July 18, 2011

To put one's gun on someone else's shoulder and fire

It is not a good idea to rest the gun on someone's shoulder when it is fired. This hunting warning which could mean that it is not safe for neither the hunter nor the shoulder volunteer as it could lead to an accident and the shoulder might not be firm enough to sustain the pressure of the explosion is used in Bengali as a phrase, parer ghare banduk rekhe daga (to fire resting the gun on someone's shoulder), or anyer ghare banduk rekhe shikar kara (to rest the gun on someone's shoulder and fire for hunting), to mean that someone is passing the blame for an action onto another. The meaning of the phrase in Bengali, when read in the context of hunting, could also mean to do something that could be disastrous. Reporters walking beats of politics often get tempted to translate the phrase, literally, to put editors in trouble especially when they are also tempted by their love for the Bengali language.