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kellychambliss in hp_britglish

"Taking Candy From a Baby"

There's an American expression (a cliche by now) used to indicate that some action has been ridiculously easy -- "it's like stealing/taking candy from a baby."

Is there a British version of this saying? Or might HP characters use the version above?


ETA -- Sorted! Thank you all so much.


"Like shooting fish in a barrel" works.
I'm sorry, sushidog, I'd disagree with this. I think 'Like shooting fish in a barrel' is also an American expression and I've never heard it used in England. (It's a daft expression, isn't it? You've already got the fish! In a barrel! Why would you shoot them?!) I think I particularly see it as not culturally British too, because of the gun/shooting aspect.

As far as "Like taking candy from a baby" goes, though it is understood here, I can't see characters in the HP verse using it. I'd never say it. If we're talking Hogwarts era, they might say something was "Easy peasy."
I've heard it in the UK quite often, and Dictionary.com says it dates back to the 1900s, so I don't think there's any problem with the HPverse using it in the 80s or later.
And sure, it doesn't make much sense, but then a lot of idioms don't, either because they refer to something which is no longer common or because the meanings of the words have changed, or whatever. "Pissed as a newt" is a good example.
Oh, and it's worth pointing out that shooting used to be very much a part of English (upper class) culture, as in huntin', shootin' and fishin', so I don't think there's anything fundamentally un-British about it!

Edited at 2016-11-06 10:55 am (UTC)
Very helpful; thank you!
Thanks! Very helpful.
"Shooting fish in a barrel" refers to a lack of challenge, skill or expertise. There are so many fish in the barrel that you can't help but get one or several. If you shot a fish in a river, that would be amazing! So said in retrospect, implies that you shot the fish in the barrel and claimed it was from the river.
We also say "like taking candy from a baby", but another expression that means the same thing is "as easy as falling off a log".
Thanks! We use the log expression, too.
I've heard "taking sweeties from a baby" (we don't use the word "candy" except in very limited contexts)
Thanks! This is helpful. I'd thought "candy" was probably too American.
"A piece of cake" is also, to my surprise, originally American slang, but seems to have come over here in time for World War II, so would be available.

I doubt if the more robust form would be used in HP fandom. (A piece of p**s). But it is more British in origin.
Very interesting; thank you!
Easy as pie is another.
There's a related term which might be relevant, depending on exactly what your comment refers to, and that is to say that the target of some action is "a sitting duck". This is an old-fashioned shooting reference (but still quite common) and means that a target is unsuspecting and is very easy to win or defeat. A business which was ripe for takeover might be a sitting duck, for example, or a naive boy that some girl has set her sights on (which must also be a shooting reference).

Can anybody explain why if I try to post a question myself, it just disappears? I tried a couple of months ago to ask for help on some fine points of grammar and it just disappeared into the ether, and the same thing happened to me before - I tried to start a thread and it took around three months to appear. I'm asking this question here in this note, even though it doesn't relate to Kelly's question, because if I try to post it as a question in its own right it will again be lost.

I've forgotten what one of them was but the other was about the finer use of the possessive apostrophe. The Italian person I am beta-ing has written "St Mungo's isolation ward" and that sounds OK, but that means "a ward belonging to St Mungo", when what we want is "a ward belonging to St Mungo's." But you can't say "St Mungo's's", surely?

I know we can get round it by calling it "the isolation ward at St Mungo's", but I was just curious.

Edited at 2016-11-14 04:32 am (UTC)