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Absence makes the heart grow fonder

epigene

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This is something that suddenly came to mind when reading the thread on whale meat.

I know that this phrase can be used for long-distance love, where a person's yearning for his/her lover grows stronger because the lover lives in a physically remote location.

Can it be used to express yearning for food that is no longer readily available? Other applications?

TIA! 🙂

EDIT: If there are other phrases or idioms that are better suited to describe it, so much the better! I'd love to learn! 👍
 

moofs

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Yeah, I guess it's applicable for that situation. In general it does mean "the lack of something increases the desire for it".

Though, "grow fonder" means "to care more", which kinda doesn't work with food. You can either come up with a variation of it to suit the context or think of another phrase. If you did you use that phrase though, I'm sure most people would understand despite it being kinda awkward.

I know there's something for that but I can't quite remember; I'd go with a variation of the phrase like 'absence makes the mouth all watery". Okay, lame attempt but you get what I mean. You'll notice that native speakers tend to take a set phrase/idiom and change it up a bit.

Here's a nice little idiom site: http://www.goenglish.com/ABirdInTheHandIsWorthTwoInTheBush.asp
It's really nice. Click on the site's logo to get a random idiom, or use the next/previous buttons instead.
 
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As moofs pointed out, you would be understood but it would sound weird. The phrase "distance makes the heart grow fonder" is generally reserved for talking about a long-distance love. So, unless you were going for a specific type of comedy it wouldn't work. For example a fat guy who loves hamburgers talking about how he can't eat them anymore then making the remark "ooh, how distance makes the heart grow fonder :(" would work as a joke, but not in any serious situations.
Something like "forbidden fruit always tastes sweeter" might be more appropriate in that kind of situation.
 

epigene

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Thank you moofs & mapleleafteacher! 🙂

I knew it's odd to be using it to describe the sense of nostalgia toward something (whale meat in this case) that is no longer available to buy.

"Forbidden fruit always tastes sweeter" sounds great!
As for creative adaptations of cliches, I have seen people doing it a lot, but I can do it only rarely... I really wish I had the knack for quick and impromptu humor! :(
 

Goldiegirl

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I've never heard anyone ever say...Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Maybe that is a difference between Canadian vs. American english?
 

Annubis

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They sound very familiar to me... I'm Canadian... hmmm... I figured it was an all around English thing... maybe not.
 

Annubis

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Where did it come from?

Origins of Sayings - Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Stories behind Famous Sayings

The Saying: ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER.

Who Said It: Thomas Haynes Bayly
When: 1844

The Story behind It: One of England's more versatile writers, Thomas Haynes Bayly wrote novels, plays, poems, political articles, and songs. In 1844 a poem titled "Isle of Beauty" appeared in Bayly's two-volume Songs, Ballads, and Other Poems. It is here that the following romantic words are found:
What would not I give to wander
Where my old companions dwell?
Absence makes the heart grow fonder:
Isle of Beauty, fare thee well!
Bayly is credited with popularizing the phrase, but he took it from Francis Davison's Poetical Rhapsody (1602). The exact words appeared as the first line of a poem by an anonymous writer. An updated version of the quote goes: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder-of somebody else!"
Thomas Haynes Bayly - Wikipedia

Thomas Haynes Bayly (October 13, 1797 - April 1839) was an English poet, songwriter, dramatist, miscellaneous writer and son of a wealthy lawyer in Bath.
 

made of stone

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I know that this phrase can be used for long-distance love, where a person's yearning for his/her lover grows stronger because the lover lives in a physically remote location.

Can it be used to express yearning for food that is no longer readily available? Other applications?
TIA! 🙂

Personally I see no problem at all with the use you've suggested epigene-san, and have used that expression many a time; not only for people or foods, but for anything that distance made me long for more. It seems natural to me, because 'fond' is used for all kinds of things, not just our loved-ones.

Perhaps that's just me, but I've also heard it used in a similar way by others, even if it is originally most famous because of use regarding people we love.

I'd suggest that 99.9% of native speakers would understand exactly what you meant if you used the phrase about, say, food, even if they felt it jarring that it wasn't the use that they expected. And if it was slightly jarring to them, how long would that feeling last? Oh, probably only a few seconds until the conversation continued I should think!!

mos :)
 

epigene

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Thanks, mos-san! 🙂

Yes, I am actually relieved to hear that at least I would be able to get the meaning across, albeit with a touch of strangeness.
 

Pachipro

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I would probably say something like, "Not having it as readily available (as in the past) makes me want it more."
 

yaletiger

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I've heard "absence makes the heart grow fonder," but I'm more familiar with the converse idiom "Familiarity breeds contempt." (i.e. being too comfortable around someone can lead to fighting/dislike).

Is there a corresponding idiom in Japanese?

I could see using "absence...fonder" in the context of food. It would be slightly humorous/personifying in the context of food or other things you miss. Also, there's a connotation to "absence makes the heart grow fonder" that someone/thing isn't really all that great, but when you are away, you idealize that person/thing. Like a lot of my ex-girlfriends :-D

わかる?
 
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bakaKanadajin

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As others have pointed out, these days it's a catch phrase at best, which gets loosely applied to anything you haven't experienced in a long time and would like to experience once again. Traditionally it was used strictly for things of the heart or other relationship type situations.

One idiom which identifies more closely with satisfying the body (foods, drink, the opposite sex, any kind of sensory fulfillment) is:

"A pleasure denied is a pleasure doubled."
 

made of stone

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"A pleasure denied is a pleasure doubled."

Never heard that one before, bK san, thanks for that!!

Imho, it's a great asset to see language as both flexible and something to be played with, and to my mind this particular phrase has seen a lot of that over the (recent?) years.
 
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"forbidden fruit always tastes sweeter"


I think that would be more of a case of what you can't eat because of some other reason, even if it is near by, because it is forbidden. Not that it isn't available.


Something like for instance if someone has high blood pressure problems and they shouldn't eat foods that are high in cholesterol, no matter how tasty that food may be. Make sense? It would be forbidden, not a lack of availability.


Same applies to people if they are dieting. Walk past that chocolate shelf at the store after you've not eaten any for a few days and, even knowing you shouldn't have it, it will seem that much better.


I have heard that phrase used by people who are speaking of relationships too. For instance, if you tell your son or daughter not to see a certain person any more because they aren't good company for them. Doing that can make them want to be with that person that much more because you have forbidden that relationship.


For the absence of a food, how about, "Absence makes the stomach grow fonder, presence makes the stomach grow wider." ? LOL Not an actual expression I've heard, but I think people would get it?


I can't think of one I've heard for the absence of a food. Such as being out of season. I'll keep thinking and if anything comes to mind, I'll post it.
 
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epigene

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"forbidden fruit always tastes sweeter"
I think that would be more of a case of what you can't eat because of some other reason, even if it is near by, because it is forbidden. Not that it isn't available.
Well, I think it can be used when you personally feel a sense of guilt for eating something that is not forbidden but is actually very scarce and mainstream society doesn't really promote eating it? Anyway, I feel I can use it depending on circumstances.

For the absence of a food, how about, "Absence makes the stomach grow fonder, presence makes the stomach grow wider." ? LOL Not an actual expression I've heard, but I think people would get it?
I like that one a lot! 😄
 

Frumpy

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Absence is to love
what wind is to fire.
It extinguishes the small,
it enkindles the great.
 

Mike Cash

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Absence is to love
what wind is to fire.
It extinguishes the small,
it enkindles the great.

Very nice, but the Forum Rules discourage necroposting.

The thread died eight years ago. And as fond as I am of the OP, she hasn't been around for close to three years.
 

lincstreff

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The Forum also includes a "Similar Threads" feature, and these can often be quite old. If you are not careful, it is easy to click on one of these and reply to what is written there without noticing it is an old thread. I, for one, do not carefully check the dates on prior posts before posting myself.
 

Frumpy

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I realized that the post is old which has never been a problem at any of the other sites I am posting.
 

Frumpy

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I realized that the post is old which has never been a problem at any of the other sites I am posting.
Threads can be revived, why not, and the OP is not the only person reading this thread.
But if it is against forum rules I will refrain from doing this again. :(
 

lincstreff

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Personally, I am all for it. I wasn't around for many of the earlier posts, and it's a nice way for the site's older content to survive and thrive. Plus, the site's moderators can close any contentious threads, to prevent those from having a second life.
 
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