• Rebekah

6 Hilarious True Meanings of Idioms

Updated: Mar 22

Let's kick Spring off with having a little fun by taking things too literally. When taken seriously, idioms in any language can be funny, absurd, and completely nonsensical. Here are a few of my faves.


Giant's Causeway, Ireland
Seven Lakes Hike, Rila, Bulgaria

Quick Facts


🌼 English alone has over 25,000 idiomatic expressions.


🌼 Idiom comes from the Greek word idioma, meaning a manifestation of the peculiar


🌼 Some, but not all, idioms have real meanings behind them, e.g., spill the beans (to reveal a secret) comes from an ancient method of voting, wherein a voter deposited a bean into the cup that represented their candidate. If a jar was spilled before counting the votes, one could see which jar had more beans and prematurely reveal a winner.


Mi o voku (v.) mi-oh-vohkoo: similar to "speak of the devil" in English, this Croatian term literally means to "speak of the wolf" and is used when a person appears just after you were just talking about them.



Z choinki sie urwalas?! (q.) z-hoo-in-ky si-en oor-va-wash: like asking someone, what the heck are you talking about, this Polish idiom is used when talking to someone who clearly has no idea what they're talking about and it literally mean, did you fall off a Christmas tree!?



Det är ingen ko på isen (s.) de ehr ing-en koo poh ees-en: the Swedish expression for telling someone, it's all good, literally means there's no cow on the ice.



தலை முழுகுதல் (v.) ta-lay mu-lu-ku-tal: just when you think breaking up with someone couldn't be harsher, the Tamil expression for doing that literally means to dump water over their head - talk about adding insult to injury 🤕



Pust pilites (v.) poost pee-lee-tes: this Latvian expression for speaking nonsense literally means to blow little ducks out of your mouth...wonder what Latvian ducks sound like...🐤



Tomaten auf den augen (n.) bay-al-ash-tuh: this German expression for not seeing something that's right smackdab in front of your own face literally means to have tomatoes over your eyes, yuck...


Enjoy the first days of Spring, everyone!



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Hi, I'm

Rebekah

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I'm a linguistically-inclined writer, translator, and avid adventurer.

 

In Linguistics is all about

the paths we take to adventure

and the languages and cultures

we discover along the way.