7 Funny Idioms from around the World
Learning a foreign language is an interesting process, it’s both rewarding and hard at the same time. It is a challenge, all right, and entering the depth of a language can really provide that unique perspective on how a certain culture perceives and describes the world. Fascinating, right? And funny, trust us, if you come to analize some idioms from around the world.
And we’re not “hanging noodles on your ears.” Unless you’re Russian your reaction is probably “Say what?” The same idea in English is just as strange: “I’m not pulling your leg.” Both mean: Believe me. All you word lovers out there, travellers and all kinds of world explorers, hold your horses, we have more of these hilarious phrases for you, plus the English equivalents for some of them (that come close to expressing the meaning of these idioms, but not every idiom has an exact correlation in another language.)
1. Ingen ko på isen (Swedish)
Literally: There’s no cow on the ice.
Meaning: Don’t worry. We don’t know how often does a Swedish cow end up on a frozen lake, but a cow on ice would be definitely worth worrying about.
2. Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy (Polish)
Literally: Not my monkey, not my circus.
Meaning: Not my problem, not my responsibility, I’ve washed my hands of this.
3. Leben wie die Made im Speck (German)
Literally: To live that a maggot in bacon.
Meaning: To live luxuriously.
English equivalent: To live like a bee in clover or as snug as a bug in a rug.
4. Dar calabazas a alguien (Spanish)
Literally: To give pumpkins to someone.
Meaning: To reject someone. This idiom is usually used when a girl/boy doesn’t want to go out with you, and you try to persuade him/her, but he/she always says “no”.
Equivalent in English: To give somebody the brush-off.
5. 七窍生烟 (Chinese)
Literally: To spout smoke through the seven orifices.
Meaning: To be massively angry. So if you come across a really angry person you would know what to tell them…
6. Mèo khen mèo dài đuôi (Vietnamese)
Literally: Cat praises the cat’s tail for being long.
Meaning: self-praise is no recommendation.
English equivalent: Every cook praises his own broth.
7. التكرار يعلّم الحمار (At-Tikraar yu’allem al- Himaar.) (Arabic)
Literally: Repetition teaches the donkey.
English equivalent: Practice makes perfect.