Ask Kat: as fresh as paint

Ask Kat: as fresh as paint

文章Kooper » 週日 10月 03, 2010 10:24 am

Dear Kat,

Please allow me to get the ball rolling and ask the first question, if you don't mind. :wink:

The dialogue listed below comes from Desperate Housewives, the first episode, season one.

ANDREW: I'm just saying, do you always have to serve cuisine? Can't we ever just have food?
BREE: Are you doing drugs?
ANDREW: What!?
BREE: (angry) Change in behaviour is one of the warning signs, and you have been as fresh as paint for the last 6 months. (looks down) That certainly would explain why you're always locked in the bathroom.


What does "as fresh as paint" mean here? I did some googling but failed to find out any similar expressions on the Internet. Is it a common expression in real lives or just a sort of new term created by the drama itself?
Kooper
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Re: Ask Kat: as fresh as paint

文章Kat C » 週一 10月 04, 2010 10:54 am

Hi Cooper,

I'm happy to hear from you! My answer may disappoint you, though. :wink: None of the 3 American friends I asked (including a college professor and her 19 year old son), or myself, had heard the expression used this way. Similes using "as" can be liberally created, so it's no surprise to hear all kinds of new phrases. The problem is, we are not sure why it is used in this context. "(As) fresh as paint", meaning "fresh and new", is an idiom that isn't that commonly used and always implies a good thing. "Fresh" can sometimes mean "rude", but then it doesn't go with "paint".

If I "have to" make some sense of it, I'll take it as meaning, "You've been like a totally different person these last six months." But bear in mind that this sentence in question, with nobody being sure of its meaning, is really not a good one, or could be a new phrase by the writer(s) of the show. Since it's not good (or common) English, just ignore it and go on to better and more useful one. :D
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Re: Ask Kat: as fresh as paint

文章Michael-liu » 週一 10月 04, 2010 6:16 pm

Hi, Kat

I have a question for you too. There is an expression called "as often as not", which i found it means 通常

It looks weird to me. Why "not" is used here?

Michael
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Re: Ask Kat: as fresh as paint

文章Kat C » 週二 10月 05, 2010 12:31 am

Hi Michael,

"(As) often as not" is an old idiom more common in the early 1900s (according to the dictionary :wink: ). I personally haven't heard it used in conversations. By saying "at least 50% of the time", it denotes "fairly frequently". Nowadays "more often than not" is more common, stressing it's over 50% of the time things like this happen. I use that all the time! :D
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Re: Ask Kat: as fresh as paint

文章Michael-liu » 週二 10月 05, 2010 4:04 am

Kat, thanks

Got another question for you. I heard an expression in a sitcom - Everybody loves Raymond ( this sitcom is so funny. Do you know it? )

"pour it on too thick" I couldn't find its meaning. Any idea what it means?
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Re: Ask Kat: as fresh as paint

文章Kooper » 週三 10月 06, 2010 9:56 am

Kat C 寫:Hi Cooper,

I'm happy to hear from you! My answer may disappoint you, though. :wink: None of the 3 American friends I asked (including a college professor and her 19 year old son), or myself, had heard the expression used this way. Similes using "as" can be liberally created, so it's no surprise to hear all kinds of new phrases. The problem is, we are not sure why it is used in this context. "(As) fresh as paint", meaning "fresh and new", is an idiom that isn't that commonly used and always implies a good thing. "Fresh" can sometimes mean "rude", but then it doesn't go with "paint".

If I "have to" make some sense of it, I'll take it as meaning, "You've been like a totally different person these last six months." But bear in mind that this sentence in question, with nobody being sure of its meaning, is really not a good one, or could be a new phrase by the writer(s) of the show. Since it's not good (or common) English, just ignore it and go on to better and more useful one. :D

Dear Kat,

Thank you a lot for your detailed analysis. It looks as thorough and professional as an academic work. (This is very cool ~ :sun:)

I especially like your straightforward comment in the last sentence. :wink: I'll take it and move on to other words.
Kooper
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Re: Ask Kat: as fresh as paint

文章Kat C » 週四 10月 07, 2010 8:30 am

Michael, yes, I like that show a lot. Without knowing the context (next time, frame your question in a context! :wink: ) I'd say, figuratively, "pour it on too thick" is very much like "pile it on too thick". They imply: 1) exaggeration in speech; 2) overdoing something. For example: Korean soaps often pour/pile it on too thick with syrupy melodrama. Of course, you can use these expressions literally as well.

Cooper, you are welcome! It's like Chinese expressions that pop up in shows, conversations, and printed material. Some are here today and gone tomorrow; some sound too highbrow while others too ghetto. The trick is to learn the ones that you can use to your advantage. English is the same.
最後由 Kat C 於 週日 10月 10, 2010 2:58 am 編輯,總共編輯了 1 次。
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Re: Ask Kat: as fresh as paint

文章Michael-liu » 週六 10月 09, 2010 12:39 am

Hi Kat

If a friend asks me "What's wrong? you got trouble in paradise? " What does it imply?

Michael
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Re: Ask Kat: as fresh as paint

文章Kat C » 週日 10月 10, 2010 3:10 am

Hey Michael,

"Trouble in paradise" implies that all's supposed to be great and you didn't see the problem coming.

Putting it in a question is risky - it can be teasing if you know the person well. It'd sound very sarcastic if you want to show that you knew things would go wrong, although it started out seemingly perfectly.
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