle's point has suddenly became clear to The foggy-brained Stumbler.

Charles Montgomery said...

Related to the teacup:

Tempest in a tea-pot...