I came across a lovely book by Ella Frances Sanders highlighting curious expressions found around the world. It reminded me of few sayings from my local language and inspired this list of 11 local sayings and their origins.
Recently on my weekly trip the bookstore, I came across this lovely illustrated book by Ella Frances Sanders – The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World. It is full of humorous and poignant idioms, proverbs, and adages from around the world that reflects the diversity of languages and cultures.
It made me go back to my childhood. There were certain sayings that just stuck with you, right? Something your grandma or your mom used to say repeatedly, which made no sense to you back then but was hilarious as hell. Now you realize those things are a part of your vocabulary now!
I remember a few sayings in my mother tongue, Hindi, that were part of occasional bantering with friends. It was common to hear:
|Saying (Hindi)||एक् और एक् ग्यारह् हॊते है|
|Literal Translation||One and one make eleven|
|Meaning||Unity is strength|
This was often used when we were teaming up for a game of basketball or cricket.
Another one that we used especially where a favor was traded for a favor:
|Saying (Hindi)||इस् हाथ् दे उस् हाथ् ले|
|Literal Translation||Give from one hand, take from another|
|Meaning||To make an even deal|
So with these phrases racing in my mind and Ella’s incredible book in hand, I curated these curious sayings from around the world!
|Saying (Romanian)||Îl scoți din pepeni|
|Literal Translation||To pull someone out of their watermelons|
|Meaning||To drive someone crazy, a bit nuts.|
|Saying (Swedish)||Att glida in på en räkmacka|
|Literal Translation||To slide in on a shrimp sandwich|
|Meaning||Used for somebody who didn’t have to work to get where they are.|
|Saying (Latvian)||Pūst pīlītes.|
|Literal translation||To blow little ducks.|
|Meaning||To talk nonsense or to lie.|
|Saying (Polish)||Z choinki się urwałaś?|
|Literal translation||Did you fall from a Christmas tree?|
|Meaning||You don’t know what you’re talking about, and everyone knows it.|
|Saying (French)||Sauter du coq à l’âne.|
|Literal translation||To jump from the cock to the donkey.|
|Meaning||To keep changing topics without logic in a conversation.|
|Saying (Russian)||Галопом по Европам|
|Literal translation||Galloping across Europe.|
|Meaning||To do something hastily, haphazardly.|
|Saying (Serbian)||Nosom para oblake|
|Literal translation||He’s ripping clouds with his nose|
|Meaning||Used for somebody who is conceited and vain. Similar to nose sticking up in the air.|
|Saying (Portuguese)||Quem não tem cão caça com gato|
|Literal translation||He who doesn’t have a dog hunts with a cat.|
|Meaning||You make the most of what you’ve got. Use whatever resources you have to get the job done.|
|Saying (Portuguese)||Empurrar com a barriga|
|Literal translation||To push something with your belly.|
|Meaning||To keep postponing an important chore.|
Over to you, folks! Share with us sayings or phrases in your local language and its meaning. We can’t wait to hear them!
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