Talking at cross purposes

Norwegian lesson of the day:

God dag, mann. Økseskaft, idiom. The phrase comes from the folk tale about a man who is going deaf and who expects a visit. In order to hide the fact that he can’t hear a thing, he prepares answers to the questions he expects to be asked. As he is whittling the handle of an axe, he assumes the first question will be along the lines of “What is that?”, unfortunately the first thing said is actually “Good morning.” Hence today’s expression, which translates literally “Good Morning, man. Axe handle”, used to indicate a perceived communication problem whether intentional (such as politicians answering the question they would have liked to be asked rather than the one they were asked) or unintentional, a talking at cross purposes.