A Grain of Salt
Posted: 21 February 2007 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]
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What does the phrase mean- to take something with a “grain of salt” ?

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Posted: 21 February 2007 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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To be skeptical about a statement made, to take it with a grain of salt.

Here’s OED.

with a grain of salt [= mod.L. cum grano salis]: (to accept a statement) with a certain amount of reserve. Also in similar phrases, now esp. with a pinch of salt.

1647 TRAPP Comm. Rev. vi. 11 This is to be taken with a grain of salt. (That’s the earliest instance given in the OED).

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Posted: 24 February 2007 11:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Sounds to me like the recommendation of a mediaeval apothecary........

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Posted: 25 February 2007 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Is there any indication of a connection between taking (eating) something with a very small amount of salt and being sceptical?  I can’t see how the effect of salt on food is remotely similar, metaphorically, to the effect of scepticism on an opinion.

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Posted: 25 February 2007 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Just updated the Big List entry yesterday:

http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/site/comments/with_a_grain_of_salt/

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Posted: 25 February 2007 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Needs another (slight) edit: Cn. Pompeius stands for Gnaeus Pompeius, not Cneius Pompeius.  ("C." and “Cn.” for Gaius and Gnaeus were survivals from a time before the letters C and G were differentiated in Latin orthography.)

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