Saturday, July 23, 2011

More Idioms

If you understand every word in a phrase or text and fail to grasp its meaning, chances are that you are having trouble understanding idioms. Be aware that British English and Australian idioms are not part of American English idioms which we use in Canada. I‘m sure many of you realize that computers don’t understand humour or the double sense.

To have a frog in the throat / Avoir un chat dans la gorge / Avere la voce rauca (voix rauque) / Tener carraspera (hoarse voice)

To have other fish to fry / Avoir d’autres chats à fouetter. (to whip, to flog) / Avere altra gatta da pelare / Tener otras liebres (hare) que correr

It’s six of one and half dozen of the other / C’est bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet / (chou vert ou vert chou) / Se non è zuppa è pan bagnato / Olivo y aceituna todo es uno

Once in a blue moon (once in a while) / Tout le 36 du mois / Ogni morte di papa / A la muerte de un obispo

To be dressed to kill (dressed to the nines) / Être sur son trente-et-un (36 en Que)
Être tiré à quatre  épingles / Mettersi (essere) in ghingheri / Vestirse da mozzafiato / (estar) Vestido de veinticinco alfileres (pins) / Ponerse de punta en blanco
Go fly a kite (get lost) / Va te faire cuire un œuf / Vattene a quel paese / Va a freír espárragos

To smell a rat (something’s fishy) / Il y a anguille sous roches (avoir la puce à l’oreille)
Gatta ci cova (hide) (sentire l’odore di bruciato) / Aquí hay gato encerrado (closed in)

You can’t have your cake and eat too / Vouloir le beurre et l’argent du beurre

Non si può avere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca. No puede comer el pan y conservarlo

This is not my cup of tea / Ce n’est pas mon rayon (genre) / Non è pane per i miei denti / No es de mi gusto 

It’s all Greek / C’est de l’algèbre / Non capisco un’acca / Es Chino para mi

Although there is no cabbage harvest festival in France, the French have an obsession with the word chou:
To say “My darling” they say Mon chou;
Mama’s boy: Le chouchou de maman
Daddy’s girl : La chouchotte de papa
Teacher’s pet: Le chouchou du prof 
Brussel sprout: Le chou de Bruxelles 
They also seem to have a fixation for the number 36, as they say:
Voir 36 chandelles  when we  See stars for a strong pain.
We say  Once in a blue moon and they say
Tous le 36 du moisWe say To be dressed to kill or to the nines and they
Etre sur son 36, while in France they use Trent-un.

I like to encourage readers to express their remarks and observations in the comment space provided.
After a summer hiatus I’ll be posting again toward the end of august.

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