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My friend was trying to tell me an idiom he heard, but I think it got lost in translation. What he ended up telling me was this:

Bread makeup
Not harmful
Obviously
525600s

Can you guys figure out what idiom he was trying to tell me?

Note:

As it has caused some confusion, everything written is correct.
Also to be clear I simply transcribed exactly what he said to me

Hint:

s != seconds, s == s

Hint 2:

You can't apply this makeup

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Can you confirm that "525600s" is really correct? (If you look at the comments to the answers here you will see some reasons to suspect it might not be.) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jun 7 '16 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ Is this a popular English idiom, or a poorly-translated non-English idiom? $\endgroup$
    – rybo111
    Jun 7 '16 at 19:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @rybo111 google will autofill the answer, does that answer your question? $\endgroup$ Jun 7 '16 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ it's an idiom, not a proverb, right? $\endgroup$
    – Sid
    Jun 8 '16 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Sid 99%+ sure it is an idiom, so yes $\endgroup$ Jun 8 '16 at 14:02
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Here's what I got:

Wet behind the ears

Each line is

A word that has been misheard as a different word and then obscured by a synonym

Bread makeup

Some bread is made of whey, kind of sounds like wet
OP's intended word for this clue: wheat

Not harmful

Benign, sounds like behind

Obviously

Duh, sounds like the (thanks Dan Russell)

525600s

A year's worth of minutes, and year + s sounds like ears

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  • $\begingroup$ This is correct! Though I had a different intended clue for the first line, yours fits perfectly well. Good job! $\endgroup$ Jun 8 '16 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ After I put in my answer, I thought of your idea for the bread clue and was like "oops, of course", but I was swimming at the time... $\endgroup$
    – paste
    Jun 8 '16 at 15:53
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    $\begingroup$ As a total Renthead, I must now show myself the door for NOT recognizing that particular number. $\endgroup$ Jun 9 '16 at 0:51
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The best I can do is:

Rolling back the years

Bread

Roll

makeup

ink

Not harmful

= back, somehow?

Obviously

"duh"

525600s

525600 minutes = year, then "s" = s

So

Roll ink back duh year s → "Rolling back the years"

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  • $\begingroup$ You have got some of the clues correct, but not the answer as a whole. Also a single line represents one word. Also don't miss the clue to solving the puzzle in the title $\endgroup$ Jun 8 '16 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ Actually after rereading your answer it looks like you heeded the title's clue, you are getting pretty warm $\endgroup$ Jun 8 '16 at 14:22
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Is it

Better safe than sorry

Bread makeup

You apply butter on bread so that is like bread makeup (butter = better)

not harmful

safe

Obviously

525600s

Still thinking about these two. 525600s should become "years", even though that doesn't fit in my answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ 525600 minutes is a year. $\endgroup$
    – user21939
    Jun 7 '16 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ Good guess, but not the answer I am looking for $\endgroup$ Jun 7 '16 at 14:17
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The spirit is pure but the body is weak

Bread makeup

Yeast produces alcohol, or spirits, to raise bread; in Christian theology the bread of Eucharist is also the holy spirit

Not harmful

Unadulterated food is pure and not harmful

Obviously

The body (of text) is literally obvious

525600s

525600 is the number of minutes in the year. In seconds, 1/60 of a year is just shy of a week

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    $\begingroup$ Good attempt, but it is a bit of a stretch $\endgroup$ Jun 7 '16 at 13:15
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Off, most probably.

Is it:

Icing on the cake?
Bread makeup, literally.
It really isn't harmful, is it?
Obviously, icing ON the cake. 525,600... A year. Birthdays, anniversaries? Cakes!

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, not the answer I am looking for. I also wouldn't consider bread to be the same as cake $\endgroup$ Jun 8 '16 at 12:41
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Maybe

make up for lost time

Explanation

Sometimes during the work the break, though not explicitly harmful, makes you hurry up to catch up once you begin working again. "for" and "time" taken from the last line: it looks like 52s, 56s, and 00s are timestamps with the interval of four seconds.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, not the answer I am looking for $\endgroup$ Jun 7 '16 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ @GordonAllocman Ok, it's still an attempt :) Am I anywhere close? $\endgroup$
    – nicael
    Jun 7 '16 at 13:43
  • $\begingroup$ Not really. You are missing some of the clues, all of the clues are important $\endgroup$ Jun 7 '16 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Gordon Yes, haven't used some of them... $\endgroup$
    – nicael
    Jun 7 '16 at 13:49
0
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Another attempt:

make a killing

Bread

one of the first needs when you start making money is food.

Not harmful

Sounds dangerous, though it does mean make money, much money

Obviously

probably paired with the next one, but could mean that there's nothing really difficult / unobvious when you have lots of money.

525600s

s could be $, maybe it does mean much money for a short period.

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  • $\begingroup$ But maybe you just mean something different by an idiom... $\endgroup$
    – nicael
    Jun 7 '16 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ It is definitely an idiom $\endgroup$ Jun 7 '16 at 23:40
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I think,(This might be way off)

Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth

Bread Makeup

Butter(I think)

Not harmful Obviously

The idiom means someone who can do no harm.

525600s

Not able to get this. Might be someone who can do no wrong even in a year.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry not the answer I am looking for $\endgroup$ Jun 8 '16 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ Still an attempt, am I close?? Or Should I just give up? $\endgroup$
    – Sid
    Jun 8 '16 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ Each line is separate, and you are missing a piece to the puzzle, but I wouldn't say you have to give up $\endgroup$ Jun 8 '16 at 14:20

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