sheep stations
Posted: 30 August 2010 03:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Language is important, but there are usually no sheep stations on the discussions we have here.

an interesting figure of speech, which I haven’t come across before. Could you elucidate a bit, OP Tipping?

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Posted: 30 August 2010 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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To say there aren’t sheep stations on something means that the stakes involved are not huge.

A related expression is “playing for sheep stations” (usually in the negative).

Further background:
“On” here is in the sense of “riding on” or “depending on” or perhaps “bet on”. A sheep station is a large sheep grazing property (equiv to ranch). They can grow sizeable in Australia, into the 1000s of square kilometres.

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Posted: 30 August 2010 05:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks, OP—I would never have guessed that!

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Posted: 30 August 2010 07:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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In the US, we have “don’t bet the ranch on it” to indicate skepticism, but nothing quite equivalent in terms of indicating that the stakes are minor.

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Posted: 30 August 2010 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks, OP Tipping

(shakes head in wonderment)

about thirty of those would overflow my country.....

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Posted: 30 August 2010 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I also wondered about that phrase, so thanks for the question and the answer. Will it ever find its way to my neck of the woods, I wonder?

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Posted: 30 August 2010 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The exact formulation I used in the quoted phrase is not quite the normal idiom: it would be more normal to say “there aren’t sheep stations” etc.

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