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acqua in bocca - theme

English translation: pipe down

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Italian term or phrase:acqua in bocca
English translation:pipe down
Entered by: Taylor Kirk
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07:17 Apr 26, 2008
Italian to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
Italian term or phrase: acqua in bocca - theme
Hi everybody,
This Italian idiom is being used to associate the thought that the sea is silent/silence. The overall text is about diving. I have been looking for a saying in English with a "silence" connotation but none (such as mum's the word, silent as the grave, etc.) have anything to do with fish or the sea. Can anyone think of a way to say this while keeping the "water" theme?
Fyi, the full phrase is: 'forse perchè ”acqua in bocca” è un’esortazione che equivale a ”stai zitto, mi raccomando”, i più ritengono che quello subacqueo sia in effetti un mondo assolutamente silenzioso'
Vittorina Klingbeil
Germany
Local time: 01:31
pipe down
Explanation:
This was originally a naval expression so maybe it could fit...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2008-04-26 09:29:27 GMT)
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Meaning

A request to be quiet.

Origin

On sailing ships signals were given to the crew by sounding the boatswain's (bo'sun's) pipe. One such was 'piping down the hammocks' which was the signal to go below decks and retire for the night. When an officer wanted a sailor to be dismissed below he would have him 'piped down'. This usage is recorded in Royal Navy workbooks from the 18th century. For example, Gillespie's Advice to Commanders & Officers, 1798:

"At four o'clock, P.M. the hammocks should regularly be piped down."

There's no unequivocal link between this naval practice and the 'be quiet' meaning. It could well have derived from the fact that, if there was a disturbance onboard ship, officers could quell it by sending the crew below decks, i.e. by piping them down. This notion is supported by records of ship's crew's being told to 'pipe down' rather than signaled to by the use of an actual pipe. For example, this report from The Gettysburg Star And Banner, April 1850:

'I don't care what happens to me now!' wept Peter, going among the crew, with blood-shot eyes, as he put on his shirt. 'I have been flogged once, and they may do it again, if they will. 'Let them look out for me now'. 'Pipe down!' cried the Captain, and the crew slowly dispersed.
Selected response from:

Taylor Kirk
United States
Local time: 18:31
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +1as dumb/silent as a fishPnina
4 +1mum's the word
Maria Luisa Dell'Orto
3 +2pipe down
Taylor Kirk
4silence is golden / still waters run deepPB Trans
4keep it zipped (in context)
James (Jim) Davis
4Keep it under you hat
Gad Kohenov
3not breathe a word
Mirra_
3 -1don't get me into deep water
Paul O'Brien


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -1
don't get me into deep water


Explanation:
i.e. don't get me into a difficult situation by, in this case, telling everyone about X.
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get into deep water


Paul O'Brien
Italy
Local time: 01:31
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 34

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  PB Trans: That has a negative connotation to it and in most case implies trouble or danger. Not a good image for a peaceful diving expedition./ Italian text shows light-hearted irony. Get into deep water sounds too ominous here, given the inherent dangers of diving
27 mins
  -> "stai zitto, mi raccomando" doesn't seem like a bed of roses either.
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
silence is golden / still waters run deep


Explanation:
This expression doesn't have a water theme but it is a widely recognized one that could be used in the context of your translation.

SILENCE IS GOLDEN -"It is best not to speak. Now also used in the sense that quiet is a priceless gift. The proverb has been traced back to 1865, and was first attested in the United States in 'Changes' (1923) by H.W. Nevinson."From the "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" (1996) by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/8/messages/573.html

I also found "still waters run deep" but this usually means that what may seem calm on the outside is actually more complex on the inside. I don't think you want that imagery for your diving text as you want to emphasize calm and serenity underwater. However, if you take on a less literal translation of your text, you could make it work... in the vein that it is silent and peaceful underwater but there could be interesting things to discover during the diving expedition. That would be one way to keep the "water" theme.


STILL WATERS RUN DEEP - "Don't be fooled by appearances. Quiet people are likely to be passionate or complex, even though they don't show it. The proverb has been traced back to 'Cato's Morals' (about 1400) in 'Cursor Mundi' (1873). In 1721, it was included in James Kelly's collection of proverbs. It was first attested in the United States in the 1768 'Works of William Smith,' (1803)." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" (1996) by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).
http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/26/messages/306.htm...

just because the surface of a body of water - say a wide river - appears flat-calm (ie still/unruffled), that does not mean that, below the surface, everything is the same. There may be fast-flowing undercurrents.
In other words, outer appearances can be deceptive and that is why the phrase is applied to people who may seem quiet but can turn out to be a seething cauldron of emotions!
http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk/Phrases-and-Sayings/Question5...

Example sentence(s):
  • As far as I'm concerned to be away from traffic, phones and radios on holiday is perfect bliss because to me silence is golden.

    Reference: http://www.deproverbio.com/DPjournal/DP,1,2,95/SPEECH_SILENC...
    Reference: http://www.english-test.net/forum/ftopic5549.html
PB Trans
Local time: 00:31
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
pipe down


Explanation:
This was originally a naval expression so maybe it could fit...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2008-04-26 09:29:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Meaning

A request to be quiet.

Origin

On sailing ships signals were given to the crew by sounding the boatswain's (bo'sun's) pipe. One such was 'piping down the hammocks' which was the signal to go below decks and retire for the night. When an officer wanted a sailor to be dismissed below he would have him 'piped down'. This usage is recorded in Royal Navy workbooks from the 18th century. For example, Gillespie's Advice to Commanders & Officers, 1798:

"At four o'clock, P.M. the hammocks should regularly be piped down."

There's no unequivocal link between this naval practice and the 'be quiet' meaning. It could well have derived from the fact that, if there was a disturbance onboard ship, officers could quell it by sending the crew below decks, i.e. by piping them down. This notion is supported by records of ship's crew's being told to 'pipe down' rather than signaled to by the use of an actual pipe. For example, this report from The Gettysburg Star And Banner, April 1850:

'I don't care what happens to me now!' wept Peter, going among the crew, with blood-shot eyes, as he put on his shirt. 'I have been flogged once, and they may do it again, if they will. 'Let them look out for me now'. 'Pipe down!' cried the Captain, and the crew slowly dispersed.


Taylor Kirk
United States
Local time: 18:31
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mirra_: honestly, I guess this is the best way to translate it :) Ps. for what concern the need of "aquaticity" ;)
4 hrs
  -> Thanks!

agree  PB Trans: For clarity, I would write... "perhaps because the naval expression 'pipe down' is..."
1 day2 hrs
  -> Thanks Pina!
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
not breathe a word


Explanation:
I can't think anything closer... :)
I mean, if you have water in your mouth you can't both open it to breathe air and utter anything...

http://www.answers.com/topic/breathe

Mirra_
Italy
Local time: 01:31
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in category: 6
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
mum's the word


Explanation:
Dopo tutte queste belle alternative, non ho saputo resistere e ti propongo anche la mia :-)

Mum's the word

Meaning

Keep quiet - say nothing.

Origin

Mum; not mother but 'mmmmm', the humming sound made with a closed mouth. Used by Shakespeare in Henry VI, Part 2:

"Seal up your lips and give no words but mum."


http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/251850.html

http://www.google.com/search?hl=it&q=Mum's the word&lr=

Maria Luisa Dell'Orto
United Kingdom
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in category: 3

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Vittorio Preite: infatti questa e' l'espressione GB piu'usata
10 hrs
  -> Grazie Vittorio!
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1 day3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
as dumb/silent as a fish


Explanation:
The expression "dumb as a fish" gives 1,800 Google hits. Here is an example of its usage:
"Russians use the expression "dumb as a fish" (nem kak ryba) for someone who does not speak."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day4 hrs (2008-04-27 11:41:34 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The expression "silent as a fish" gives 394 Google hits. Here is an example of its usage:
"... I can never find the right words to say to comfort someone, so I just keep silent as a fish..."
www.halfbakery.com/idea/Smallmark/topic-show.pl?tid=2461
The origin of the expression "acqua in bocca" is an idea of a confessor. A woman who used to gossip asked for his help. He gave her a small bottle of water and suggested that whenever she felt like gossiping she would put 2 drops of water on her tongue. The she would shut her mouth until the temptation will be over.
Reference: http://it.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=2006072203073...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day4 hrs (2008-04-27 11:48:10 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

correction: whenever she will feel like gossiping she would put 2 drops on her tongue.


    Reference: http://cr.middlebury.edu/public/russian/Bulgakov/public.html...
Pnina
Israel
Local time: 02:31
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in HebrewHebrew
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mirra_
54 mins
  -> Thank you.
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
keep it zipped (in context)


Explanation:
I think this works better "keep your mouth zipped", which is an exhortation to keep your mouth closed (and the water out of it) which is why the underwater world is an oasis of golden silence. (paraphrasing)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day5 hrs (2008-04-27 13:01:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Having seen more of the context, and having seen that nobody has come up with a really convincing "watery keep quiet answer" I feel that the best possible answer is quit probably a simple "keep your mouth closed".


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day5 hrs (2008-04-27 13:05:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

P.s. Dear Moderator, here we all are doing our best to answer a difficult question with only a line and a half of source context to go on and you are worrying about which box the *asker* puts that context in.


    Reference: http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=desk...
James (Jim) Davis
Seychelles
Local time: 03:31
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 30

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Paul O'Brien: that's what i thought, too, but the asker wants some reference to water in the translation. yes, a bit more context wouldn't go astray.
25 mins
  -> "words in" "water out", but this asker is only giving us a keyhole to look through for the context, when a copy and paste could give us a window.

neutral  PB Trans: I agree that this Moderator is over-zealous. She has done this in other questions as well. She systematically deletes comments in the ask the asker section so there is no possibility of a discussion.
2 days2 hrs
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48 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Keep it under you hat


Explanation:
acqua in bocca (f)
n. keep it to ourselves, keep a secret, keep it under your hat

I prefer keep it under you hat.
By the way in Hebrew:
למלא את פיו מים
Means to fill you mouth with water (meaning keeping silent about something).

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1777 days (2013-03-09 00:15:50 GMT) Post-grading
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your and not you!

Gad Kohenov
Israel
Local time: 02:31
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in HebrewHebrew
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Changes made by editors
May 2, 2008 - Changes made by Taylor Kirk:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term


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