It’s always fun for me when expressions in French and English have something in common. Like today.
NOYER LE POISSON
DROWN THE FISH
DUCK THE ISSUE
I’ve heard and said this French idiom countless times without even thinking twice that the metaphor is strange. Isn’t it impossible to drown a fish?
The English version is using a duck and not a fish as a metaphor. I figure that fish and duck swimming sometimes through murky waters can suggest confusion.
Noyer le poisson or duck the issue pursue the same goal anyway: Creating confusion to avoid facing a problem or having a frank discussion about a delicate topic. Noyer (To Drown) is in fact one of the French verbs that’s used when too many details are provided to describe a situation, often when people are embarrassed to talk about this specific situation or need to hide an element they don’t want to share.
Bamboozle is the English verb that comes to my mind when I think of confusion. I discovered the meaning of this strange-sounding verb through Bamboozled, a picture book that my oldest daughter adored when she was a preschooler. Her siblings have loved it as much.
Would Bamboozle be a good equivalent to the French verb Noyer, in its figurative meaning?
P.S. The fish on the photo was caught (and released) by my son a couple of summers ago in Maine.
See you tomorrow!