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Crazy like a fox

English translation: seemingly foolish but in fact extremely cunning

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17:43 Oct 25, 2007
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Slang / term heard
English term or phrase: Crazy like a fox
I do not understand this term. Can someone please explain it to me. It's origin? something?
Jessica H
Local time: 13:43
English translation:seemingly foolish but in fact extremely cunning
Explanation:
CRAZY LIKE (OR AS) A FOX - ".seemingly foolish but in fact extremely cunning." From "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G" by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994. And from a second reference: Crazy (Dumb, Sly) Like a Fox. Smart and resourceful. The fox has been celebrated for centuries as a crafty animal. Its wiles were remarked in the 'Trinity College Homilies,' dating from about 1200. S. J. Perelman made one of the phrases (Crazy Like a Fox) the title of a book in 1944." From the "Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).

If you say, "He's crazy like a fox," you are saying that person is smart and can outwit other people. The image I get is that the actions of a fox appear a little crazy but he is in fact acting in a brilliant manner to save himself.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/20/messages/298.htm...
Selected response from:

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 12:43
Grading comment
Thank you! This makes complete sense to me now! It has been used in reference myself, on several occasions! I will now take it as a compliment. :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +6seemingly foolish but in fact extremely cunning
Kim Metzger
3 -2rabidsalavat


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
crazy like a fox
seemingly foolish but in fact extremely cunning


Explanation:
CRAZY LIKE (OR AS) A FOX - ".seemingly foolish but in fact extremely cunning." From "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G" by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994. And from a second reference: Crazy (Dumb, Sly) Like a Fox. Smart and resourceful. The fox has been celebrated for centuries as a crafty animal. Its wiles were remarked in the 'Trinity College Homilies,' dating from about 1200. S. J. Perelman made one of the phrases (Crazy Like a Fox) the title of a book in 1944." From the "Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).

If you say, "He's crazy like a fox," you are saying that person is smart and can outwit other people. The image I get is that the actions of a fox appear a little crazy but he is in fact acting in a brilliant manner to save himself.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/20/messages/298.htm...


Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 12:43
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 40
Grading comment
Thank you! This makes complete sense to me now! It has been used in reference myself, on several occasions! I will now take it as a compliment. :)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Elizabeth Joy Pitt de Morales
2 mins

agree  jccantrell
2 mins

agree  NancyLynn: I didn't know they appeared foolish. I just know they are smart. A similar simile (!) would be "delicate as a bull in a china shop".
9 mins

agree  Rachel Fell: Thanks, I never knew what it meant either!
21 mins

neutral  Nemo Phan: I think if you put this sentence into different context, it is easier to understand the real meaning of it. In this case, it should have keep some irony meaning. :)
43 mins

agree  Sabine Akabayov, PhD
50 mins

agree  V_N
15 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -2
crazy like a fox
rabid


Explanation:
Imho this sentence originate from known fact that foxes often caught rabies.

salavat
Local time: 22:43
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  NancyLynn: it refers to the intelligence of foxes, nothing to do with transmittable diseases.
3 mins

disagree  Ken Cox: absolutely not -- foxes are known for being clever
2 hrs
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Changes made by editors
Oct 25, 2007 - Changes made by Kim Metzger:
FieldOther » Art/Literary
Oct 25, 2007 - Changes made by Kim Metzger:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO


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