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Idioms and Sayings in Knódtser
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A cultural explanation of idioms and sayings
This public article was written by Northwest, and last updated on 6 Nov 2017, 05:55.

[comments] Menu 1. Introduction 2. The Nature of People 3. The Nature of the World
This article is a work in progress! Check back later in case any changes have occurred.


 Knødtser culture is full of sayings that are frequently referenced as idioms in everyday speech. This article will be my place to record these, and it will probably always remain a work in progress. Nevertheless, I'll keep it organized as I go along. Entries are organized by the idiom associated with them (because the idioms are usually quite brief) according to English alphabetical order, and further sorted by the general subject that the idiom applies to: either the Nature of People or the Nature of the World. Explanations will assume the reader has at least a fundamental understanding of grammar and stress.

[top]The Nature of People

Ksúiton fuh húot dúitik, literally, "to fill a holey basket", means to do something with good intentions, but uselessly.
The idiom calls to mind a poorly woven basket that leaves room for berries and leaves to slip through. If a person doesn't take the time to weave their basket well, all their efforts to collect food will be in vain, so the idiom reminds people that hard work and attention to detail are more important than a positive mindset. It is especially applied to aqueous individuals, who were historically tasked with the work of gathering food.
IPA: [k͡su͡ɪ''t̪on̪ fɘʔ hu͡ot̪ 'd̪u͡ɪt̪.ɪk]

Luh klúton fuh lelet, literally "like chasing a wildcat", describes an action that is stupid and likely to get a person killed.
In the island jungles, wildcats are best left alone. They aren't large, but they're fierce and unlikely to pass up on a meal that wanders their way. They're known to stalk lone travelers deliberately, so to go looking for one and antagonizing it would be a fatal mistake.
IPA: [lɘʔ 'k͡lut̪.on̪ fɘʔ lɛ'lɛt̪]

Sóton fiotik, literally "to speak forward", means "to spread the word".
This idiom calls to mind an image of a parrot calling out into the jungle, with a few parrots close to it that then repeat the cry, so that the sound fans out over the entire jungle despite starting with a single, "forward" call. There is a saying in Knódster that goes, Not ehut sótig fiotik; not drót únig gurútik, which means "The bird speaks forward (i.e. makes a small sound in one direction); the word becomes spread out." This saying is used to comment on the way news spreads quickly and even something that seems insignificant at first can become deafening. An interesting feature of this particular phrase is that it uses irregular stress to maintain the rhyme scheme: Stress is placed on the final syllable in fiotik, as usual, but so is the stress in gurútik, which ordinarily has its stress placed on the second syllable, rút. Instead, -tik is stressed.
IPA: [n̪ot̪ ɛ'hɘt̪ 'søt̪ɪg fɪ͡o't̪ɪk n̪ot̪ d̪͡ɹøt̪ un̪ɪg gɘɹu't̪ɪk]

Susuron (suh foh tsit) fuh húot, literally "to rattle a basket (at the earth)" means "to demand a debt be repaid".
This idiom refers to farmers who used to shake a basket full of seeds over their fields when it came time for them to sprout, to remind the earth of the seeds that had been planted. Likewise, someone who had given a loan might be said to "rattle a basket" when they came around to collect what they were owed.
IPA: [sɘ'sɘɹ.on̪ sɘʔ foʔ t͡sɪt̪ fɘʔ hu͡ot̪]

Ksáton táh foh tsáb ah gúiton goh tsaúb, literally "to fall into the undergrowth and kiss every plant," means "to study a complex topic thoroughly and obsessively."
This expression actually has a positive connotation, congratulating someone for attaining this level of intimacy with a subject.
IPA: [k͡sɑt̪on̪ t̪ɑʔ foʔ t͡sɑb ʌʔ gu͡ɪt̪on̪ goʔ t͡sʌɯb]

tsúoton shah etet, literally "to feed with saffron," means "to pamper."
Saffron is a highly valued spice.
IPA: [t͡su͡o't̪on̪ ʃʌʔ ɛ't̪ɛt̪]

úon fah búat chah fah ftat, literally "to be a useless plant/weed of a person," means "to be annoying, boring, or otherwise not considered to be worth spending time around."
Búat is a common plant that has no use to humans.
IPA: [u͡on̪ fʌʔ bɯʌt̪ t͡ʃʌʔ fʌʔ f͡t̪ʌt̪]

[top]The Nature of the World

Uh foh teuút setig tuitik, literally "And the teuút still rises", means something like "And so it goes", "What will be will be", or "Life moves on".
The idiom describes the teuút plant, which produces a lighter-than-air gas within its leaves, lifting the body of the plant off the ground and allowing it to effectively compete for sunlight in its lush rainforest habitat. The saying is meant to convey the idea that nature and the rest of the world keeps going, regardless of what humans do or experience.
IPA: [ɘʔ foʔ t̪ɛ'ɘ͡ut̪ 'sɛt̪.ɪg 't̪ɘ͡ɪt̪.ɪk]

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