Is there any verb describing "hold a fork in one's mouth"? I'm actually not even sure whether "hold a fork in one's mouth" is right. I just want to say "Walking around with a fork in a mouth", or "Don't walk around with a fork in one's mouth" more simply with a verb.

Have a nice day, guys.

  • This sounds like you're trying to translate a proverb rather literally, but that usually doesn't work well. Instead, explain what the proverb means and ask for the closest English equivalent, which will often use a very different metaphor for the same basic idea. – Nathan Tuggy Jan 20 '16 at 4:47
  • @Nathan Tuggy No. I'm not trying to do so. As you know, it is a common sense if you walk around with a fork in your mouth, tine of a fork can spear your mouth skin. It is dangerous. It is what I wanted to say via "Don't walk around with a fork in your mouth". – Bling Jan 20 '16 at 4:59

Okay, so we've established that

Dude, you shouldn't be walking around with a fork in your mouth!

... is an idiom. We've also established that it is in the same category as

Dude, you're playing with fire.

More details (from the comments above):

Hold, have, keep - all those verbs apply, and "having a fork sticking out of your mouth" works too. That said, the idiom is still puzzling unless you explain its meaning to the person you're talking (or writing) to. My bet is it'll still sound a bit puzzling even after you've explained it, and here's why:

Different cultures have different versions of sadistic cruelty, and while "Go play in traffic" is a cruel joke that pretty much anyone can understand, their background notwithstanding, traditional idioms are harder to grasp at once because they reveal to us new shades of conversational sadism we haven't been exposed to previously. Adjustments need to be made, the unpleasant sharpness and the implications of the image the idiom evokes need time to wear off a bit before the idiom becomes just another run-of-the-mill conversational device.

I suggest you use something less culture-specific, more universal. Make one up if you have to. It's easier than some people think. "You shouldn't go jogging in a mine field." "You shouldn't play "fetch" with a crocodile." See? It's pretty easy.

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  • Oh. No, man. I really appreciate for your kindness, and knowledge, fine explanation, but, you've answered differently because I could not convey what I've been wondered in English as well as I wanted. Anyway, thanks a lot! – Bling Jan 20 '16 at 5:54
  • @Bling: Well, then, wait for better answers - or try explaining it again. ... One can certainly "hold a fork in one's mouth," but one cannot "walk around holding a fork in one's mouth." I mean, yes, technically it is possible, it just sounds awkward. Is that better? – Ricky Jan 20 '16 at 6:03
  • @Ricky Aha. "technically" makes me figure something. – Bling Jan 20 '16 at 6:05
  • @Bling: You mean, the word "technically" is a clue. Good. Happy hunting! – Ricky Jan 20 '16 at 6:06

You said it perfectly in one of your comments: "Don't walk around with a fork in your mouth".

The question is, do you mean it literally as an instruction, or metaphorically as in "Don't do anything stupid or dangerous"?

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  • Hi! Thanks for your comment. I mean it as an instruction. One of my questions, also, is whether there is any verb describing it or not. And I suddenly figured that there is no such verb. In English, people describe the action, which we've been talking about", with "with a fork in one's mouth". On the other hands, in Korean, people describe the action with phrase composed of mainly verb. – Bling Jan 20 '16 at 5:50

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