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Off topic: Idioms: Do you have a good one you would like to share
Thread poster: yolanda Speece
yolanda Speece  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 6, 2007

For fun, I thought it would be neat to share idioms with each other. The language doesn't matter as long as you offer an English Translation or explanation to it. Even if it is something that is only native to your country, I think it would be fun to hear it. I would like to thank those participating ahead of time as I know how busy you are. This is just for fun so all is welcome if it will provide myself and my fellow prozians with a chuckle or nugget of knowledge.

Let the idioms begin!


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Emmanuelle Hingant  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:54
English to French
My favorite expression in French Feb 6, 2007

My favorite expression of all times in French is:
"avoir le cul bordé de nouilles"

Literaly, it means "to have the ass full of noodles". It really means "to be extremely lucky".

I'm quite a visual person and can't help picturing someone with his arse full of noodles and I just love it! I don't know where it comes from, I've had a look at it but just don't like the explanations. And I don't care too much, I just love the expression!


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:54
Portuguese to English
+ ...
OK, I'm game... Feb 6, 2007

My all-time favorite idiomatic expression in Portuguese is:

Voltar à vaca fria


It means to get back to the original point in a conversation, discussion, etc.


Literally it means:

Go back to the cold cow!!




Amy


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
in (Argentine) Spanish Feb 6, 2007

"estar en el horno"

I love this idiom which is mostly used by young people (teens-young adults). Literally: to be in(side) the oven. It means that one is in real trouble.

[Editado a las 2007-02-06 20:56]


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xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 22:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
in Spain Feb 6, 2007

One that has always made me smile is "donde Cristo perdió el gorro" - means in the back of beyond or the boondocks, but the literal translation is "where Christ lost His hat" (Spanish has a number of rather irreverent sayings--another way to say the same thing is "en la quinta hostia" or "in the fifth host", host as in Communion wafer).

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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:54
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Dutch Feb 6, 2007

"Iemand bij de lurven vatten."

To grab someone by the notched wood, to apprehend somebody. Lurven is the plural of lurf, but the meaning of lurf is lost to almost any Dutch speaker. To complicate things, "iemand bij de lurven vatten" is synonymous to "iemand bij de kladden grijpen" (to grab someone by the scruff of the neck), but I still have to meet a contemporary Dutch speaker who can explain the meaning of "klad, kladden".

Millions of Dutch speakers use "lurven" and "kladden" without knowing which part of the human body or which article of clothing is really ment.

Regards,
Gerard


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:54
English to French
+ ...
Belgium-French Feb 6, 2007

Good idea, thanks Yolanda!

At home, my mom would always say "C'est ici que les Romains s'empoignirent!", some kind of funny version of "C'est ici que les Romains s'empoignèrent", when someone was about to do something very difficult for instance, and had to pay a lot of attention to what he/she was doing.

http://www.seniorplanet.fr/reagir/?id_reactions=8894&p_c=liste

The translation would be something like, "Here is where the Romans had a punch-up/brawled", though I'm not very sure about how to put it...

[Edited at 2007-02-06 22:55]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:54
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Enchufado Feb 6, 2007

I've always liked the Spanish "enchufado", meaning literally, I think "plugged in" but used in the sense of well-connected, knowing all the right people, even perhaps being on the A-list.
Love, Jenny.


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:54
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Idiomatic idioms Feb 6, 2007

Anne Patteet wrote:
At home, my mom would always say "C'est ici que les Romains s'empoignirent!", some kind of funny version of "C'est ici que les Romains s'empoignèrent", when someone was about to do something very difficult for instance, and had to pay a lot of attention to what he/she was doing.


This thread screams for another one: which sayings/idioms did your parents use, which you never heard back in the real world?

Regards,
Gerard


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:54
French to English
+ ...
Now you're asking.... Feb 6, 2007

Oh dear Gerard, now you're asking.... our house was full of expressions which no-one else has ever heard of! I blame my grandmother.....

For starters, there's swaggle-belly - someone who drinks a lot (usually tea, nothing more sinister!) - then how about sugar stealers - those fluffy dandelion clocks flying around in the late summer. My ex-sister-in-law, a primary school teacher, thought that was so novel, she set her class an essay on them! As for shepsters (another word for starlings), I've no idea where that came from....

These may have a regional bent (North West England), or may just be unique to my family!

Fascinating stuff though....


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:54
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Too idiomatic for this thread Feb 6, 2007

Claire Cox wrote:

Oh dear Gerard, now you're asking.... our house was full of expressions which no-one else has ever heard of! I blame my grandmother.....

For starters, there's swaggle-belly - someone who drinks a lot (usually tea, nothing more sinister!) - then how about sugar stealers - those fluffy dandelion clocks flying around in the late summer. My ex-sister-in-law, a primary school teacher, thought that was so novel, she set her class an essay on them! As for shepsters (another word for starlings), I've no idea where that came from....

These may have a regional bent (North West England), or may just be unique to my family!

Fascinating stuff though....



Lovely. I don't want to highjack this thread, but I'm from Amsterdam and our house was filled with mangled Yiddish words and expressions my spouse has never heard from. And she grew up just 7 kilometers away from me.

Regards,
Gerard


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:54
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Robin Hood Feb 7, 2007

Gerard de Noord wrote:

This thread screams for another one: which sayings/idioms did your parents use, which you never heard back in the real world?

Regards,
Gerard


My mother always used to say, when we had to go out of our way to get somewhere, "We'll have to go round Robin Hood's barn!"




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xxxPRen  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:54
French to English
+ ...
Not too nice but used to describe less than comely women.... Feb 7, 2007

She's so ugly she makes a freight train take a dirt road.

She looks like the south end of a north bound cow.


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:54
English to French
+ ...
So true, Gerard! Feb 7, 2007

Gerard de Noord wrote:

(...)

This thread screams for another one: which sayings/idioms did your parents use, which you never heard back in the real world?

Regards,
Gerard


Very true, so much so that I first went to "google" that sentence before posting my answer, and I did find a few links, with variants (my own version included).


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:54
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
From my French teacher Feb 7, 2007

(From way back in 1942 when I first started learning French.) If our French teacher didn't like our French accents (and who could blame him?), he would say: "Vous parlez français comme une vache espagnol!"
(You speak French like a Spanish cow!)


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