English language idioms illustrated and translated to other languages
An idiom is a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g. over the hill, at the drop of a hat ). Here is a list of the most popular idioms in English translated to other languages and illustrated, some of them with a touch of humour. Enjoy yourself!
Add insult to injury
(to) Add insult to injury = to make a bad situation even worse Catalan: according to the context, it may translate to per si no fos prou, ficar el dit a la llaga or per acabar-ho d’arrodonir/d’adobar (said ironically) French: pour couronner le tout Galician: Aínda por riba German: Salz in die Wunde streuen Spanish: Para colmo de males
A little bird told me
A Little bird told me = someone gave me a piece of information about something that is supposed to be secret Catalan: Un ocellet m’ha dit… French: mon petit doigt m’a dit Spanish: Un pajarito me ha dicho.
(to be) All ears = (to) listen actively Catalan: sóc tot orelles French: tout ouïe German: Ich bin ganz Ohr Italian: tutto orecchie Portuguese: todo ouvidos Spanish: todo oídos
An arm and a leg
(to cost) An arm and a leg = very expensive Catalan: costar un ull de la cara French: coûter les yeux de la tête German: eine Stange Geld kosten Italian: Costare un occhio della testa Spanish: Costar un riñón
A needle in a haystack
A needle in a haystack = something that is almost impossible to find because it is hidden among so many other things. Catalan: una agulla en un paller French: chercher une aiguille dans une botte de foin German: Nadel im Heuhaufen Italian: ago in un pagliaio Macedonian: и́гла во стог се́но Portuguese: agulha num palheiro Spanish: Aguja en un pajar
A penny for your thoughts
A penny for your thoughts = used to ask someone what they are thinking about. There are no exact equivalents, but we can use these expressions in other languages to convey the same meaning: Catalan: En què penses? French: à quoi penses-tu en ce moment Spanish: ¿En qué estás pensando?
As fit as a fiddle
A short fuse
A short fuse = have a tendency to lose one’s temper quickly, to have a short temper Catalan: ser de sang calenta French: se mettre en rogne facilement German: jähzornig sein Spanish: de sangre caliente.
At the drop of a hat
At the drop of a hat = right away Catalan: en un tres i no-res. French: sans hésiter Galician: Axiña, decontado German: sofort, unverzüglich Italian: immediatamente, subito Portuguese: na hora Romanian: imediat, îndată Scottish Gaelic: anns a’ bhad, sa bhad, gu grad Spanish: Ipso facto
Bite the bullet
Butterflies in my stomach
Butterflies in my stomach = to be uneasy, nervous Catalan = tenir papallones a la panxa French: avoir le trac Spanish: tener mariposas en el estómago German: Schmetterlinge im Bauch haben Spanish: mariposas en el estómago
Back to the drawing board
Back to the drawing board = to start again or try another idea. It is similar to Back to square one or to start from scratch Catalan: sant tornem-hi French: parler pour ne rien dire German: Fangen wir noch mal von vorne an Spanish: volver a la casilla de salida
Ball is in your court
Ball is in your court = It is up to you to make a move. Catalan: la pilota és a la teva taulada. French: la balle est dans son camp German: eine Stange Geld kosten Italian: tocca a te Spanish: la pelota está en tu tejado
Bark up the wrong tree
(to) Bark up the wrong tree = to have a wrong idea Catalan: errar el tret, anar desencaminat French: faire fausse route, se mettre le doigt dans l’œil, miser sur le mauvais cheval German: auf dem Holzweg sein Portuguese: bater à porta errada, bater na porta errada Spanish: llamar a la puerta equivocada, errar el tiro.
Beat around the bush
(to) beat around the bush = to avoid talking about what is really important and instead talk about other things Catalan: anar-se’n per les branques French: tourner autour du pot German: um den heißen Brei herumreden Italian: menare il can per l’aia Spanish: andarse con rodeos
Bend over backwards
(to) bend over backwards= make every effort to achieve something, especially to be helpful Catalan: fer mans i mànigues French: Se mettre en quatre German: sich ein Bein ausreißen Italian: farsi in quattro Spanish: remover cielo y tierra
Bite off more than one can chew
Bite off more than one can chew = to take on a task that is way too big. Catalan: estirar més el braç que la màniga. French: Qui trop embrasse, mal étreint. Spanish: El que mucho abarca, poco aprieta German: Wer zu viel fasst, lässt viel fallen Italian: Chi troppo vuole nulla stringe. Portuguese: Quem muito abarca pouco abraça.
(to) Blow smoke = (to) deliberately confuse or deceive Catalan: Marejar la perdiu French: parler pour ne rien dire German: jdm. etwas vormachen Spanish: marear la perdiz
Break a leg!
Break a leg! = have luck (said to actors before they go on stage) Catalan: molta merda! French: Je te dis merde! German: Hals- und Beinbruch! Italian: in bocca al lupo! Portuguese: Merda! Spanish: ¡Mucha mierda!
Bundle of nerves
Bundle of nerves = somebody who is extremely anxious or tense. Catalan: un sac de nervis Basque: Buru gabeko oiloak bezala gabiltza Gaelic Irish: bheith an-neirbhíseach French: un paquet de nerfs German: ein Bündel Nerven Italian: un fascio di nervi Portuguese: uma pilha de nervos Mandarin Chinese: 紧张不安的人 Russian: клубок нервов
By the skin of your teeth
By the skin of your teeth = by a very narrow margin; only just Catalan: pels pèls French: de justesse; (colloquial) d’un poil German: mit Ach und Krach Italian: per un pelo Scottish Gaelic: air èiginn Spanish: por los pelos
Cat got your tongue?
Cat got your tongue? = expression used to ask someone why they are not saying anything Catalan: Que se t’ha menjat la llengua el gat? Chinese: 你成了啞巴了嗎？(literally, have you become dumb?) German: Du hast wohl die Sprache verloren? Italian: Il gatto ti ha mangiato la lingua? Russian: язы́к проглоти́л? (literally, “did you swallow your tongue?”) Spanish: ¿Te ha comido la lengua el gato?
(to get) Cold feet
Crying wolf : someone who continues asking for help when they don’t really need it, with the result that people think they don’t need help when they actually need it. Catalan: que ve el llop! Queixar-se per no-res. Plora-miques. French: crier au loup Spanish: Que viene el lobo.
Cut some slack
Cut someone some slack : to give some some leeway in their conduct. Catalan: donar una mica de marge French: grappe à [qqn] (colloquial); être indulgent envers [qqn] German: mit jdm. nachsichtig sein Spanish: dar cuartelillo.
Draw the line
(to) Draw the line: to set a limit on what you are willing to do or accept. Catalan: marcar una línia vermella. French: tracer un trait German: einen Trennungsstrich ziehen zwischen Spanish: poner límites
Easier said than done
Easier said than done: sth that is uncomplicated to propose, but difficult to accomplish. Catalan: més fàcil dir-ho que fer-ho French: plus facile à dire qu’à faire German: leichter gesagt als getan Portuguese: più facile a dirsi che a farsi Spanish: del dicho al hecho hay mucho trecho
Fish out of water
Fish out of water = to feel uncomfortable in a situation Catalan: peix fora de l’aigua French: Poisson hors de l’eau German: fehl am Platz Spanish: Pez fuera del agua (SP)
Gift of tongues
Gift of tongues = to be gifted for languages Catalan: (tenir) Do de llengües
(to) get goosebumps = the body hair stands on end as the result of an intense feeling Catalan: pell de gallina French: Avoir la chair de poule Spanish: Ponerse la piel de gallina German: Ich bekam eine Gänsehaut. (I got goosebumps) Italian: venire la pelle d’oca. Portuguese: arrepiar-se Basque: oilo-ipurdi.
Go the extra mile
(to) Go the extra mile = to make an extra effort. Catalan: fer un esforç extra. French: Se mettre en quatre German: noch einen Schritt weiter gehen Spanish: hacer un esfuerzo extra
Hit the books
(to) Hit the books = to study Catalan: fer colzes French: potasser German: die Nase in die Bücher stecken Spanish: empollar; estudiar
Hit the sack / hay / bed
(to) Hit the sack / hay / bed = go to bed Catalan: Anar a dormir, anar a clapar, a fer nones French: Se pieuter German: ins Bett gehen sich in die Falle hauen Italian: assopirsi, appisolarsi Spanish: Irse al sobre; irse a la cama
Hit the nail on the head
A hot potato = controversial issue or situation which is awkward to deal with, so everybody is trying to avoid it. Catalan: Patata calenta. French: une patate chaude German: heißes Eisen n Spanish: patata caliente
In minute detail
In minute detail: paying careful attention to the smallest details Catalan: amb tots els ets i uts; fil per randa French: dans les moindre détails German: bis ins kleinste Detail Spanish: minuciosamente; con pelos y señales
In the nick of time
In the nick of time = Just in time Catalan: just a temps French: juste-à-temps German: in der allerletzten Sekunde Portuguese: No último instante Spanish: en el último momento
(to keep) In touch = to be in communication with someone and get up-to-date knowledge Catalan: en contacte French: être/ rester en contact German: mit jdm./etw. in Kontakt stehen Portuguese: em contacto Spanish: en contacto
Jump on the bandwagon
Let bygones be bygones
Let bygones be bygones = to forget past conflicts and be reconciled. Catalan: fer creu i ratlla. French: Passer l’éponge German: die Vergangenheit ruhen lassen Irish Gaelic: an rud atá thart bíodh sé thart Spanish: pelillos a la mar
Like two peas in a pod
Like two peas in a pod = very similar Catalan: com dues gotes d’aigua French: Comme deux gouttes d’eau German: ein Ei dem anderen Romanian: ca două picături de apă Portuguese: cara de um, focinho de outro Spanish: como dos gotas de agua
Glad to see the back of
(to be) glad to see the back of…= (to) be happy to get rid of someone . Similar to good riddanceCatalan: Bon vent i barca nova French: bon débarras (fr), bon vent (fr) Italian: a mai più rivederci Spanish: a enemigo que huye, puente de plata, Anda, vete por ahi
Not my cup of tea
(It is) Not my cup of tea: used to refer to something that yu don’t like or are not interested in Catalan: No em fa el pes, No és sant de la meva devoció. Chinese (Mandarin): 不是我的菜 (literally, This is not my dish) Czech: 不是我的菜 (literally, This is not my dish). French: C’est (pas) mon truc (literally, it’s not my thing), to say that you don’t like something. The familiar C’est (pas) mon délire (literally, It’s not my delirium) works as well in circles of young friends. Another familiar expression is C’est (pas) mon dada(literally, It’s not my hobby) German: Das ist nicht mein Ding (literally, It is not my thing) Italian: Non è il mio genere (literally, It is not my genre) Japanese: 好みではない (pronounced Konomide wanai, literally, It doesn´t enter my ki) Malay: Bukan bidang aku la (literally, not my field) (Brazilian) Portuguese: Não é minha praia (literally, this is not my beach) Russian: Это не моё / Это не в моём вкусе, pronounced Eto ne moyo / Eto ne v moyom vkuse (Literally: It’s not mine / It’s not to my liking). Spanish: No es santo de mi devotión (literally, He is not a saint of my devotion)
Once in a blue moon
Once in a blue moon = very rarely Catalan: Molt de tant en tant German: alle Jubeljahre einmal French: tous les trente-six du mois German: alle Jubeljahre einmal Spanish: Raras veces, cada muerte de obispo.
On the ball
(to be) On the ball = to be alert, focused Catalan: Estar al cas , alerta French: être éveillé(e), être vif (vive) German: am Ball sein Spanish: estar al loro
To have other fish to fry
Out of the blue
Piece of cake
Piece of cake = very easy Catalan: és bufar i fer ampolles, està tirat, està xupat German: Kinderspiel, Pillepalle, ein Klacks Italian: gioco da ragazzi, una cosa da niente, come bere un bicchier d’acqua, gioco da bambini Portuguese: ser molezaSpanish: está chupado, coser y cantar
Put my two cents
(to) put my two cents / (to) put in my two-penny worth used to preface a tentative statement of one’s opinion Catalan: dir la meva/seva/nostra/vostra French: mes deux cents (my two cents), grain de sel German: seinen Senf dazugeben Spanish: decir algo
(to) rain buckets, also (to) rain cats and dogs (old-fashioned)= (to) rain heavily Catalan: Ploure a bots i barrals French: pleuvoir des cordes, pleuvoir à verse, pleuvoir des hallebardes, pleuvoir comme vache qui pisse, (Québec) pleuvoir à boire debout, (Belgium) dracher German: German: Bindfäden regnen, in Strömen regnen, aus allen Kannen gießen, aus allen Kannen schütten, es schüttet wie aus Eimern Italian: piovere a catinelle, diluviare, scrosciare, piovere come Dio la manda Portuguese: o céu vir abaixo, chover a cântaros (pt) (Portugal), chover a potes (Portugal), cair um toró (Brazil), chover canivetes (Brazil) Spanish: llover a cántaros Welsh: bwrw hen wragedd â ffyn
There is no silver bullet
Sit on the fence
(to) sit on the fence = avoid making decisions or choices; remain neutral Catalan: No decidir-se, ser equidistant, no mullar-se French: ménager la chèvre et le chou German: zwischen den Fronten stehen Portuguese: em cima do muro Spanish: estar indeciso, no mojarse
Steal one’s thunder
(to) steal one’s thunder = To appropriate someone’s ideas, typically in order to be more popular. Catalan: atribuir-se el mèrit French: s’attribuer les mérites Spanish: atribuirse el mérito
Take it easy
(to) Take it easy = Calm down, keep your hair on Catalan: (pren-t’ho amb) calma, trankiChinese (Mandarin): 休息 (zh) (xiūxi) Galician: relaxar German: sich entspannen Portuguese: sossegar Russian: расслабля́ться (ru) impf (rasslabljátʹsja), рассла́биться (ru) pf (rasslábitʹsja) Scottish Gaelic: gabh socair Spanish: (tómatelo con) calma, tranquilo/a, tranki
Under the weather
Under the weather = slightly unwell or in low spirits. Catalan: estar moix , no estar fi/na French: ne pas être dans son assiette Galician: indisposto German: angeschlagen Italian: indisposto Spanish: indispuesto, pachucho.
Up in the air
Up in the air = still to be settled Catalan: en l’aire, el més calent és a l’aigüerta French: être assez vague German: Es ist alles noch offen (literally, Everything is still open) Spanish: en el aire
Walk on eggshells
(to) walk on eggshells: (to) be extremely cautious about one’s words or actions Catalan: Anar amb peus de plom French: Marcher sur des œufs German: wie auf Eiern gehen Spanish: Andarse con cuidado
When pigs fly
When pigs fly: Referencing the unlikelihood that something will ever happen Catalan: Quan les gallines pixin French: Quand les poules auront des dents German: wenn Ostern und Pfingsten auf einen Tag fallen (de) (literally “when Easter and Pentecost fall on the same day”) Italian: quando gli asini voleranno (literally “when donkeys fly”), alle calende greche (literally “on the Greek calends”) Russian: когда́ рак на горе́ сви́стнет (ru) (kogdá rak na goré svístnet, literally “when a crayfish whistles on the mountain”) Spanish: cuando las vacas vuelen; cuando las ranas críen pelo.
This post will be regularly updated with new idioms.
More than 25,000 people have already signed up to learn Scottish Gaelic on Duolingo
Madainn mhath! (Welcome!) We have great news: The popular language-learning APP has launched a Scottish Gaelic course created with the help and advise of volunteers across Scotland and more than 25,000 people have already signed up to learn Scottish Gaelic on Duolingo.
This course will probably open up Scottish Gaelic to millions of people in the UK and across the world. So we are over the moon. Tocat del Bolet (Nuts) is committed to the protection of minority —and minoritised— languages and, needless to say, we love Scotland.
Scots Gaelic language, also called Scottish Gaelic, Scots Gaelic or Gàidhlig, is a member of the Goidelic group of Celtic languages. It is currently spoken along the northwest coast of Scotland and in the Hebrides islands. Australia, the United States, and Nova Scotia in Canada are also home to Scots Gaelic communities.
A language involves a way of understanding the world, of relating to one another, of loving and feeling. That’s why Scottish Gaelic, like any other minority language, must be protected and regarded as a cultural treasure.
There is concern about the state of Scots Gaelic. In the 2011 census of Scotland, 57,375 people (only 1.1% of the Scottish population) were reported as able to speak Gaelic, 1,275 fewer than in 2001. It was classed as an indigenous language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which the British government has ratified, and the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 established a language-development body, namely, Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Now Duolingo is contributing to the revival efforts and we would like to thank the popular APP for doing its bit.
So, Scots of the world, unite! Don’t let Scottish Gaelic disappear. We also encourage non-Scottish people to learn this interesting language. As Charlemagne put it, to have another language is to possess a second soul.
Here is a list of the main greetings in Scots Gaelic translated to Catalan language. Scottish Gaelic is a Goidelic language of the Celtic and Indo-European language family, native to the Gaels of Scotland. Most of modern Scotland was once Gaelic. One curious fact about Scots Gaelic Gaelic is that it has no words for “yes” (in Catalan, Sí) and “no” (in Catalan, No), and replies are made with the relevant verbs. For questions beginning with “a bheil?”, the appropriate word for “yes” is “tha”. An alternative is “seadh”, pronounced shugh, which means “yeah” or “uh-huh”. At the end of this post there is a comprehensive list of resources to learn Scottish Gaelic or Catalan.
English > Scots Gaelic (pronunciation) ⇆ Catalan (audio)
Typical British expressions and their equivalent in Catalan language PART 2
Welcome back! Here are 20 further common British English expressions translated to Catalan. As in the first part of Common BrE expressions translated to Catalan, they sound very idiomatic in both languages, so, again, if you ever go to the UK or Catalonia and use these expressions, you will probably impress locals.So let’s have a look at these new expressions:
(to) be stuffed
To be stuffed means to be very full. In Catalan language it can be translated as the very idiomatic expression estar tip, for example No en vull més. Estic tip (I’m good. I’m stuffed).
I’m gutted means that I am very disappointed. In Catalan, you can say M’he quedat xof / Estic decebut/da.
(To) be in a pickle
It means (to) be in a difficult or confused situation. In Catalan Estar (ficat) en un merder / embolic.
That’s mental / It’s mental
Something is crazy or surprising. In Catalan És de bojos (to say that something is a madness) or Quina passada or Brutal (for a surprising thing) depending on the context..
Give me a bell
It basically means Get in touch with me or Call me. Very similar to the expression we saw in the first part Give me a tinkle (on the blower)> In Catalan, you can say Fes-me un truc or just Truca’m (Call me).
(to) be in a mood
It means (to) be in a bad mood / upset. In Catalan slang you can say Estar ratllat. In a colloquial language you can say No estar del tot fi/fina or Estar de mala lluna.
Crickey / Blimey
It is an expressions to show shock or surprise. In Catalan, you can say Ostres!, ospa! (this one quite provincial), Caram! or, in slang language Wala! (this one quite urban).
(to) take the mickey out of someone
It means to make a joke about someone or to tease them. You are taking the mickey out of me. In Catalan You are taking the mickey out of me can be translated as Em fots el pèl or Me l’estàs fotent.
(to) pull someone’s leg
Very similar to make the mickey out of someone. This somewhat old-fashioned expression means to make a joke about someone or to tease them. In Catalan Prendre / fotre el pèl.
(to) faff about / around
We are constantly doing it, specially with social networks. Waffing about or around means to waste time doing unimportant tasks instead of the thing that one should be doing. In Catalan you can say Fer el dropo or Perdre / Matar el temps.
(to) lose the plot
(to) Lose the plot means (to) become confused / (to) do something crazy. In Catalan you can say anar-se’n l’olla. Se m’ha anat l’olla (I lost the plot).
Slang. You wouldn’t use it in a formal situation. You use it to say that something is not good, that something is rubbish, of low quality. In Catalan you can say És una merda or de merda (if it works as an adjective). For instance una peli de merda (A crap movie). We love the expression Una merda pinxada en un pal (literally, a shit pricked with a stick) to refer to something that is worth nothing.
(to) Nick is slang for (to) steal something. In Catalan you can say Pispar (slang). There is also the slang word mangar, if you like. It is not so genuine as pispar, but many people say it.
(to) have had one’s chips
(to) fail at something or lose an opportunity. In Catalan you can say Cagar-la or espifiar-la. L’he cagat! (=I’ve had my chips!). Nano, l’has cagat! (Dude, you’ve had your chips!)
The bee’s knees
Slang. Something that is excellent, of a high quality. In Catalan language is ser la hòstia, una passada, brutal. Top. Pensa que és la hòstia, però només és una altra poser d’Instagram (=She thinks she is the bee’s knees, but she’s just another Instagram poser).
(to) take the biscuit
It means (to) be rude/offensive/particularly bad. In Catalan is ser un estúpid, ser un impresentable, (or un borde).
As we saw in the first part of this series, it is synonymous with Knackered, which means very tired. In Catalan it is Fet pols or Rebentat. Estic fet pols. Estic rebentat. (I’m knackered. I’m shattered).
I’m not being funny, but…
It means I don’t mean to be rude, but… (very idiomatic, it sounds very British). In Catalan you can say No és per tallar el rotllo, però… Notice that here the word funny changes its meaning.
A spanner in the works
It refers to something unexpected that can disrupt or confuse a situation. In Catalan you can say Posar pals a les rodes. For instance, Van retirar el finançament per l’espectacle i això va posar pals a les rodes (The funding for the show was withdrawn so that really threw a spanner in the works). As you may know, a spanner is a tool with a shaped opening or jaws for gripping and turning a nut or bolt, so the metaphor is quite clear here.
(to) head somewhere
It essentially means (to) go somewhere. In Catalan, Fer cap a algun lloc. Fem cap a la festa. We’re heading for the party.
Mint / That’s mint
It refers to something that is excellent or in perfect condition. In Catalan you can say Genial, perfecte or de pu*a mare.. (the missing word is t). For instance That’s mint! (Està perfecte)
Slang for umbrella. Informal. Oh, no! I forgot my brolly! Catalan: Paraigües.
Colloquial expression for BBC. Informal.
Short for University. Informal. Catalan: la Uni.
Short for television. Informal. There’s nothing on the telly. Catalan: No fan res a la tele.
Colloquial for Christmas. Informal. Are you going away for Chrimbo? Catalan: Nadal.
Short for football. Informal. Catalan: Futbol.
Short for Off-License. Informal. I’m just going to get some beers from the offi. Catalan: Botiga de queviures
Colloquial for Tomato Ketchup. Informal. Catalan: Ketchup.
Short for vegetables. Informal. Catalan: verdures.
Short for biscuit. Informal. Catalan: galeta.
Short for breakfast. Informal. Catalan: esmorzar.
Tocat del Bolet is a blog that aims to promote and share Catalan language and culture throughout its most typical expressions, in a fun and informative way.
Thank you for your attention. We look forward to your comments and questions. Nuts ~Tocat del bolet, Catalan culture crossing borders! Share this post!
Typical British expressions and their equivalent in Catalan language
Very British English expressions translated to Catalan
Here are 22 common British English expressions translated to Catalan. As a matter of fact, they sound very idiomatic in both languages, so if you ever go to Catalonia and you use these Catalan expressions, you will probably blow people’s minds!
By the way, you may have wondered what the name of this blog, “tocat del bolet” means. It is a Catalan idiom that can be translated into English as cracked; crazy; potty; round the bend; nuts; crackers; bonkered or (as) nutty as a fruitcake .
This is our first post in English. However, if you visit the section in Catalan, at least you’ll be able to translate them with google translate. We know it’s not the same, specially with idioms, but it can give you an idea about this blog.
Let us however, without further ado, take a good look at the list of genuine British expressions.
I’m knackered means “I’m very tired”. In Catalan, “Estic fet pols” (literally, “I’m dust”) or “Estic fet caldo” (literally, “I’m broth”). Both “Estic fet pols” and “Estic fet caldo” are what Catalan native speakers would naturally say when they are really tired.
It’s not my cup of tea
“It’s not my cup of tea” means “I don’t like it very much” or “I’m not very fond of sth” or “It’s not my type”. In Catalan, “No em fa el pes” (literally, “It doest make the weight”). I know, it doesn’t make much sense, but you know, idioms not always have a literal meaning. It is a very common Catalan expression. If you want to say that someone is not your type, you can also say “no és el meu tipus” .
Fancy a cuppa?
It is an invitation to have tea together. In Catalan, “Fem un te?” (literally, “let’s have a tea (together)”) . You can actually use the verb fem with coffee, beers…
☕ Fancy a cuppa?
It means that you are drunk. In Catalan, “Vaig pet” . Literally, “I go fart”.
Maybe the quintessential British word. It is slang for “friend” . It is very common in Australia too, and although it is not used in American English, it is understood by English speakers all over the world. In Catalan, “company” . You can also use the word “amic” (friend), but it has slightly different connotations.
It means “nonesense”. In Catalan, “I què més?!” (literally, “And what more!?”, or “Au, vinga!” (literally, “C’mon, you can’t be serious!” ). On the other hand, “Bollocks!” can be translated as “Collonades!” (literally, “bollocks!”).
It is a swear word that refers to the male organs contained in the scrotum. In Catalan “Collons!” if you are cursing and “collonades” if you are referring to information deliberately intended to mislead or nonsense. “Collons” is one of the first swear words a foreigner learns in Catalan.
Bob’s your uncle
Bob’s your uncle is added to the end of sentences to express “and that’s it” . In Catalan you can say “i llestos” (literaly, “and ready”) at the end of a sentence to convey the same meaning. In Catalan there’s also another possibility, which is “tal dia farà un any” (literally, “any day, a year will have passed by”) and it is used to downplay an issue.
Primarily heard in UK. Usually said when someone is surprised to hear or see something. In Catalan, you can say “Ves per on!” . It is a very Catalan expression quite difficult to translate. It literally means “Go along where!” or even, in not such a literal way, “I didn’t expect that coming!” .
See the meaning in the picture below. In Catalan, “un bluf” (literally, “a flop”).
It means “Go away” . In Catalan you can say “fot el camp!” (literally, “fuck the field”. Yes, we know, it sounds kind of weird, but in Catalan it sounds very natural, although, come to think of it, it is quite rude).
It also means “Go away” . In Catalan you can say “fot el camp“(see previous entry)
Fancy a few sherbets?
That’s an invitation to have some beers or spirits together. In Catalan, “Fem unes birres?” (literally, “let’s have some beers?”. The word sherbet apparently has a comedic effect when pronounced in a South London accent.
Can’t be arsed
It means “Cannot be bothered”, or that you don’t feel it worthwhile to make the effort of standing up and doing something. In Catalan, there is the slang expression “No em ratllis” (literally, “Don’t grate me”). This implies that you don’t feel like being bothered by someone.
What a cock up!
It means “What a mistake!” . In Catalan, you can say “Quina cagada!” (literally, “what a shit!” or “what a blunder!”) o “Quina ficada de pota!” (something along the lines of “Ooops, I’ve really put my foot in it!”).
I have to spend a penny
It means “I have to go to the toilet”. In Catalan “vaig a canviar l’aigua de les olives” (literally, “I’m going to change the water of my olives”).
What are you going on about?
It means “What are you talking about?”. In Catalan slang is “Què t’empatolles?” .
(S)He’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic
It means “(S)He is not very smart”. In Catalan, “és una mica curt/a de gambals” .
You’re a ledge
This is a shortening of the word “legend.” A legend is someone who is very good at something, even well-known, often for doing something great or incredible. In Catalan, “Ets un crack!” . Messi is a ledge! El Messi és un crack.
It is a curse to show that you are angry. There are many ways to translate this expression in Catalan, such as “Maleït sia!” (literally, “Damn it”) or “Em cago en tot!” (literally , “I shit on everything”).
Give me a tinkle on the blower
It means “Give me a call” or “ring me”. The phrase is often shortened to “give me a tinkle” . Many Catalans say “Fes-me un truc” (literally, “make me a call”). But watch out! If you ask a magician “Fes-me un truc”, you are actually asking them to do a magic trick for you.
It’s swings and roundabouts
This idiom has to do with life’s ups and downs, with gains and losses that offset each other. In Catalan there is an idiom that reads “Una de freda i una de calenta” (literally, “A cold one and a hot one”) which has the same meaning.