What does fire do to you


In the German language, the word “fire” is a strong symbol. It stands for power and strength, for destruction and love. Here are a few selected proverbs, idioms and metaphors around fire.

Once bitten, twice shy.- Those who have had a bad experience do not want to repeat it if possible and are particularly careful next time.

A message spreads like wildfire.- Originally no bush fire was meant here, but a military term: the rifle fire of several shooters who fire a shot in quick succession, or a burning trail of black powder.

Pour oil on the fire.- People already knew in earlier times that you absolutely didn't want to do something like that. The exploding fat-water mixture can cause serious injuries.

Fire in the heart gives smoke in the head.- Too much unreflective devotion can cloud the mind.

Stoke the fire.- Playing poker through the fire improves oxygen supply and combustion. Similarly, one can fuel a smoldering argument between people.

Don't touch something with the fire tongs.- In the past, you took glowing charcoal from a fireplace with fire tongs. Anyone who does not even want to touch something with such dirty pliers is obviously very reluctant.

Be on fire for something.- Probably very old proverb with Germanic roots. "Fire and Flame" described the own household with a hearth. Today a metaphor for passionate love or great enthusiasm.

Get fired from your job.- Casual term for layoffs, especially for dishonorable layoffs.

Burn your fingers.- Everyone knows that and knows how much it hurts. Both the symbolic damage and the real injury.

Give tinder to someone.- The tinder is actually an easily flammable tree sponge that has probably been used to make fires for thousands of years.

This is a flash in the pan.- The straw catches fire very quickly and burns brightly. But the dry fuel is used up quickly. It is the same with hectic and insubstantial activities that end abruptly when the energy is used up.

To be like fire and water.- The two "elements" are very different and hardly get along.

Fire starts with sparks.- Even a fire starts small and can become huge, intentionally or unintentionally.

Have multiple irons in the fire.- The origin of this saying is probably the traditional way of working of a blacksmith. A blacksmith has several red-hot workpieces in the fire at the same time in order to be able to process them quickly.

Light a fire under someone's bum.- If your bum is on fire, you will finally hurry up.

Play with fire.- Of course, you should never take such a risk ...

Put your hand in the fire for someone.- The dark Middle Ages were the inspiration for this idiom: Those who wanted to prove their innocence could sometimes put their hand into the fire as a “judgment of God”. The more it was burned, the greater the supposed guilt.

Crooked wood also gives a straight fire.- For some profane purposes, top quality is not required.

Get the chestnuts (or potatoes) out of the fire.- The proverb has a literary model: In the story "The monkey and the cat" by Jean de la Fontaine, the monkey Bertrand persuades the cat Raton to steal delicious chestnuts from a fire.

Get the irons out of the fire.- Maybe wrought iron is meant here. They are not as tasty as chestnuts or potatoes, but they are hot at around 1200 degrees in white heat.

Go through fire for someone.- Sometimes you have to risk a lot - for a person or for an important ideal.

No smoke without fire.- This is where the assumption is hidden that behind rumors and suspicions there is always a grain of truth. If that's true ...

Whoever needs fire looks for it in the ashes.

Work wins fire from stones.

Our smoke is better than our neighbor's fire.

If you blow into the fire, the sparks fly into your eyes.

Iron became cold and hard, supple in the fire.

Old wood is good for fire.

Little fire gives sweet malt to the brewer.

Split wood likes to catch fire.

I don't put out the fire that doesn't burn me.

If falsehood burned like fire, wood would not be half as expensive.