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Thread: What does this mean?

  1. #1
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    What does this mean?

    Шило на мыло менятъ.

  2. #2
    Старший оракул
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    to trade bad for worse

  3. #3
    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    well, literally, it means to exchange an awl (pointed tool to make holes in wood and leather) for soap. Now, whether that is a good or bad thing, I do not know, it sounds very like an old Russian saying.
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

  4. #4
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    That means "to exchange something useless to another useless thing".

    For example:

    - Ты знаешь, мой старенький Форд все время ломается, тут мне предложили подержанный GM.
    - Да ну, шило на мыло менять!

    Meaning that GM will not improve his situation.

    ==
    Kalinka, that phrase is probably old, but still widely used in modern language.
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  5. #5
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    not necessarily negative

    this expression doesn't always have negative connotations, it can simply mean that in a trade of A for B both A and B are pretty much the same,

  6. #6
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    Re: not necessarily negative

    Quote Originally Posted by igorfa100
    this expression doesn't always have negative connotations, it can simply mean that in a trade of A for B both A and B are pretty much the same,
    agree
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  7. #7
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    OK That makes sense. Thanks!

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