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Game - guess Polish idioms/sayings in direct English translation


pawian 134 | 6,809    
10 Feb 2019  #1
Delph, thank you for the idea. I read your post complaining that the PF has lost its Polish character.

but I guess someone kissing a dog just isn't interesting enough,

How about a little game to relieve the tension? Try to guess the meaning of Polish idiomatic phrases after they are translated directly into English. Anybody can take part.

Example.

Kiss the dog on the nose!

Someone should answer: Get stuffed, get lost!

and so on.

Make somebody into a horse

?
Nathans    
10 Feb 2019  #2
Overflow the bug
OP pawian 134 | 6,809    
10 Feb 2019  #3
Ha, a good one! It took me a while to guess it - drink some alcohol.
Nathans    
10 Feb 2019  #4
To pat poverty
OP pawian 134 | 6,809    
10 Feb 2019  #5
I must remember this one too. :) - to live in poverty. Sorry, I offer the most basic translation, I don`t have time to google for English idiomatic expressions.
Chemikiem 5 | 1,227    
10 Feb 2019  #6
Make somebody into a horse

Take advantage of someone, to make them look foolish perhaps.

A couple more:

It doesn't have arms or legs.

To get a cat.
OP pawian 134 | 6,809    
  10 Feb 2019  #7
Yes, to dupe sb.

To get a cat- good one, again. To go crazy/mad.

It doesn't have arms or legs. Oops, I have no idea.
mafketis 16 | 6,397    
  10 Feb 2019  #8
Usually used in the postive IME (it has arms and legs) which means 'it can work/it's feasible/it's a good plan' so the negative would be 'it's unrealistic/won't work'

Writing on (your) knees?
Chemikiem 5 | 1,227    
  10 Feb 2019  #9
To go crazy/mad.

Yep, but you are Polish, you should know all these ;)

Maybe you could revive your Poland in photo riddles thread, I liked that one :)

the negative would be 'it's unrealistic/won't work'

It means that something doesn't make much sense.

Another:

Don't call the wolf from the forest.
mafketis 16 | 6,397    
10 Feb 2019  #10
something doesn't make much sense.

I've usually heard it in the context of plans as in "now if they changed this (change) then it would have arms and legs"
OP pawian 134 | 6,809    
10 Feb 2019  #11
Usually used in the postive IME (it has arms and legs) which means 'it can work/it's feasible/it's a good plan'

Aaah, that is why I had no idea.

Yep, but you are Polish, you should know all these ;)

Well, it is not so simple. Even a Polish guy may need to take a while to guess correctly.

Maybe you could revive your Poland in photo riddles thread, I liked that one :)

So did I, but it seems my account is blocked for posting photos and url links. I tried a few times but I can`t do it.
OP pawian 134 | 6,809    
10 Feb 2019  #12
Don't call the wolf from the forest.

After all, this thread is also a good language exercise because I have to think how to translate this famous saying into good English.

Aaah, at last : there is a very similar English one: let the sleeping dogs lie.
OP pawian 134 | 6,809    
10 Feb 2019  #13
Writing on (your) knees?

I prefer to use: written on the knee, which means sth has been made/prepared too hastily, without plan or consideration. Reminds me of PiS law makers. :)

As for other animal idioms:
to tear cats with sb
terri 1 | 1,505    
10 Feb 2019  #14
In English we have something:
Written on the back of a fag packet...(fag-cigarette).
Chemikiem 5 | 1,227    
10 Feb 2019  #15
now if they changed this (change) then it would have arms and legs"

Maybe it has more than one meaning then, as things often do. I haven't heard it in that context though. Interesting.

this thread is also a good language exercise because I have to think how to translate this famous saying into good English.

I suppose it is, although your English is pretty good anyway. I find threads like this interesting as well as testing, trying to grasp the logic behind the saying. I still can't get the ' overflow the bug ' one as meaning 'drink some alcohol '. Keep the Poland related threads coming Pawian, they make a very welcome change from the hate speech that has pervaded PF.

Shame you can't post photos, that seems a bit odd, maybe speak to admin. I was really hoping that thread would be revived!!

there is a very similar English one: let the sleeping dogs lie.

Yes there is, and overall the meaning for both sayings would be something along the lines of ' Don't tempt fate '.

More:

Do you have a snake in your pocket?

Stick you into a bottle.
terri 1 | 1,505    
10 Feb 2019  #16
The snake in your pocket reminded me of a very famous saying, said by Mae West, 'is that a gun in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?'
Chemikiem 5 | 1,227    
10 Feb 2019  #17
Haha yes terri, Mae West certainly had a ribald sense of humour! The Polish saying has a totally different meaning though.
OP pawian 134 | 6,809    
  10 Feb 2019  #18
I still can't get the ' overflow the bug ' one as meaning 'drink some alcohol '.

It is simple. Bug means a parasite, e..g., tapeworm, residing in your bowels. When you overflow it, you perform an action that our grannies resorted to to protect houses/rooms/beds from invasive insects - drown them in water. In case of the idiom - fire water.

Do you have a snake in your pocket?

Yes, be frugal, tightfisted.

Stick into the bottle is the same as make sb into a horse.
Chemikiem 5 | 1,227    
10 Feb 2019  #19
In case of the idiom - fire water.

Ok, thanks for the explanation Pawian, I would never have got that one.
Lyzko 17 | 5,476    
10 Feb 2019  #20
How about "thunder stick" (gun, firearm)?
:-)
OP pawian 134 | 6,809    
  10 Feb 2019  #21
Aah, reminds me of books by K. May which I read as a boy. Do you mean the name which American natives had for white people`s guns? If that`s the case, then the idiom is not truly Polish but German, and even further, native American. :)
Lyzko 17 | 5,476    
  10 Feb 2019  #22
Bingo! "Old Shatterhand & Winnetou".

Not bad for an old Saxon bumpkin who'd never set foot in the New World.
OP pawian 134 | 6,809    
  10 Feb 2019  #23
I read these books as a starter, then I moved to Polish authors which had more modern style. Alfred Szklarski was one of my most fav authors - btw - born in Chicago, had a wonderful career, great Polish patriot..

Szklarski co-authored, with his wife Krystyna Szklarska, a trilogy about the Sioux titled Złoto Gór Czarnych (The Gold of the Black Hills). The books described hunting bisons, the beliefs, intertribal conflicts and the later native Americans' first contact with the white people as well as their fights. It is claimed that Szklarski's books about history and sufferings of the indigenous peoples of America were inspired by his own war experience as well as Polish people's tragic history and invaders' cruelty.

More:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Szklarski

another idiom:
to drill sb a hole in the stomach/belly
Lyzko 17 | 5,476    
10 Feb 2019  #24
Don't know how they read in English, but I found them great fun, the few I actually read.
Chemikiem 5 | 1,227    
10 Feb 2019  #25
to drill sb a hole in the stomach/belly

Nope, no idea about this one at all :-(
OP pawian 134 | 6,809    
10 Feb 2019  #26
To be nagging on sb in a nasty way/ to bother sb. :)
Chemikiem 5 | 1,227    
10 Feb 2019  #27
To be a bit of a pain in the arse then ;)

Another:
A roll with butter
mafketis 16 | 6,397    
11 Feb 2019  #28
Piece of cake!
OP pawian 134 | 6,809    
11 Feb 2019  #29
Ok, thanks for the explanation Pawian, I would never have got that one.

You would, if it had been translated a little different. Today I heard the phrase on the radio and started thinking about a new version: drown the worm.

And another one which I have always liked:to know each other like bald horses
Chemikiem 5 | 1,227    
11 Feb 2019  #30
Piece of cake!

Yay!

drown the worm.

Drown the worm makes more sense but probably because I now know the answer. That was a tough one for me.
I feel I should know the bald horses one, something about the saying seems familiar. I will have to have a think about it.


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