Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"A snowflakes chance"

Always interested in phraseology and idiom I was unfamiliar with David Cunliffe's choice to describe the likelihood of John Tamihere becoming a Labour candidate,

"I wouldn't be in a hurry to sign him up and I'd say he's got a snowflake's chance of becoming a Labour candidate."

A snowflake's chance? Where?

It's a snowflake's chance in hell. I wonder why he didn't use the whole phrase? It might conjure up images of just how hellish a place the Labour Party caucus might be. For Tamihere anyway.

But wait. There's another better known phrase which compares the likelihood of something happening to the likelihood of hell freezing over.  Yet the Eagles famously said this about their bitter breakup in 1980 and the chances of reforming. Of course they eventually did, leading to the sublime "Hell Freezes Over" album and tour.

So perhaps the better expression regarding the possibility of John Tamihere rejoining Labour as a candidate is 'never say never'.

(Another saying that caught my attention recently was 'busted fish' used by Rodney Hide on a Radio Live panel to describe Len Brown. It later appeared in print as 'busted flush'. Both are accurate but I like the first much more.The imagery is much stronger.)

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