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swapped it for a mouth organ

English translation: he didn't cultivate his mind or give it much importance

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20:41 Jan 24, 2004
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: swapped it for a mouth organ
"My Hero"

George: Got to find a loophole in the marriage contract. I'll go see Arnie. I remember at school he had a brilliant legal mind... although I think he might have swapped it for a mouth organ.
lim0nka
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:53
English translation:he didn't cultivate his mind or give it much importance
Explanation:
he might have swapped it for a toy harmonica or any other childhood fancy
Selected response from:

Refugio
Local time: 19:53
Grading comment
Thank you very much.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +6he didn't cultivate his mind or give it much importanceRefugio
3 +4joke based around school kids swapping things
jerrie
3 +2possibility
Jean-Luc Dumont
4 +1gave it up for musicxxxIanW
4Arnold hasn't amounted to much in life.nyamuk
3sexual innuendo / pun on word "organ"
Michele Johnson
2exchanged it for a harmonicantext


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
exchanged it for a harmonica


Explanation:
Now he has a harmonica instead of a brilliant legal mind. (Not sure what that means though.)

ntext
United States
Local time: 21:53
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 379
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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
gave it up for music


Explanation:
It could mean that he gave up legal studies to play music. And the use of the word "mouth organ" - as opposed to "harmonica" which musicians would usually use, suggests to me that the music wasn't very professional or demanding.

xxxIanW
Local time: 04:53
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 235

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  PB Trans: that's what it sounds like to me. He gave up being a rich lawyer to be a poor musician. :-)
2 hrs
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14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
he didn't cultivate his mind or give it much importance


Explanation:
he might have swapped it for a toy harmonica or any other childhood fancy

Refugio
Local time: 19:53
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 485
Grading comment
Thank you very much.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mark Cole: The fickle, carefree years of childhood.
13 mins
  -> Thanks Mark

agree  RHELLER
26 mins
  -> Thanks Rita

agree  J. Leo
36 mins
  -> Thanks James

agree  Rusinterp
1 hr
  -> Thanks Alexandra

agree  chopra_2002
5 hrs
  -> Thanks langclinic

agree  Gordon Darroch
1 day12 hrs
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36 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
possibility


Explanation:
not only or not even ? Harmonica ?

could mean that before he was and idealist, for justice - he wanted to become a judge or a lawyer - legal mind
now all he does is talk...he is lawyer - talks a lot about / around the law but no longer cares much for justice :-)

Jean-Luc Dumont
France
Local time: 04:53
Native speaker of: French
PRO pts in pair: 24

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  J. Leo
14 mins
  -> Thank you

agree  melayujati: now he talks senselessly???
1 hr
  -> Thank you - yes possible
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
joke based around school kids swapping things


Explanation:
I've never watched this sitcom, but from some of your other questions, some of the comedy seems to be quite random.

It might be that there is no particular significance to mouth organ (ie it would not be referred to again in the series as something Arnie does).

At school kids swap things all the time.
I'll swap my sandwiches for your Mars Bar..
I'll swap you my Georgie Best football card for your winning conker..
etc.

So the joke is in the swapping. He could've said 'he swapped his legal mind for a pair of roller skates'...(which never be referred to again).

Isn't this connected to Dr's? Maybe that's why they used 'organ'? And a mouth organ being something school kids have?

Just an idea.

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:53
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 773

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Charlie Bavington: spot on - basic humour, nothing deep, not unlike the dead rat = moustache gag the other day.
6 hrs
  -> Thanks, Charlie...

agree  xxxIanW: Good idea
1 day9 hrs

agree  Gordon Darroch: combine this with Ruth's answer and I think you've got it
1 day12 hrs

agree  Rajiv Arora
7 days
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
sexual innuendo / pun on word "organ"


Explanation:
OK, I may be the only one with a "dirty" mind here. But to me the use of the word "organ" here has a clear sexual connotation, especially considering the context (Bush & Schwarzenegger, marriage) and Arnie's reputation of (mis)treating women (a.k.a. the "Gropinator"). Kids do trade stuff at school- a matchbox car for a harmonica for instance. So it seems to be a joke that Bush and Arnold went to school, and then includes a veiled reference to Arnold's "organ."

He had a brilliant mind and traded it for... oral sex? Not 100% clear to me, it might help to see the next few sentences. For more on Arnie's sexual escapades, see:
http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=5619
http://www.suntimes.co.za/2003/08/31/arts/ane05.asp

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Note added at 1 hr 29 mins (2004-01-24 22:11:10 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I just read some of your other questions, and now am not sure: is this even about George Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger? I made that assumption but it may not be correct. I do still think it is a sexual reference though.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 46 mins (2004-01-24 22:28:01 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

limOnka, thanks for your note. OK, I\'ll just leave my suggestion, although the references to Bush/Schwarzenegger are clearly WRONG, duh. Sorry. You might still see if the sexual thing works into your text at all.

Michele Johnson
Germany
Local time: 04:53
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 32

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jean-Luc Dumont: yes - not the only one - could be a lawyer or a cunning linguist - gifted with his tongue in any case - just interpreting :-)
1 hr

disagree  Charlie Bavington: No, no chance, it's just a random thing to swap (as per jerrie's answer), with just a hint of smut in use of the word "organ" (as in the punchline to the joke "What's better than roses on your piano?"), but the show goes out before 9 p.m., so......
5 hrs
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Arnold hasn't amounted to much in life.


Explanation:
Considering the former Arnold, with the brilliant legal mind,

Arnold had a brilliant legal mind, when he was young or in school perhaps. Now he has swapped that mind for a mouth organ. There are a couple of things we can say about Arnold.

1. Going from brilliant legal mind to mouth organ means he has not met expectations, or the common term, he hasn't amounted to much in his life.

2. If Arnold is still a lawyer we might be able to say that being a mouth organ, an inexpensive, easy to learn, and noisy musical instrument, is inferring that he is the cheap and noisy kind of lawyer. Perhaps is now one of those obnoxious ambulance chasing trial lawyers that advertises on TV.

nyamuk
United States
Local time: 20:53
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 58
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