Ever heard of the phrase “don’t cry over spilt milk” or “killing two birds with one stone”?
These idioms act as figurative language to convey a deeper meaning. Every language has their own unique idioms and often, they have a cultural meaning behind them.
We’ve listed some of our favourite outlandish idioms from all over the world before and we thought, why not do more? So here’s more of our favourite idioms from all over the globe.
#1. The Danish idiom: Du kan få en prut og pille i’
Literal translation: “You can have a fart to play with.”
Meaning: It’s a funnier way of saying no.
For example, if a person asks you to help them with their work, you can say “du kan få en prut og pille i” and they will definitely get the message.
#2. The German idiom: Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei
Literal translation: “Everything has one end, only the sausage has two.”
Meaning: Everything comes to an end.
The idiom was popularised by German singer Stephen Remmel in his 1987 hit single of the same name. The song has been a favourite of group gatherings since.
#3. The Spanish idiom: Mucho ruido y pocas nueces
Literal translation: “A lot of noise and no walnuts.”
Meaning: All talk and no action.
Similar to the English idiom “all bark no bite”, this phrase is meant for those people who only know how to talk without following through with their actions.
#4. The Finnish idiom: Päästää sammakko suusta
Literal translation: “To let out a frog from one’s mouth.”
Meaning: To say the wrong thing.
In a literal sense, spitting frogs from your mouth is a very unpleasant thing. Thus, when you let out a frog from your mouth, you are saying something that is unpleasant to the other person.
#5. The Persian idiom: moosh bokhoradet
Literal translation: “A mouse should eat you.”
Meaning: You are cute.
When someone is extremely cute, you express that opinion by saying, “moosh bokhoradet!” This quote is quite close to the concept of cute aggression, where a reaction to something adorable or cute is often tinged with intensity that’s sometimes borderline violent.
#6. The Czech idiom: Platný jak mrtvýmu zimník
Literal translation: “He needs it like a dead man needs a winter coat.”
Meaning: Things that are not useful.
The idiom utilises sarcasm to say that the winter coat on a dead man is useless because a dead man doesn’t feel cold. The English equivalent is “as useful as a chocolate teapot.”
#7. The Chinese idiom: 沉鱼落雁
Literal translation: “Dazzling enough to make the fish drown and the geese fall from the sky.”
Meaning: Drop-dead gorgeous.
When someone is drop-dead gorgeous, they’re not just beautiful. They are 沉鱼落雁 (chén yú luò yàn) and we think that’s just beautiful. Next time you want to hype up your friends, hit them up with 沉鱼落雁 (chén yú luò yàn) and be the ultimate hype-friend.
#8. The Korean idiom: 식은 죽 먹기
Literal translation: “Like eating cold porridge.”
A counterpart to the idiom “a piece of cake”, this Korean idiom is influenced by the Korean culture itself. Made of slow-boiled rice, cold porridge is a popular dish to serve the sick because it is an easy meal to digest. So when something is easy, we say 식은 죽 먹기 (shik-eun jook muk-gi).
#9. The Thai idiom: ชาติหน้าตอนบ่าย ๆ
Literal translation: “One afternoon in your next reincarnation.”
Meaning: It’s never going to happen.
Similar to the phrase “when pigs fly”, this idiom plays on the assumption that the intended audience is a Buddhist, and therefore believes in the concept of reincarnation.
#10. The Indonesian idiom: Buaya darat
Literal translation: “Land crocodile.”
Meaning: An alternative term for a playboy or womaniser.
Crocodiles often lurked silently, looking for unsuspecting victims. This is an interesting similarity they share with womanisers and playboys who often look for unsuspecting ladies to lure into a troublesome courtship.
Here’s a chance for you to spice up your daily conversation. Casually drop these in when talking to your friends and watch them go “What..?” Let us know if you have any favourite wacky idioms.