What does the idiom "Take it with a grain of salt" mean?
You are wondering about the meaning of the phrase Take it with a grain of salt, maybe you heard it in a TV show, movie or theater play. Although this idiom is not used very often, it enriches your capacity of expression and strengthens communication. In which case is the expression Take it with a grain of salt used and what is its meaning?
Meaning of "Take it with a grain of salt"
The idiom “Take it with a grain of salt” is used to indicate that one should be cautious with how they interpret or accept advice or information. It suggests that whatever is being said should be treated with skepticism and not taken as absolute truth.
The phrase “Take it with a grain of salt” likely originated from the Latin phrase “cum grano salis” which roughly translates to “with a grain of salt”. This idiom was first used in written English sometime in the early 1540’s. It is thought that it was used to encourage those reading to be cautious with how they interpreted the information they were being given.
This phrase is used quite commonly in everyday speech, especially when providing advice or information to someone else. It is also commonly used to disclaim information or advice that may be controversial or hard to believe. It is typically used in a humorous manner to lighten the mood of the conversation.
- “My neighbor told me that a new restaurant is going to open up around the corner, but I’m going to take it with a grain of salt until it’s actually confirmed.”
- “My friend said that we should take a more expensive vacation this year, but I’m going to take it with a grain of salt since we’re on a budget.”
- “My boss said that he’s going to give us a raise next month, but I’m not going to believe it until it actually happens—I’ll take it with a grain of salt for now.”
Idioms with similar meaning
"Don't judge a book by its cover" is an English idiom that means you shouldn't make assumptions about someone or something based solely on its appearance. In Japanese, the similar idiom is "Hana yori dango," which translates to "Dumplings rather than flowers." This idiom means that substance is more important than appearance.