Idioms of the world

LIKE FATHER LIKE SON

Крушата не пада по-далеч от дървото (Krushata ne pada po-dalech ot darvoto) (Bulgarian)
The pear doesn't fall far from the tree
Æblet falder ikke langt fra stammen (Danish)
The apple doesn't fall far from the trunk
Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm (German)
The apple does not fall down far from the tree
Deda naxe, mama naxe, shvili ise gamonaxe (Georgian)
Like mother, like father is a child
Rogoric eri, iseti beri (Georgian)
Like nation, like monk
Kata mana kata kyrh kata gio kai thygatera (Greek)
Like mother, like father like son and daughter
Obuolys nuo obels netoli rieda (Lithuanian)
The apple does not fall far from the tree
Bhaz-zokk il-fergha (Maltese)
As the trunk so the branch
Niedaleko pada jabłko od jabłoni. (Polish)
The apple does not fall down far from the tree. Filho de peixe sabe nadar (Portuguese)
A fish's child knows how to swim
Aschia nu sare departe de trunchi (Romanian)
The chip is not jumping further than the trunk
Каков поп, таков и приход (Kakov pop takov i prihod) (Russian)
What the priest is like, so is the church
Aká matka, taka Katka (Slovak)
Like mother like Kate
Jabolko ne pade daleč od drevesa (Slovenian)
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree
De tal palo tal astilla (Spanish)
From such stick comes such splinter
Äpplet faller inte långt från trädet (Swedish)
The apple does not fall far from the tree

YOU CANNOT MAKE A SILK PURSE OUT OF A SOW’S EAR

Al draagt een aap een gouden ring, het is en blijft een lelijk ding (Dutch)
Even if the monkey wears a golden ring it remains an ugly thing
On ne peut faire d'une buse un épervier (French)
You can't turn a buzzard / a dolt into a sparrowhawk
Fare le nozze coi fichi secchi (Italian)
To do a wedding with dried figs
I w Paryżu nie zrobią z owsa ryżu (Polish)
Even in Paris they will not change oat for rice
Рожденный ползать летать не может (Rozhdennyj polzat letat ne mozhet) (Russian)
If you’re born to crawl you can’t fly
Opica zostane opicou, hoci by si na nu zlatú retaz povesil. (Slovak)
Monkey remains monkey even if you hang a golden kettle around its neck

A SANDWICH SHORT OF A PICNIC

Šplouchá mu na maják (Czech)
It's splashing on his lighthouse
Ikke at være den skarpeste kniv i skuffen (Danish)
Not to be the sharpest knife in the drawer
Hij heeft een klap van de molen gehad (Dutch)
He got a blow from the windmill
Avoir une araigneé au plafond (French)
To have a spider on the ceiling
Ne pas avoir inventé le fil à couper le beurre (French)
Not to have invented the wire to cut butter
Nicht alle Tassen im Schrank haben (German) 
Not to have all the cups in the cupboard
Non avere tutti i venerdì (Italian)
To be lacking some Fridays
Jam ne visi namie (Lithuanian)
He doesn't have everybody at home
Tem macaquinhos no sotão (Portuguese)
He has little monkeys in the attic
Без царя в голове (Bez tsarya v golove) (Russian)
Not having a tsar inside his head
Lud ko struja (Serbian)
As crazy as electricity
Zostat na ocot (Slovak)
To be left for vinegar
Más loco que un plumero (Spanish)
Crazier than a feather duster

THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK

Rugala se sova sjenici (Croatian)
The owl mocked the tit
C'est l'hôpital qui se moque de la Charité (French)
It's the hospital that mocks Charity
Eipe o gaidaros ton petino kefala (Greek)
The donkey called the cockerel "dunderhead"
Ein Esel schimpft den anderen Langohr (German)
A donkey gets cross with a rabbit
Il bue che dice cornuto all'asino (Italian)
The ox saying 'horned' to the donkey
Râde hârb de oala sparta (Romanian)
A broken part of the pot is laughing at the broken pot
Le dijo la sarten al cazo (Spanish)
As the pan told the pot 

ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY

Brændt barn skyr ilden (Danish)
A burned child is shy of fire
Opios kai me to hilo, fisaei ke to giaourti (Greek) 
if somebody has been burnt with the porridge, he blows even the yoghurt
Cão picado por cobra, tem medo de linguiça (Portuguese)
A dog that has been bitten by a snake fears sausages
Пуганая ворона куста боится (puganaya vorona kusta boitsya) (Russian)
A spooked crow is afraid of a bush
Пуганная ворона собственной тени боится (puganaya vorona sobstvennoj teni boitsya) (Russian)
A spooked crow is afraid of it's own shadow
Cine s-a fript cu ciorba, suflã si-n iaurt (Romanian)
The one who burnt his tongue with the soup is going to blow the yoghurt as well
Ulciorul nu merge de doua ori la apa! (Romanian)
You cannot do the same trick twice
Koho raz had uštipne, aj hlísty sa bojí. (Slovak)
Who has been bitten by a snake is afraid even of a worm
El gato escaldado del agua fria huye (Spanish)
The cat that has been scalded runs away from cold water

TO CARRY COALS TO NEWCASTLE

Eulen nach Athen tragen (German)
Taking owls to Athens
Vizet hord a Dunába (Hungarian)
Taking water to the Danube
Vendere ghiaccio agli eschimesi (Italian)
Selling ice to the eskimos
Echar agua al mar (Spanish)
To throw water into the sea
Es como llevar naranjas a Valencia (Spanish)
Is like taking oranges to Valencia
A vinde castraveti grãdinarului (Romanian)
Selling cucumbers to the gardener
Yezdit v Tulu so svoim samovarom (Russian)
He’s going to Tula taking his own samovar

TO BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH

Kiertää kuin kissa kuumaa puuroa (Finnish)
To pace around hot porridge like a cat
Y aller par quatre chemins (French)
To get there by four paths
Å gå som katten rundt den varme grøten (Norwegian)
To walk like a cat around hot porridge
A umbla cu fofârlica (Romanian)
Qalking with the lark
Ходить вокруг да около (Khoditj vokroog da okolo) (Russian)
To walk round and about
Chodit okolo horúcej kaše. (Slovak)
To beat about the bush
Emborrachar la perdiz (Spanish)
To get the partridge drunk

TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL THE BROTH

Seul mui à vugulion a vez, e vez falloc'h gouarnet ar saout (Breton, France)
The more cowherds there are, the worse the cows are looked after
Puno baba, kilavo dijete (Croatian)
Many midwives, child will be lazy
Veel varkens maken de spoeling dun (Dutch)
Many pigs make the slops sparse
shvidi dzidzis xelshi bavshvi daikarga (Georgian)
A child, looked after by seven nannies is lost
Zu viele Köche verderben den Brei (German) 
Too many cooks ruin the broth
Opou laloun polla kokoria, argei na xhmerwsei (Greek) 
Where there are too many roosters singing the dawn comes late
Troppi galli a cantare non fa mai giorno (Italian)
Too many cocks singing it is never going to dawn
Gdzie kucharek sześć, tam nie ma co jeść (Polish)
Six cooks and nothing to eat
У семи нянек дитя без глазу (u semi nyanek dyetya byez glaza) (Russian)
A child, looked after by seven nannies is without one eye

DON’T CRY OVER SPILT MILK

Gviania titze kbena (Gerogian)
To bite one's finger is late
Eso után köpönyeg (Hungarian)
Coat after rain
Nu plânge dupã laptele vãrsat (Romanian)
Do not cry over spilt milk
Kusat sebe lokti (Russian)
To bite one’s elbows
Po toci zvoniti je prepozno (Slovenian) 
It's too late to ring after the hail
Paid â chodi pais ar ôl piso (Welsh)
Don't lift a petticoat after peeing

BAD WORKMAN BLAMES HIS TOOLS

На крива ракета космосът й пречи (Na kriva raketa kosmosat i prechi) (Bulgarian)
An awry/bad rocket blames the space
नाच ना जाने आँगन टेढा ( naach na jaane anagan thedha) (Hindi)
One who knows no dance claims that the stage is tilted
Zlej baletnicy przeszkadza rabek u spódnicy (Polish)
A poor dancer will be disturbed even by the hem of her skirt
Plokhomoo tantsoroo i nogi meshayut (Russian)
A bad dancer's legs get into his way
El mal escribano le echa la culpa a la pluma (Spanish)
The poor writer blames the pen
El cojo le echa la culpa al empedrado (Spanish)
The limping man blames the pavement

DON’T COUNT YOUR CHICKENS BEFORE THEY’RE HATCHED

Ne spremaj ražanj dok je zec još u šumi (Croatian)
Do not prepare the skewer while the hare is still in the woods
Man skal ikke selge skinnet, før bjørnen er skutt (Danish)
One should not sell the fur before the bear has been shot
Älä nuolaise ennen kuin tipahtaa (Finnish)
Don't start licking it up before it drops on to the table
En nylje karhua, ennen kuin se on kaadettu (Finnish)
I don't skin a bear before it's been felled
Tsitsilebs shemodgomaze itvlian (Gerogian)
One should count chickens in autumn
Du sollst den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben (German)
You shouldn't praise the day before the night.
Mi logariazeis khoris ton xenodokho (Greek)
Don't make counts without the innkeeper
Non dire gatto se non ce l'hai nel sacco (Italian)
Never say 'cat' if you have not got it in your sack
Nesakyk ,,op'', neperšokęs balos (Lithuanian)
Don't say hop, before jumping over the marsch
na neroden Petko kapa mu skroile (Macedonian)
they sewed a hat to Peter who is not born yet
Nie dziel skóry na niedźwiedziu (Polish)
Don't share the skin while it's still on the bear
tsiplyat po oseni schitayut (Russian)
one should count chicks in autumn
ne govori gop, poka ne pereskochish (pereprygnesh) (Russian)
Don't say hop until you jumped over
Nu da vrabia din mânã, pe cioara de pe gard (Romanian)
Do not give away the sparrow from your hand for the crow sitting on the fence
Nehovar hop kým nepreskocíš (Slovak)
Don´t say hop until you jump
Dereyi görmeden paçalari sivama (Turkish)
Do not roll up your trouser-legs before you see the stream

IT’S RAINING CATS AND DOGS

Kiša lije k'o iz kabla (Bosnian) 
The rains pouring as from cable
Padají trakare (Czech)
It's raining wheelbarrows
Det regner skomagerdrenge (Danish)
It's raining shoemakers' apprentices
Het regent pijpenstelen (Dutch)
It’s raining pipestems
Il pleut comme vache qui pisse (French)
It’s raining like a pissing cow
Il pleut des cordes/des hallebardes (French)
It is raining ropes/halberds
Kokispirulad tsvims (Georgian)
It's raining like from a jug
Bindfäden regnen (German)
It is raining thread.
Es regnet Schusterbuben (German)
It is raining young cobblers
Βρέχει καρεκλοπόδαρα (Brékhei kareklopódara) (Greek)
It's raining chair legs
Pila kaip iš kibiro (Lithuanian)
It is pouring like from a bucket
Está chovendo canivetes (Portuguese)
It is raining pocket knives,
Plouã cu gãleata (Romanian)
It’s raining heavily
L'yot kak iz vedra (Russian)
It is pouring like from a bucket
Prší ako z krhly (Slovak)
It´s raining like from a watering-can
Estan lloviendo hasta maridos (Spanish)
It's even raining husbands

AS EASY AS FALLING OFF A LOG

Så let som at klø sig i nakken (Danish)
As easy as scratching the back of your neck
Facile come bere un bicchier d'acqua, facile come andare in bicicletta (Italian)
As easy as drinking a glass of water, as easy as cycling
Lengva, kaip dukart du (Lithuanian)
Easy as two times two
Ežiku ponjatno (Russian)
Understandable to a hedgehog
Lahké ako facka (Slovak)
As easy as a slap
Enostavno kot pasulj (Slovenian)
As easy as bean stew
Tereyagindan kil ceker gibi (Turkish)
As if pulling a strand of hair from butter

AS THICK AS THIEVES

Kolos kai vraki (Greek)
Like buttocks and underwear
S‘entendre comme cul et chemise (French)
To get along like one’s buttocks and shirt
Uni comme les doigts de la main (French)
Tied like the fingers of a hand
Come culo e camicia (Italian)
Like butocks and shirt
Ser unha e carne (Portuguese)
To be fingernail and flesh
A fi prieteni la cataramã (Romanian)
To be very good friends
Vodoi ne razol'yosh (Russian)
You can't separate them with water
Hustý ako hmla (Slovak)
As thick as a fog
Ser como uña y carne (Spanish)
To be fingernail and flesh
Aralarindan su sizmaz (Turkish)
Not even water can pass between them

SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF DENMARK

Kauppaan on koira haudattuna (Finnish)
There is a dog buried in the affair
Les dés sont pipés (French)
The dice are cheated
Il y a anguille sous roche (French)
There is an eel under the rock
Hay un gato encerrado (Spanish)
There’s a cat shut up

The original concept and examples featured on this page have been provided by Adam Jacot de Boinod

Can you add an idiom in your language?

Please send it to us provided it is not too similar to an idiom that is already online.

 Idiom:
 Required
 Language of idiom:
 Required
 Exact translation into English:
 Required
 Title of box it belongs to:
 
 Your Email:
 
CAPTCHA image
Please enter the code shown above in the box below:
  Required
  Search