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he can’t hold a candle to her

she is much better than him

TRANSLATION

can’t hold a candle to s/o = mit jmdm. nicht mithalten können, jmdm. nicht das Wasser reichen können

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“Social media CAN’T HOLD A CANDLE TO face-to-face friendships.”

Ventura County Star newspaper, California


Old flames CAN’T HOLD A CANDLE TO YOU
No one can light up the night like you do
Flickering embers of love
I’ve known one or two

from the song ‘Old Flames’ by Dolly Parton

Did you
know?

can’t hold a candle to s/o or s/th
idiom

- to not be as good as the person or thing mentioned

Cambridge Dictionary


ORIGIN

Before the days of torches, apprentices had to hold candles to help the experienced craftsmen see what they were working on.

Its meaning today indicates that someone is not as good at doing something as someone else.

The word “candle” is an Old English construction that was borrowed from the Latin candela, meaning a light, torch or a candle made of tallow or wax. Candela stems from the Latin candere, to shine.

Candles were common among the Romans and were mentioned in Greek mythology as in the story of Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunt. According to legend, cakes were brought to the temple of Artemis and adorned with candles to make them glow like the moon.

As for the tradition of placing candles on birthday cakes, this seems to have originated in Germany in the 1700s.


SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“The northern sales team CAN’T HOLD A CANDLE TO the southern one.”


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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