English Idioms


to take something with a pinch of salt

What does "to take something with a pinch of salt" mean? Does it mean NOT to take something too seriously and verbatimly or r to be careful about something that is uttered? Or both? It is the same as "to take something with a grain of salt"? Or is there a difference?


I would understand "to take something with a grain of salt" to be careful and suspicious abouth something that is said to you, and not to see as a full fact. Whereas "to take something with a pinch of salt" is not to take something too seriously and not to take it to much to heart.


Do English native speakers make a distinction between the two forms anyway?

2 comments

  • Hi Augustine,


    I am less familiar with the 'grain of salt' expression, but I doubt there's a difference between the two expressions.


    As you say, 'to take something with a pinch of salt' usually means not to take something too seriously, or to be careful or wary about something which may not be completely genuine.
  • Thank your very much indeed, Sammy, for your effort. :)


    The background was, we have two similiar idioms in my mother tongue, and I find it hard to assign them to either of these two English idioms. One must be equal to one them of them and the other to the other. I haven't found out the exact match yet.

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