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.
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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.