In Portuguese, the expression "Para o povo, não há cangalha que sirva" is used to describe a situation where people blame others for their own failure even being obvious that the results are their own.

"Cangalha" is something used to carry heavy objetcs in a donkey or horse, so the reason for slowing down.

A literal translation is "For the people, there is no saddle which serves."

The scenario for this expression would be, for example, a group of people who does not want to work in a company, saying that they don’t earn enough for that, so the boss give them a raise. Later, they start arguing and stop working again saying that they don’t have ar conditioner, so they receive it. Again after some time they stop working saying that they need to sit in order to work properly...and goes on .. by the end they stop working and argue that they are not coming back to work unless they hire someone to work for them!

Is there an equivalent expression about it in English?

  • 1
    I've added the [translation] tag here. Please see the detailed tag info for help with adding more data to the question. If Google's literal translation is off — which is certainly not unknown! — please do correct that.
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 12, 2018 at 6:18
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    Nothing is ever his fault. Still not sure what is being asked here. Perhaps you could add a description of a complete scenario where this saying would be used.
    – Jim
    Sep 12, 2018 at 7:19
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    There’s a certain element of give ’em an inch and they’ll take a mile to this, but I don’t think that would be a good equivalent in and of itself. It seems like a combination of greediness and ingratitude, basically. Sep 12, 2018 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


I believe the equivalent in English would be "Some people are never happy".

Additionally, you could use "There's no pleasing some people", as suggested by Janus in the comments.

I can't find any equivalent phrase or idiom that expresses it more figuratively. It could be considered similar to "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence", but that is more related to envy rather than continual complaining.

  • 4
    Similarly, there’s no pleasing [some people]. Sep 12, 2018 at 15:13
  • I believe the closest one so far is this.
    – Adriano
    Sep 15, 2018 at 2:02

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