|German: mixed up phrases 1
||[Nov. 18th, 2005|12:44 am]
"Du kannst nicht zwischen zwei Stühlen tanzen." -german talkshow on TV, random idiotic woman-
No, indeed you can't. You don't "dance between two chairs".
There are two phrases:
(1) "Zwischen zwei Stühlen sitzen"
--> "To sit in between two chairs" = Describing a situation when one is torn between two choices and finds oneself unable to decide, thus remaining in the middle, avoiding to choose.
(2) "Auf zwei Hochzeiten tanzen"
--> "To dance on two weddings" = Describing the behavior of someone indecisive, who is unable to decide and thus "plays a double game".
Both (1) and (2) are used interchangeably, because the meaning is very similar. However, it is wrong to merge them into one phrase, because it is distorting when one bears in mind the origins of these two independent phrases.
According to what is demonstrated on TV daily, it is common for members of lower social standing to confuse these facts and mangle perfectly fine phrases into meaningless, ridiculous, and at best morbidly amusing new (word) creations.