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Prawn short of a cocktail Caligula did indeed forget to tell his armies to invade Britain with him. He ordered his troops to collect seashells, then whipped the sea so he wouldn’t look so foolish. He really was one prawn short of a cocktail, wasn’t he? "prawn short of a cocktail" what is it? Prawn is a animal live in water? Cocktail is a wine or some other thing? How do these two get linked together?
Oct 5, 2019 7:34 AM
Answers · 4
It means he's a little bit stupid. Here's why: 1. Yes, a prawn is a type of small shellfish, and a cocktail is a drink or dish made by mixing several ingredients ( for example, you can have a fruit cocktail, which is like a fruit salad). 2. A prawn cocktail is a classic dish eaten as a starter to a meal. It's usually made of prawns or shrimps, with lettuce and Marie Rose sauce (pink and gloopy). It was very popular around the 1970s. 3. Now for the meaning. 'A prawn short of a cocktail' is part of an endlessly inventive set of idioms used to suggest that someone is not very intelligent: it basically means that they don't have a full set of functioning brain cells. Other common idioms are 'a sandwich short of a picnic' or 'a spanner short of a toolbox' - again, meaning that something is not complete. This style of idiom works like an internet meme: there is a basic formula suggesting that something is missing, and people can make them up as they go along. I've never heard anyone say 'a prawn short of a cocktail', but I know what it means because I'm familiar with the convention.
October 5, 2019
This is an example of a type of idiomatic expression meaning someone is not very clever. Other examples are; One can short of a six pack One sandwich short of a picnic They all go "one X short of a Y" They may be made up on the spot by the speaker. A prawn cocktail is a well know dish in England. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/classic-prawn-cocktail
October 5, 2019
Describing somebody as an A short of a B is a popular idiom that makes a derogatory statement about the person's intelligence or mental stability. The most popular is probably 'a sandwich short of a picnic '. Cocktail can be used of any mixture. There is a dish, called a Prawn Cocktail that is a mixture of prawns and mayonnaise
October 5, 2019
This is a joke expression and it's meaning is that the person referred to is a bit stupid! I haven't heard this specific example before because it is changed to fit the rest of the passage. The more usual versions are 'a sandwich short of a picnic' and 'a brick short of a wall'. The general idea is something (intelligence/common sense) is missing! Hope that helps!
October 5, 2019
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wxw0805
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English