Green Behind The Ears

Green behind the ears header image shows two pairs of legs bound, standing on tip toes over tea lights.

For many years I’ve been thinking the phrase “green behind the ears” as a synonym for feeling vulnerable, going into a new situation. I say “thinking” because I’m sure, had I said it aloud, someone would have corrected me. And so I reached thirty nine before I learnt that I’ve been getting it wrong all this time. When I started to write this post I googled the saying. Just to ensure I had the correct meaning and didn’t come across as ignorant! What I learnt is that I was wrong, and that my phrase is a mixed idiom. And a fairly common one at that. This is when two common phrases are combined, often by accident, to form a very different saying.

So, why would I labour the point if I’m not green behind my ears?

With the Sinful Sunday prompt for June being Green, and me entering a situation where I felt out of my depth, I thought I’d share a little about that experience today. Before starting this post I spent thirty nine years safe in the knowledge that green behind the ears is correct, so it was a sure thing for the prompt. I hadn’t realised I’d end up on a tangent about idioms, mixed or otherwise… Every day’s a school day!

So on Tuesday I was invited to tie with 1001011. Which isn’t that surprising really. But what was different about Tuesday was that there would be three of us as his good friend and long term bunny Aerial_Aiya would be there too. They are really quite special to watch tying together, and it was such a joy to be invited to join them for an evening. Though along with the excitement came nerves. That internal chatter getting louder…

In my mind I was definitely green around the ears compared to these two!

Fortunately, I was well stocked up on big knickers, pulled them on and we had a fantastic evening. What was interesting was discussing the evening afterwards. It was with great relief that I learnt we were all anxious on some level about how things would go. As it turned out we had a great time, and are already discussing the next, so watch this space. For me I realised that we were all equal in the situation. I wasn’t out of place, my inner chatter of “not being good enough to tie with them” had been squashed.

Back to the start of the post though…

What on earth does this post have to do with mixed idioms?

Aerial_Aiya is incredibly graceful in rope, melty is the word I would associate with her for sure. And I’m giggly, and stubborn. When 1001011 had us bound together, connected us, I felt like we were our own kind of mixed idiom… Very much gracefully giggly.

Even when we were on tiptoes over tealights!

By the time this post goes live I’ll be entering a whole other situation. But this time I’m armed with the correct term. Instead of being green behind the ears, I’m definitely feeling wet behind them now. Wish me luck!

Sinful Sunday
Every Damn Day in June

Green Behind The Ears was published for Sinful Sunday’s prompt week. As luck would have it my April prompt offering features a tie by 1001011 too. The post is Backlit And Bound, if you’d like to go and see.


  1. Oh I love this. Firstly the image is amazing and had me working out which leg belongs to which but also your words made me laugh… it is exactly the kind of thing I would say.


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