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Thread: quiere buscar la calentura en las sábanas

 
  1. #1
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    Default quiere buscar la calentura en las sábanas

    I know what this means literally...a man wants to find evidence of cheating by his wife by feeling the sheets to see if the temperature indicates that someone else has been there. I'm trying to find an English equivalent and the only one I can think of is "to find the nigger in the woodpile". Of course, using the words "nigger" these days is a bit politically incorrect, although that would not stop me using it if there are no other possibilities. Are there any other suggestions?

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    Default Re: quiere buscar la calentura en las sábanas

    No. It's much worse than politically incorrect. I don't know any common trite phrase other than "having him/her followed".

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    Default Re: quiere buscar la calentura en las sábanas

    Thanks Gernt, but looking for the nigger in the woodpile is an expression (at least here, although I believe it started in the US, as you can imagine) which means "a concealed motive or unknown factor affecting a situation in an adverse way." Or simply: "something suspicious or wrong." I'll have to give you the context...it is from a column in a Colombian newspaper,



    1 No creo en el infierno. Pero detesto a aquellos que, sintiéndose dioses, condenan a los otros al infierno. Hay un infierno real al que sí pueden condenar los tiranos: la cárcel. Y allí está mandando Chávez, con órdenes explícitas, a quienes él culpa del fracaso de su régimen.
    2 I don’t believe in Hell. But I detest those who, believing themselves to be gods, condemn others to Hell. There is a real Hell where tyrants condemn people: to prison. And Chávez is giving specific orders sending those to prison whom he blames for the failure of his regime.
    3 ¿Por qué? Porque quiere buscar la calentura en las sábanas; porque necesita chivos expiatorios; porque debe mentir diciendo que su moneda se devalúa por culpa de los cambistas y no de sus desastrosas políticas económicas. La culpa es de Chávez si hay falta de confianza y fuga de divisas.
    4 Why? Because he wants to find the nigger in the woodpile; because he needs scapegoats; because he has to lie saying that his currency is devaluing because of the fault of the moneychangers, and not for his disastrous economic policies. If there is a lack of confidence and a flight of capital, that is Chavez's fault.
    I think an alternative expression (I note that according to Wikipedia a lot of public figures in Europe and the US have apologised for using the term, but it does not seem to be regarded as so offensive in Australia) might be, "Because he wants to find a whipping boy", but then "whipping boy" is really just a synonym for for scapegoat, which is the expression that follows. Is it really all that unacceptable over there?

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    Default Re: quiere buscar la calentura en las sábanas

    Yes, it really is unacceptable.

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    Default Re: quiere buscar la calentura en las sábanas

    Thanks for that. I actually found that in the French Word reference forum the same view has been expressed here by Americans, and if it is offensive for any group of people anywhere, it is better not to use it. However, the French entries were quite helpful in providing alternative expressions, "a fly in the ointment" or "something rotten in Denmark", both of which, I think would fit the context. Thanks again.

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