0
votes
1answer
135 views

What's a British equivalent to the more American expression 'Kiss my ass'? [closed]

I have the feeling that 'kiss my ass' isn't as widely used in the UK as it is in the US. I'm looking for a more British sounding equivalent.
0
votes
2answers
144 views

we are in receipt of something

what does it mean "to be in receipt of something"? I have checked the meaning but have not figured it out fully, since I am a translator I need a literal translation for me to build out a meaningful, ...
0
votes
4answers
354 views

Pessimism idiom - opposite of rose-tinted glasses?

In Hebrew, we say "pink glasses" to mean optimistic observation, and "black glasses" for pessimism. I was trying to figure out how popular the literal translations are in English. I found "rose-tinted ...
23
votes
10answers
3k views

Idiom for “the first attempt (of something) is never right”

In Russian there's a saying that 'the first crepe always comes out wrong' (literally 'stuck together into a ball'), meaning that you'll have to try more than once to succeed at something - because ...
6
votes
3answers
386 views

What is the geographical origin of the idiom “be a fly on the wall”?

Does the following expression originate from English? I'd like to be a fly on the wall I discovered today that a similar expression exists in Brazilian Portuguese: "I'd like to be a fly" (with ...
2
votes
3answers
113 views

Can you say “which goes in a downward direction” in English?

The inventory check conducted by a private contractor (name-of-the contract) has revealed a 20 percent discrepancy which goes in a downward direction. The warehouse ledger shows the total inventory ...
5
votes
7answers
251 views

What is an English word which means 'bêtement'?

Bêtement is a French word whose literal meaning is 'in the manner of an animal'. It is often used metaphorically, to describe an action carried out in a robotic fashion – without thinking. How would ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

The meaning of “blue canoe” in the lyrics of “Where to Now, St. Peter” sung by Elton John

In his song Where to Now, St. Peter, Sir Elton John sings: I took myself a blue canoe, And I floated like a leaf Dazzling, dancing half enchanted In my Merlin sleep. Crazy was the ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

English equivalent of a Kannada proverb

The saying goes like "ಬಡವನ ಸಿಟ್ಟು ದವಡೆಗೆ ಮೂಲ". When roughly translated to English it means: A poor man's anger only hurts his jaw [due to all the grinding of teeth in the process]. How to ...
36
votes
10answers
4k views

“To shoot out of cannon into sparrows”

In Russian we have idiom/saying "To shoot out of cannon into sparrows" (literal translation) which is used to convey an idea of applying too drastic measures to small problems. I believe there should ...
4
votes
5answers
371 views

Is there an English idiom “in threes and fives” to describe arriving, gathering, or leaving of people in a pair, trio, or group in succession?

We say ‘san-san-go-go – 三三五五’ in Japanese to describe the status of people coming, arriving, gathering, going, or leaving in a pair, trio, or group in succession in such a way, People gathered in the ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an idiom about wasting money and a window?

Is there an equivalent to the french idiom Jeter l'argent par la fenêtre which means throwing money through a window? (I'm not sure about the translation, especially through.)
3
votes
1answer
489 views

What is the meaning of “the dogs live in clover”?

I was reading an issue of Atlantic Monthly from 1919 and encountered the following paragraph: There is no further context, as these are (according to the article) translated conversations and ...
26
votes
9answers
2k views

“Saving on the parrot's chocolate is futile”

In Catalan there is an expression "ser la xocolata del lloro" that can be translated as "saving by not giving chocolate to the parrot is futile", conveying the meaning that when a household wants to ...
10
votes
6answers
533 views

Finding a suitable English translation of “An old donkey pulls all the weight all alone”

A Hungarian colleague of mine just impressed upon me the idiom An old donkey pulls all the weight all alone. The phrase itself isn't a common English idiom (not to my knowledge, anyway). I think ...
-2
votes
1answer
324 views

What is the most effective single word to convey the concept of a phrase's meaning being “lost in translation”? [closed]

Basically I'm wondering if there is a concise way to represent the loss of understanding a foreigner would experience if they were to encounter an American idiom for the first time. An example: ...
3
votes
1answer
314 views

Is there a hidden meaning of “swinging the club”?

Does "swinging the club" have another meaning outside the world of golf ?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there an idiom that conveys the meaning of the French “mi figue mi raisin”?

The French idiom “mi figue, mi raisin” (literally: “half fig, half grape”) refers to someone or something that is neither entirely good, nor entirely bad. I guess the meaning of the expression can be ...