Es stellte sich heraus, dass das Gerücht weder Hand noch Fuß hatte.

English Translation

The rumor turned out to be groundless.

Manche dieser Redewendungen sind ja lustig. Ich kann mir nur vorstellen, wie ein Gerücht Hände und Füße haben kann!


“I can’t make head or tail of this rumor.”

If a rumor can have a head and a tail, why not hands and feet. :wink:


An excellent counterpoint! But note that it’s always pluralized in that expression: “I can’t make heads or tails out of this”.

Another one you might hear in the business world is “getting something up on its feet” or sometimes “up on its legs”. For example: “let’s first get this current project up on its feet before we worry about next year’s budget problems”.

Assigning body parts to abstract concepts is strange in both languages! :slight_smile:


… if you demand that people only ever speak American English :upside_down_face:.

For the rest of us, “make head or tail of” is the standard expression (although the pluralised form is now common as well).

Also, in the example provided by @MRgK I might sometimes find myself using a positive verb combined with “neither head nor tail” …

… although, in either case as a non-American I would put a “u” in “rumour” :joy:.


Oh, interesting, I’ve never heard the singular variant of that expression before.

Coming from Canada, we tend to pronounce things like the Americans, but spell things like the English, so we somehow wound up with the worst of both worlds :smiley:

I would also spell it as “rumour”.