KudoZ home » Greek to English » Idioms / Maxims / Sayings

Σηκωθήκανε τα πόδια να χτυπήσουν το κεφάλι

English translation: it's a case of the tail wagging the dog; a reversal of roles;

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Greek term or phrase:Σηκωθήκανε τα πόδια να χτυπήσουν το κεφάλι
English translation:it's a case of the tail wagging the dog; a reversal of roles;
Entered by: Nick Lingris
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

10:42 Aug 15, 2010
Greek to English translations [PRO]
Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
Greek term or phrase: Σηκωθήκανε τα πόδια να χτυπήσουν το κεφάλι
Does anyone know of an approximate English equivalent for this saying?...
Burrow_Dweller
Local time: 15:46
a reversal of roles; a case of the tail wagging the dog
Explanation:
Ο αγγλικός ιδιωματισμός είναι αυτό που δίνει ένα ελληνοαγγλικό λεξικό. Διαφέρει από το ελληνικό, αλλά μπορεί να χρησιμοποιηθεί στη θέση του ενίοτε, π.χ.
"Calling to mind Lord Dundreary's conundrum, the Baltimore American thinks that for the Cincinnati Convention to control the Democratic party would be the tail wagging the dog."
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/341850.html

Μια γενική διατύπωση θα μπορούσε να χρησιμοποιήσει το reversal of roles. Για πιο συγκεκριμένες προτάσεις θα χρειαζόταν ακριβές συγκείμενο.
Selected response from:

Nick Lingris
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:46
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +5a reversal of roles; a case of the tail wagging the dog
Nick Lingris
3 -1cut off your nose to spite your face
Philip Lees
Summary of reference entries provided
tail wagging the dogIvi Rocou
cut off your nose to spite your face
Ioanna Karamanou

  

Answers


31 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
a reversal of roles; a case of the tail wagging the dog


Explanation:
Ο αγγλικός ιδιωματισμός είναι αυτό που δίνει ένα ελληνοαγγλικό λεξικό. Διαφέρει από το ελληνικό, αλλά μπορεί να χρησιμοποιηθεί στη θέση του ενίοτε, π.χ.
"Calling to mind Lord Dundreary's conundrum, the Baltimore American thinks that for the Cincinnati Convention to control the Democratic party would be the tail wagging the dog."
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/341850.html

Μια γενική διατύπωση θα μπορούσε να χρησιμοποιήσει το reversal of roles. Για πιο συγκεκριμένες προτάσεις θα χρειαζόταν ακριβές συγκείμενο.


Nick Lingris
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:46
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GreekGreek
PRO pts in category: 52
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ivi Rocou: I do not agree with 'reversal of roles', Nick. The expression means specifically that those with lower standing/rank etc. control those with higher standing/rank etc. and not vice versa.
23 mins
  -> Ευχ. Μα αυτό συμβαίνει όταν αντιστρέφονται οι ρόλοι: τα πόδια δέρνουν (κάνουν κουμάντο) και το κεφάλι τρώει το ξύλο (εκτελεί εντολές) εκεί που πριν γινόταν το αντίστροφο.

agree  Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm
47 mins
  -> Ευχ!

agree  ElectraV
2 hrs
  -> Ευχαριστώ!

agree  Ioanna Karamanou: Although I too think "reversal of roles" could be interpreted too broadly", "...wagging the dog" is spot on. @Nick :))
5 hrs
  -> Thanks, Ioanna. I'll agree 'reversal' is as broad as police powers since 9/11 :)

agree  Nadia-Anastasia Fahmi: Bonjour
18 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

33 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -1
cut off your nose to spite your face


Explanation:
Is it something like this?


    Reference: http://www.quotations.me.uk/famous-idioms/53-cut-off-your-no...
Philip Lees
Greece
Local time: 15:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Ivi Rocou: No, it is not, Philip, but I can't remember the corresponding saying in Greek. Nick's answer is the correct one.
31 mins
  -> Yes, I see that now. I was thinking of something else. A bit of context would have been useful.

neutral  Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm: "έβαλε τα χέρια του και έβγαλε τα μάτια του;" μήπως;
45 mins
  -> Yes, yes - that's what I was thinking of.

disagree  Ioanna Karamanou: No, this is something my dad says: "έκαψε το σπίτι του να μην τον τρώνε οι ψίλοι"
4 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Reference comments


50 mins
Reference: tail wagging the dog

Reference information:
Από το Μεγάλο Λεξικό (Εκδόσεις Οδυσσέας" - under "tail, 1":

We can't have the tail wagging the dog = Δεν μπορούν να διευθύνουν οι κατώτεροι τη δουλειά.

Ivi Rocou
Greece
Native speaker of: Native in GreekGreek, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
neutral  Kyriacos Georghiou: How about: The worm turned
18 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 hrs peer agreement (net): +2
Reference: cut off your nose to spite your face

Reference information:
"Cutting off the nose to spite the face" is an expression used to describe a needlessly self-destructive over-reaction to a problem: "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face" is a warning against acting out of pique, or against pursuing revenge in a way that would damage oneself more than the source of one's anger.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 hrs (2010-08-15 16:33:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Also some interesting info on "tail wagging the dog"

Etymology: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/341850.html

The earliest citation that I can find is from The Daily Republican, April 1872:

"Calling to mind Lord Dundreary's conundrum, the Baltimore American thinks that for the Cincinnati Convention to control the Democratic party would be the tail wagging the dog."

Dundreary is a character of Tom Taylor's play Our American Cousin. He was an amiable but dim nobleman, who frequently coined nonsensical riddles and twisted metaphors. These 'Dundrearyisms' were similar to Malapropisms and were briefly in vogue amongst US theatre-going circles in the 1850s. For example, 'a stitch in time never boils', 'better late than sorry'.

That Dundreary association leads nicely on to a witticism made by S. J. Perelman, the US humorist. He twisted the phrase after reporting his escape from the attentions of a group of prostitutes - 'It was a case of the tail dogging the wag'.

Evolution: http://www.metaphordogs.org/Dogs/entries/tailwagg.html

This phrase entered the legal lexicon in 1986 with McMillan v. Pennsylvania, a significant case regarding sentencing statutes. In the majority opinion then Associate Justice of the Supreme Court William Rehnquist wrote, “The statute gives no impression of having been tailored to permit the visible possession finding to be a tail which wags the dog of the substantive offense.” In so saying the Court “seemed to warn against a statutory scheme in which the enhancement is far greater than the underlying punishment.”reference 4 In other words, McMillan held that sentencing guidelines which call for extensions of prison terms based on aggravating factors cannot result in an extension longer than the sentence for the original crime. Are you with me? For instance, a tagger might get six months at most for spray painting a wall, even if she is a repeat offender; the sentencing judge cannot add six years because she has determined that the graffiti constituted (sentence enhancing) hate speech unless, and only if, the jury previously concluded that the content was in fact hate speech. The concept and what is now referred to as “the canine metaphor” were solidified in Blakely v. Washington in 2004 and US v. Booker in 2005.reference 5 In announcing the opinion in Blakely, its author, Antonin Scalia, declares without equivocation, though with a bit of a hitch in his voice, “The tail cannot wag the dog."


    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutting_off_the_nose_to_spite_t...
Ioanna Karamanou
United States
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GreekGreek

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Nick Lingris: Thanks for the totally appropriate "έκαψε την καλύβα του να μην τον τρών' οι ψύλλοι".
1 hr
  -> Np. And yes, it is καλύβα, just my dad says it all the time kai to diatiposa with his modern twist. Or maybe it's just our humble background, kalyva, spiti, same difference :P Be well.
agree  Ivi Rocou: Ναι, "έκαψε την καλύβα του να μην τον τρών΄ οι ψύλλοι" είναι πολύ καλή.
14 hrs
  -> Thanks! It's what immediately came to mind, I love it when you can "translate" an idiom, don't you? Be well.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


Changes made by editors
Aug 29, 2010 - Changes made by Nick Lingris:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search