Wordy Wednesday: Chickens, pigs and fish.

The more I learn about languages the more I love those silly little idioms that we use all the time without giving them a second thought. I am especially fond of those that feature animals.

One day I looked up the word “chicken” in an English to Spanish online dictionary, because I was curious to know if chickens are equally as vilified as being cowards in Spanish as in English. Turns out they are and you can call someone a chicken or a gallina in both languages.

Dictionaries are great (nerd alert) because they can send you down a whole rabbit-hole of new meanings, expressions and idioms. In this vein, while on the page for “chicken”, I came across the phrase: Cuando las gallinas meen. Literally: When chickens pee. Idiomatically: When pigs fly.

Then I found this phrase: Estar como una gallina en corral ajeno. Literally: To be a chicken in a farmyard that belongs to someone else. Idiomatically: To be a fish out of water.

Falling a little further through the rabbit-hole, I remembered this one that a teacher at school had told me: Beber como un cosaco. Literally: To drink like a Cossack. Idiomatically: To drink like a fish.

So there we go. A few new fun animal idioms (except for the Cossack one. Don’t know what they did to earn that saying.) to think about.

Technically it’s no longer Wednesday here as it is past midnight but I’m still counting it as a Wordy Wednesday. One another note, it’s amazing (and a little scary) to think that this time in two weeks I will be in London. Where did these five months go?? It seems like only yesterday I was writing about being halfway through. However the date on that post and my nearly empty second tube of Vegemite can attest that it was most definitely not yesterday.



Filed under Wordy Wednesday

4 responses to “Wordy Wednesday: Chickens, pigs and fish.

  1. sharon cadman

    fascinating stuff, Ally. Was at lunch with your Mum & friends from Peza Mingi group on Sunday at Bombora Goolwa and chatting away about Caroline learning latin thro Classics program at Adelaide U- has inspired me to check it out for a few years hence when Mum & I are going to strain our brains!!!!!!
    S. xx

  2. Bronny

    Yes – it’s flown by.. and I’ve been caught out re your birthday coming up so fast! The result is that you’ll have to wait until you get to Cumbria for card and pressie! Relish your last days in Spain (for a while) and have a fabulous birthday.
    Love Bronny and Greyman

  3. HAC

    What will we do without Wordy Wednesday? You’ll have to do a stint in France and give us the Gallic equivalent!

  4. Dian Ruddell

    Hope you have a great birthday. What a place to celebrate in !! Have a great day on the 26th.

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