I watched a video and encountered an unfamiliar idiom.

0:50 It's not like we're asking for the sun, the moon and stars.

This is a comment made by union worker who is negotiation with his employer.
I think it is a metaphor for excessive demands in this context. However I'm not confident because it is hard to associate 'the sun, the moon and stars' literally with 'excessive demands'.

It would be appreciated if someone answers what this means.

  • 2
    What is the question? The phrase is uttered by a native speaker. As you rightly pointed out, it's idiomatic, a metaphor and, I'll add, a hyperbole. It's not meant to to be taken literal.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 16 at 11:29
  • 2
    Yes, it is a metaphor for excessive demands. (it's 'a video' by the way! An is only used when the word begins with a vowel sound.) Mar 16 at 11:31
  • 1
    Sometimes people say 'the [whole] world' or the 'the earth' when they need an example of a greatly excessive demand. Mar 16 at 11:46
  • My appologies and thank you for all the answers. I should have clarified my question. I just would like to confirm if my interpretation is correct. Because it was hard to associate 'the sun, the moon and stars' literally with 'excessive demands', I posted this question. Mar 16 at 12:36
  • 1
    Asking for e.g. the moon is an excessive demand, because nobody can give it to you. Mar 16 at 18:54

This just sounds like a different version of "an arm and a leg" (E.G. "College costs and arm and a leg these days"). Both are a metaphor for something costing an unreasonable price (the speaker is saying their boss thinks their demands are the "the sun, the moon and stars").

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