Salt

In certain cultures, the moment at which a household runs out of salt and the subsequent acquisition of new salt are marked with linguistic ceremony. Common proverbs and idioms include the following:

“Where the trail of salt ends, there opens a great abyss.”

“He who is without salt is without character.”

“The shelves of hell’s supermarkets are empty of salt.”

“New life, new life. New salt, new salt.”

“To be saltless is to walk naked and defenceless in the presence of death.”

“Salt crystals are like rain fallen from the breath of the divine.” 

“God is salty.”

“Running out of salt is like running out of laughter” (variation:”Running out of salt is like running out of tears”.)

“No one ever died of thirst at sea, or hunger in the desert.” (N.b. this proverb is believed to have fallen into disuse.)

“Only two groups of people may eat  without salt: infants and the dead.”

“A house without salt is like a house without walls” (Modern variation: “A house without salt is like a house where there are regular problems with the wifi”.) 

“Without salt there can be neither poetry nor lovemaking.”

“Sugar is no substitute for salt.”

“Food without salt is like life without life.”

(Source: ‘Idioms and proverbs for running out of salt and acquiring new salt in made-up countries’, Eric Cartman, Zero Books, London, 2014.)

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