I have heard the expression "gas and alcohol don't mix" from the Egyptian president Muhamed Morsy. What does it mean?

  • 2
    Can you provide more context (e.g. a transcript of this speech)?
    – Renan
    Feb 18 '13 at 13:47
  • 2
    Definitely seconding Renan's request. The first impression that it's a "don't drink and drive" is probably deceiving. I've noticed this expression in context of mixing ethanol into fuel.
    – SF.
    Feb 18 '13 at 13:50
  • you can check this links news.google.com/… panow.com/article/56740/alcohol-and-gas-don-t-mix its commonly used as a campaigns against the drunk drivers Dec 29 '15 at 23:43

"Gas" refers to the usual fuel for an automobile (at least the US term; in the UK it's "petrol"), and is a metaphor for driving the automobile.

"Alcohol" refers to alcoholic drinks consumed by the driver of the automobile.

This expression, then, says simply "Don't drink and drive." Or, more specifically, "Don't drive when you've had too much to drink." (The statistics for serious mishaps involving drivers in impaired condition are appalling. Please pay attention when you hear this sentence.)

  • 2
    Barbara is absolutely correct, and perhaps she has googled the same article--or similar articles to what--I found: President Morsi was mangling English, and meant to say that people shouldn't drink and drive. Feb 18 '13 at 14:33
  • 5
    Morsi wasn't mangling English: he was using figurative speech. The phrase "gas and alcohol don't mix" may not be common, but it has been used before -- even by English speakers. For example, see this post by a Canadian fuel company: facebook.com/…
    – Max
    Feb 18 '13 at 16:14
  • 8
    It's a play on the idiom "oil and water do not mix" meaning they do not go together and cannot be made to go together no matter how much you try. Feb 18 '13 at 17:45
  • 4
    @RobertCartaino: It's a play on that, but clearly not by a chemist. Alcohol and Petrol not only do mix (chemically), but most biofuels are in fact exactly this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_fuel.
    – Matt
    Feb 18 '13 at 22:13
  • 4
    The phrase is a bit of word-play. It's common to talk about whether or not two liquids mix. That is, if you pour them in the same container and stir, will they mix together or will one float to the top and the other to the bottom? Whoever invented the phrase "gas and alcohol don't mix" was playing on that idea of mixing two liquids, but not literally mixing them in one container, but rather putting gas in your car and alcohol in your body and then "combining" them by driving. And yes, it's a common anti-drunk-driving phrase in English. If Mr Morsi said it, he didn't invent it.
    – Jay
    Aug 16 '13 at 13:34

This article has a good insight:

On January 30, Mursi gave a speech in Berlin with the attendance of around 200 guests invited by Körber Foundation, known for promoting social development. [...]

To prove his point of how individuals should be held accountable for their freedoms, he cited the example of “drunk driving.”

Amid the Egyptian vernacular he was using, two English words were explicitly obvious: “Isn`t there a law that a “drunk” if caught “driving” he will be arrested?” (1)

“Gas and alcohol don`t mix,” he concluded in English.

So I concur the answer above. The meaning of this phrase is "driving a car when being drunk is illegal".

(1) This tweet provides with a transcript (highlight is mine): "mesh ento betimsiko el drunk wa howa driving car wella eh?"; if there's anyone who's familiar with Arabic, feel free to update.

  • 1
    "mesh ento betimsiko el drunk wa howa driving car wella eh?" literally translates to "don't you normally arrest someone drunk when he is driving a car, or what?" So yes, in this particular speech, he was talking about alcohol and driving don't mix.
    – petrosmm
    Dec 5 '17 at 22:02
  • @petersmm I converted your answer into a comment. When you have more reputation you will be able to comment anywhere. In the meantime, please only use answers for answering the question. You could however suggest an edit to this answer to add the additional information. You may want to take the tour to learn a little bit more about how this site works - it's a bit different from other forums.
    – ColleenV
    Dec 5 '17 at 22:17

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