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Squirrels are flying the plane.

English translation: That's just the sort crazy idea that a nervous flyer could have

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23:41 Jun 28, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: Squirrels are flying the plane.
every time we, we moved slightly he’d go what was that? Not, and I said no it's fine it's just a bit of turbulence. What's that? We are not bending we are turning. The wings have fallen off. Squirrels are flying the plane. Just anything. It's just the worst thing to have is a nervous flyer next to you.

Does he mean it literally? Or is he just talking about insane persons?
lim0nka
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:36
English translation:That's just the sort crazy idea that a nervous flyer could have
Explanation:
It's a good example of a crazy fear because it couldn't possibly happen

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Note added at 2003-06-28 23:52:50 (GMT)
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It\'s confusing because it\'s a dialogue between two passengers. It could be written like this:
A (nervous passenger): What was that?
B: Nothing
A: Is the plane bending?
B: No, it\'s turning.
A: Have the wings fallen off? Are squirrels flying the plane, etc.

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Note added at 2003-06-29 00:09:08 (GMT)
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The only way you could try to make sense of it is that flying squirrels could be supporting the plane because the wings fell off (that\'s a crazy idea, too, of course). I don\'t think \"squirrels\" could mean crazy people in this context.
Selected response from:

William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 00:36
Grading comment
Thank you all! :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +8That's just the sort crazy idea that a nervous flyer could have
William Stein
5 +1Squirrels usually fly helicopters ;-)
airmailrpl
5US-slang - unexperienced & careless driver
Сергей Лузан
4This refers to the mechanics of the planeJ. Leo
4answers to silly questions
jerrie


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +8
That's just the sort crazy idea that a nervous flyer could have


Explanation:
It's a good example of a crazy fear because it couldn't possibly happen

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-06-28 23:52:50 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

It\'s confusing because it\'s a dialogue between two passengers. It could be written like this:
A (nervous passenger): What was that?
B: Nothing
A: Is the plane bending?
B: No, it\'s turning.
A: Have the wings fallen off? Are squirrels flying the plane, etc.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-06-29 00:09:08 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The only way you could try to make sense of it is that flying squirrels could be supporting the plane because the wings fell off (that\'s a crazy idea, too, of course). I don\'t think \"squirrels\" could mean crazy people in this context.

William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 00:36
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 36
Grading comment
Thank you all! :)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Susana Galilea: are you positive about that, now?
2 mins
  -> I've heard of flying squirrels but I don't think they have their pilot's license.

agree  xxxOso: Rocky, the flying squirrel!!! ¶;^)
17 mins
  -> A fellow Bullwinkle fan!

agree  Catherine Norton: I believe the man is very nervous as are many people the first time up in an airplane and his imagination is "running away with him". You must be referring to the word "squirrely" which is slang for insane.
1 hr

agree  uparis: I'm with William. The nervous flyer is panicking and imagining things that are totally weird - like squirrels flyiing the plane (or pink elephants or whatever)
8 hrs

agree  xxxIno66
8 hrs

agree  Jana Teteris
10 hrs

agree  airmailrpl
10 hrs

agree  Amy Williams: Hi William. Absolutely. Nothing to do with "crazy people" - IMO humour is the key - squirrels don't fly planes. This guy is just getting more and more worked up, like Catherine says. You're meant to laugh.
1 day16 hrs
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Squirrels usually fly helicopters ;-)


Explanation:
Squirrels are flying the plane.

Or is he just talking about insane persons?

Just very nervous flyers - the white knuckle crowd.

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Note added at 2003-06-28 23:54:36 (GMT)
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McGraw-Hill - The Right Seat Handbook A White-Knuckle Flier\'s ...
Browse Subjects. Resources. The Right Seat Handbook A White-Knuckle Flier\'s
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dx.doi.org/10.1036/0070601488

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Note added at 2003-06-28 23:56:44 (GMT)
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If your favorite passenger tends to be nervous or youre tired of being asked why you spend so much time at the airport, this passenger-friendly guide could be your ticket to peace. Soothing and informative, it answers questions passengers may be afraid to ask-like ``what happens if the engine quits? while providing a confidence- and enthusiasm-building introduction to flying.
http://books.mcgraw-hill.com/cgi-bin/pbg/0070601488.html

airmailrpl
Brazil
Local time: 03:36
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 1140

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  William Stein: Yes, helicopters! One time I told my uncle about a crazy kid who thought he saw bees coming out of their heads. My uncle said: "Bees? I thought they were ants!"
1 day16 hrs
  -> or wasps
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
US-slang - unexperienced & careless driver


Explanation:
That's it! Right after the meaning "insane person". Good luck, lim0nka!
Re.: 15. New English-Russian Dictionary (3 vol.) 250,000 words ISBN 5-200-01849-8

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Note added at 2003-06-29 07:08:25 (GMT)
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I met in \"Dictionary of American Slang\"(1989), translated into Russian as \"English-Russian Dictionary of American Slang\" ISBN 5-85676-022-0 \"squirrel-food\" (in the meaning \"insane person\".). Ex. \"The driver of the car - squirrel-food-, for sure-just sat there smiling\". & in general, \"squirrel-food\", \"squirrelly\", \"squirrel\" in the meaning \"insane /(person)\" originated from \"nuts\".
So unexperienced & careless pilots/(flyers) are meant in your case.

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Note added at 2003-06-29 07:15:24 (GMT)
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So both is meant by the idiom - pilots/(flyers) as well as passengers!

Сергей Лузан
Russian Federation
Local time: 09:36
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 49
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
answers to silly questions


Explanation:
I think 'the wings have fallen off/ squirrels are flying the plane' are things the narrator felt like saying / or is suggesting to the interviewer 'what does he expect me to say?'....

He's sitting next to a nervous passenger who is panicking at every bump and movement, and he's getting fed up.
So he's saying to the interviewer:
This guy is so nervous. I've explained about turbulence and the plane turning, what more can I say? Don't worry, everything's fine really. The wings have just fallen off, the engines are on fire, squirrels are flying the plane and we're all going to die!'

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:36
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 773
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3 days10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
This refers to the mechanics of the plane


Explanation:
I've heard this used for a car. When there's something seemingly wrong with an engine that's causing turbulence, some refer to the 'primative' mechanics of toy models or what you see in children's cartoons (Flintstones).
Rats in a spinning wheel or other small animals who generate some sort of motion to motivate the vehicle.
Rubberbands that when twisted move the propeller of a toy plane.
I don't think it has anything to do with the pilots.
I'm not sure it's exactly what you're looking for. Besides you've already made your choice.

J. Leo
Local time: 08:36
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 51
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