From ‘break a leg’ to ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’ many of us regularly use fun idioms and phrases. Did you know they are used around the world? Almost every language has its own amusing and quirky phrases. How many do you know?
A new study from long-haul holiday specialists Travelbag has put together a list of the most fun and interesting idioms from across the globe and their true meanings translated into English.
- Brazil – To peel a pineapple
In Brazil, the phrase ‘to peel a pineapple’ means to cope with a tricky or complex situation. Imagine how tough it is to peel all the skin and spikes off a pineapple, and then you’ll get a sense of what this phrase means to Brazilians.
- Australia – Go off like a frog in a sock
If you want to fit in with the Aussies next time you take a trip down under, ‘go off like a frog in a sock’ is just one of the many popular phrases people use. You might use this idiom if you’re so angry or excited that you can barely contain yourself. It essentially means to go crazy or berserk.
- Chile – Look how far the peanut jumped
If you’re in Chile and there’s someone who keeps meddling in your business or conversation, they might be told to ‘look how far the peanut jumped’, which essentially means ‘mind your own business’.
- China – Inflating a cow
In China, the phrase ‘inflating a cow’ is used to describe a situation where someone is bragging excessively or blowing something out of proportion.
- Dominican Republic – Tie dogs with sausages
‘Tying dogs with sausages’ is an idiom used in the Dominican Republic to describe a person who’s very naive, and gives easy opportunities away to their enemies. After all, if you tie a dog up with its favorite food, you may as well not tie it up in the first place!
- Jamaica – Do not wait until the drum beats before you grind your axe
The Jamaican proverb, ‘Do not wait until the drum beats before you grind your axe, ‘ means that you should always be prepared for every eventuality and outcome. It can be used in the same way that we might say ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ in the UK.
- Maldives – If you’re going to eat, don’t make it a small coconut
The Maldivian equivalent of ‘go big or go home’ is ‘if you’re going to eat, don’t make it a small coconut’. The phrase is used to encourage extra effort into taking something all the way.
The complete study with graphics and expert tips for communicating effectively abroad is at Travelbag.