A common amusement of children is to lure skelks out of their holes by tying a string to a crumb or piece of cheese. Once the skelk comes out the child will move the bait, causing the skelk to run in circles after its own tail. The phrase ‘turning the skelk’s tail’ has therefore also come to encompass the idea of someone telling a tall tale, a trick, or a jest.
Once the warrior Tasiver Tod was beset by a hungry oswagi. She thrust her sword blade down the gullet of the beast and managed to slay it, but when she withdrew her sword she found her gauntlet had been chewed through and she had lost the skin from her fingers. From that day forward a close call is often referred to as escaping by the ‘skin of your knuckles.’
This phrase indicates ten men- each toe equals one man. If a Martian were to say ‘one foot’ that indicates five men. Ten feet equals fifty men, and twenty feet indicates 100 men.
Or forever. This is a Martian phrase similar to the Earthling’s ‘until hell freezes over’.
The skelk, when in danger, emits a high-pitched squall, which makes it sound more fearsome than it really is. When someone says that they hear the squall of a skelk, and are not speaking of the actual rodent, they mean they are hearing big talk but there is little to back up those boasts or claims.
This phrase has two connotations. At one point an invitation to a man’s parlor was part of the courtship process, and a prospective wife would take part in a small repast where she would have conversation with the potential husband. Sometimes, it would even involve interviews by a husband’s other wives, where they would determine her eligibility.
In more licentious times, when the Muvari had fallen away from the worship of the Father and his One Son, a visit to a man’s parlor often meant extramarital intercourse.
A common expression among the Muvari and the other tribes, including the Galbran, which ostensibly means ‘turn the point of the sword’ upon our enemies, and is usually used in circumstances where the enemy has already gained considerable ground or advantage.