Monday, July 27, 2009

Idioms, English and Italian

Born with a silver spoon is born with a shirt.

To bite off more than you can chew is to take a step longer than your leg.

The straw that broke the camel's back is the drop that made the vase overflow.

To throw in the towel is to throw in the sponge.

To talk behind people's back is to talk to their shoulders.

Between a rock and a hard place is between the anvil and the hammer.

To smoke like a chimney is to smoke like a Turk.

To drink like a fish is to drink like a sponge.

A double standard is two weights and two measures.

Six of one or a half dozen of the other is if it's not soup it's soggy bread.

To beat around the bush is to lead the dog around the barnyard.

To give an inch and take a mile is (conversely) to take the finger and the whole hand with it.

To have guts is to have liver.

Break a leg [good luck] is into the mouth of the wolf.

To have goose bumps is to have goose skin.

To shoot the breeze is to talk of the more and the less.

It's neither here nor there is it leaves the time it finds.

Not to practice what you preach is to preach well and act badly (literally, to scratch the ground like a chicken looking for food)

To be up to your neck in is to be over your hair in.

To have a screw loose is to be missing a roller.

From the frying pan into the fire is from the frying pan into the embers.

To close the stable when the horses have run away is to close the barn when the oxen have fled.

To be broke is to be in the green.

To be healthy as a horse is to be healthy as a fish.

To take French leave [without saying goodbye] is to take English leave.

To see through the corner of your eye is to see with your eye's tail.

To swallow your pride is to swallow a toad.

To kiss ass is to lick ass.

It's my way or the highway is eat this soup or jump out the window.

To put the cart in front of the horse is to put the cart in front of the oxen.

To bite one's tongue is to bite one's lips.

Not sleeping a wink is not closing an eye.

To bite the hand that feeds you is to spit in the plate you eat from.

Not my cup of tea is not flour from my sack.

You can't get blood from a stone is you can't get blood from turnips. [also in English, but less common]

I can't wait is I can't see the hour.

To go Dutch is to go Roman.

It's Greek to me is it's Arabic to me.

To hit the ground running is to take off in fourth gear.

From the sublime to the ridiculous is from the stars to the stables.

A leopard can't change its spots is the wolf changes its hair but not its vices.

To step on someone's toes is to step on someone's feet.

To kill two birds with a stone is to get two pigeons with a fava bean.

To promise the moon and the stars is to promise sea and mountains.

Once in a blue moon is whenever a pope dies.

To be left empty-handed is to be left with a handful of flies.

My ears are burning [people are talking about me] is my ears are whistling.

To sit on the fence [not commit] is to look out from the window.

To spill the beans is to empty the sack.

To want your cake and eat it too is to want a drunk wife and a full barrel.