Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Raining...Men?

Yesterday I was researching the meteorological phenomenon of frogs falling from the sky (don't ask) and it got me started thinking about how much I LOVE weird idioms. You know, even overused ones like it's raining cats and dogs. When we lived in France, I started my own French idiom collection. Here's a few for your enjoyment:

Je suis chocolat! (literally, I am chocolate) = I've been swindled!
C'est la fin des haricots! (It's the end of the beans!) = That's the last straw!
On a fait chou blanc. (We made white cabbage.) = We drew a blank.
Appuie sur le champignon! (Press on the mushroom!) = Hurry up!

But back to the raining cats and dogs business...
Good ole Monsieur Wikipedia directed me to a wonder-full list of all sorts of idioms to describe a hard rain.
Check these out, won't you?

What are you waiting for? Press on the mushroom!

Det regner skomagerdrenge.

Danish for it's raining shoemakers' apprentices.

βρέχει καρεκλοπόδαρα.

Greek for it's raining chair legs.

Het regent pijpestelen.

Dutch for it's raining pipe stems.

Padají trakaře.

Czech for it's raining wheelbarrows!

Padaju sekire.

by Chris Campbell
Serbian for it's raining axes. Ouch!

And here's my all around favorite...
Det regner trollkjerringer.

Norweigian for it's raining she-trolls!
Love that one! Do they all come with miniature flamingos?

Have a super Wednesday, y'all!
Love, Becky


Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Those are strange... axes, wheelbarrows?! They get some HARD rain I guess.
I love that you bring these things together for us.

Susan said...

When I was about 4 or 5 years old, we had a rain storm and there were tiny frogs everywhere. I remember seeing them on the ground, but no one actually saw them fall. I tried to watch your video, but it was too much, even for an 80's lover like me. Fun post, as always. Thanks for doing our leg work for us and keeping us so "in the know". Susan

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

How crazy! Wheelbarrows?
Love that song--I have it on my ipod--I listen to it during my 3 mile runs--disco helps me smile in the WORST of times:)

Linda Summerfield Crispell said...

I can't tell you how many times I have made white cabbage lately, I guess I'm getting old.

lotusgirl said...

Haha! This reminds me why I enjoy reading your posts. I get caught up in the same sorts of things linguistically that you do. Fun idioms.

I love that frog raining picture. When it would rain really heavy out my mother would call it a "toad frog strangle." I would reckon that's pretty southern.

May Vanderbilt said...

LOVED THIS! In the South we say, The Devil's beating his wife with a frying pan, when it rains and the sun is out. Much like the Eskimos who have hundreds of words for snow, we have hundreds of words for rain.

She-trolls has to be the best.

Adrienne said...

What fun idioms. I love press on the mushroom!
My Dad's favorite expression for a hard rain wasn't quite as charming as these...

Chief Warden of Tanner the Slobber Dog said...

Adrienne, you've made me so curious!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

whoops...that's me!

Andylynne said...

I love your blog, and read it all the time. Just lurk but the ax photo made me laugh. Who thought of that for a sculpture :) Natalies
right they must get some heavy rains not to mention dangerous. Thanks for sparking my imagination.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Andylynne, I'm so glad you're here. Thanks for delurking!

Ronnie said...

This reminded me of a really strange movie called Magnolia. There was a rather lengthy and astounding scene in it where frogs rained from the sky. So, here it is, on YouTube!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Ew, Ronnie! I'm officially freaked out now!
But thanks!

Kelly H-Y said...

Who knew?! Fun post!

Natalie Whipple said...

Love idioms! There's a whole dictionary of English idioms and their histories. I spent way too many hours reading that baby, but I never thought to go find one for OTHER languages. I'm doomed now.

Kelly said...

How could you leave out: Il pleut comme vache qui pisse!
(French for, It's raining like a cow pissing)
One of the few things I remember from 7th grade French class!

Susie Q said...

I remember that film Magnolia...frogs from the sky. *shiver*
I love idioms!! And I LOVE your blog! Always a treat!

A Paperback Writer said...

A few of my favorite idioms in Spanish include:

Hechar la casa por la ventana -- to throw the house out the window or to go all out for something

Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda -- even though the monkey dresses herself up in silk, she's still a monkey or you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

And my all-time favorite:
La carne de burro no es transparente -- the flesh of a burro isn't transparent -- down in front or you make a better door than a window.

Lora said...

I love these!!!

My fave goofy translated expression is the French for "Let us return to our sheep" as in 'back to the subject at hand'


David Ebright said...

I know you said don't ask - but I want to hear about the frogs. We get 'em down here when it rains - bright green, thumb sized. Then the birds eat them.

My grandparents had lots of expressions - can't repeat them. (I can't believe they said stuff like that!)

Funny post - except for white cabbage. Cabbage - blech...

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Jaxpop, a little old lady in a mill village told me about a time long ago when it rained frogs, and I couldn't tell if she was pulling my leg or not! Such a strange phenomenon! Weird. I'd love to hear more about that.

* said...

Idioms are fun and strange and head scratching. Thanks for sharing a few that brought me a smile.