a smoking mullah

English translation: a smoking gun

19:49 Sep 7, 2019
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
English term or phrase: a smoking mullah
And a week later he flew to Washington to bring the Americans into the picture. Much to his surprise,
the meeting took place in the White House Situation Room, with the president in attendance. He had made no secret of his
intention to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and was disappointed that Gabriel had not brought him
incontrovertible proof—“a smoking mullah”—that the Iranians were secretly building a bomb.

I get the meaning of the phrase, as it is explained in the text, but I'm curious as to its wording and origins. Why "a smoking mullah"?
allp
Poland
Local time: 02:40
English translation:a smoking gun
Explanation:
Tsmok·ing gun
/ˌsmōkiNG ˈɡən/
noun
a piece of incontrovertible incriminating evidence.
"the trial's long-awaited smoking gun failed to surface"
Selected response from:

Dariusz Saczuk
United States
Grading comment
Thanks, Dariusz. Your answer was absolutely sufficient, just what I needed.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +9a smoking gun
Dariusz Saczuk


Discussion entries: 11





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +9
a smoking gun


Explanation:
Tsmok·ing gun
/ˌsmōkiNG ˈɡən/
noun
a piece of incontrovertible incriminating evidence.
"the trial's long-awaited smoking gun failed to surface"

Dariusz Saczuk
United States
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in PolishPolish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks, Dariusz. Your answer was absolutely sufficient, just what I needed.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tony M
19 mins
  -> Thank you, Tony.

agree  Larissa Hanko
26 mins
  -> Thank you, Larissa.

neutral  Yvonne Gallagher: Asker wanted it explained, not I. It's got quite a racist tone in my view so no, don't find it "hilarious". "smoking mullah" can be read in various ways, including one "smoking" after a bombing campaign. And mullah=scholar//exactly, they're labelled!
51 mins
  -> He wanted undeniable evidence [smoking gun]. I find it funny. The word 'mullah' is often used with a huge dose of disdain. I am not sure about Europe, but in the US mullahs are often portrayed as mad religious zealots.

neutral  philgoddard: I don't feel you've answered the question.
1 hr
  -> The asker just asked about the origin of the term.

agree  MARK ROBERTSON: Changing smoking gun to smoking mullah makes the comment context specific and funny.
2 hrs
  -> Yes. Thank you, Mark.

agree  Daryo: yes, it's a variation on "smoking gun"
5 hrs
  -> Thank you, Daryo.

agree  Ashutosh Mitra: Agree...
7 hrs
  -> Thank you, Ashutosh.

agree  Edith Kelly
15 hrs
  -> Thank you, Edith.

agree  D. I. Verrelli: Not particularly amusing in the source text: a snort rather than a laugh from me. But I agree that it was an attempt to be funny. BTW: the gun is "smoking" because it's only just been fired, and thus the evidence is/seems undeniable. /ˈsməʊkɪŋ/ + /ɡʌn/
19 hrs
  -> Precisely. Thanks, D.I.

agree  jccantrell
20 hrs
  -> Thank you, jccantrell.

agree  dkfmmuc: 100 % agree.
1 day 12 hrs
  -> Thank you, dkfmmuc.
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