Category Archives: Idiom of the week

Phrase of the week – Pardon my French

As the Wikipedia says, Pardon my French is a common English phrase disguising profanity as French. Usually you hear it just before swearing or curses come. Interesting fact about the use of this phrase on television (from Wikipedia): “The phrase has found large use in broadcast television and family films where less offensive words are preceded by “pardon my French” to emphasize their meaning without violating censorship or rating guidelines. A good example is in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Cameron calls Mr. Rooney and says, “Pardon my French, but you’re an asshole.” In another segment, Bueller says, “Pardon my French, but Cameron is so tight that if you were to shove a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you’d have a diamond.” 😀

Not surprisingly French refer to English in several phrases, that in English language refer to French. For example taking French leave (= leave a party without polite excuse towards the host) is in French  “filer à l’anglaise” (literally, “flee English-style”). In Czech we actually say to disappear English style too!

Wikipedia rika, ze Pardon my French (=Omluvte moji Francouzstinu) je bezna anglicka fraze, ktera maskuje neuctivost za Francouzstinu. Vetsinou ji uslysite pred tim, nez prijdou nadavky a kleni. Zajimava informace o pouziti teto vety v televizi (z Wikipedie): ‘Tato fraze nasla siroke uziti v televiznim vysilani and rodinnych filmech, kde jsou mene urazliva slova prechazena s ‘pardon my French’, aby zduraznila jejich vyznam bez poruseni smernic cenzury. Dobrym prikladem je film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Cameron vola pana Rooneyho a rika: “Omluvte mou Francouzstinu, ale Vy jste kreten.” V dalsi casti Bueller rika: “Omluvte mou Francouzstinu, ale Cameron je tak upjaty, ze kdybyste strcil kus uhli do jeho zadku, za dva tydny vytahnete diamant.” 😉

Neni prekvapenim, ze Francouzi odkazuji na Anglicany v nekolika frazich, ktere v anglictine odkazuji na Francouze. Napriklad spojeni, ktere zname i my v cestine – zmizet po anglicku. Anglicane rikaji ‘taking French leave’ tedy zmizet po francouzsku.

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Phrase of the week: You are the apple of my eye

You are the apple of my eye – I always found this phrase very romantic. Meaning ‘you are someone I cherish above others’. From what I read, it is a very old saying and it first appeared in a work attributed to King Aelfred of Wessex, AD 885, titled Gregory Pastoral Care. It also appears several times in the Bible. William Shakespeare used the phrase in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1600. So, who is the apple of your eye?

You are the apple of my eye – v prekladu: “Jsi jablkem meho oka.” 🙂 Tato fraze se mi vzdy zdala velmi romanticka. Znamena ‘Jsi pro me nekym, koho si cenim nade vsechny ostatni’. (Moje kamaradka navrhuje preklad ‘Jsi zritelnici meho oka’, ktery vycetla z moudrych Harlekynek). Podle toho, co jsem zjistila, je to velmi stary vyraz. Poprve se objevil v praci prikladane krali Alfredovi Velikemu z Wessexu z roku 885 n.l. nazvane Gregory Pastoral Care. Nekolikrat na nej take narazime v bibli. William Shakespeare jej pouzil ve hre Sen noci svatojanske, r. 1600. A kdo je zritelnici vaseho oka? 

Phrase of the week : Pinch and a punch for the first of the month

(ceska verze textu nize!)

As we have the first of February today, I thought of this phrase to tell you about.. It’s more of a tradition really. In England, on the first day of each month, you can say ‘Pinch and a punch for the first of the month’ to someone followed by a bit of a pinch and a punch on the person’s arm!
According to some, this tradition comes from times long ago, when people believed in witches. They thought that salt makes them weak – thus the pinch (of salt) – and then a punch, to banish the powerless witch.

I wish you all a good month without any witches!

PS: You should also say ‘White rabbit’ straight after, which stops the receiver of the pinch punch from getting back at you!

V prvnim dni noveho mesice vam vysvetlim frazi, nebo spis takovou tradici – Pinch and a punch for the first of the month – doslova prelozeno ‘Stipnuti/spetka a uder k prvnimu dni mesice’. Tuhle vetu muzete rict kazdy prvni den v mesici nekomu pobliz a pote ho stipnout a bouchnout do paze (s citem, prosim!).
Podle nekterych zdroju pochazi tahle tradice z davnych casu, kdy lide verili na carodejnice. Mysleli, ze pinch – coz znamena stipnuti anebo spetka – spetka soli carodejnice oslabuje a punch – uder – je pak znici.

Preji vsem uspesny mesic bez carodejnic!

PS: Meli byste take dodat ‘White rabbit’ – bily zajic – hned po Pinch and a punch, cimz zabranite osobe, ktere jste to rekli, aby vam oplatila tim samym!

Phrase of the week: Raining cats and dogs

Funny idiom this one. It fits today’s weather in London. Raining cats and dogs means, it is raining heavily. Origin of the phrase is uncertain. Interesting article on this can be found here: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/raining%20cats%20and%20dogs.html

Another idioms on heavy rain – ‘It’s raining pitchforks and hammer handles’ or ‘To pour with rain’.

In Czech language we say for example: ‘It pours like from a watering can’.

Do you know any rainy idioms?

Raining day in Clapham

Katerina Janouskova Photography – Cats and dogs raining in Clapham common

Idiom ‘Raining cats and dogs‘ se hodi k dnesnimu londynskemu pocasi. V prekladu ‘Prsi kocky a psi’ znamena, ze prsi hodne, lije…ceske lije jako z konve. Puvod teto fraze je neurcity. Zajimavy clanek naleznete (v anglictine) zde: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/raining%20cats%20and%20dogs.html

Dalsi idiomy vyjadrujici, ze huste prsi jsou: ‘It’s raining pitchforks and hammer handles‘ (Doslova ‘Prsi vidle a rukojete od kladivek’) nebo ‘To pour with rain‘ (doslova ‘Tece, proudi s destem’)

Znate nejake destive idiomy?

Phrase of the week – A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush

First phrase of the week is an easy one. Very similar to the Czech version. ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ . Meaning : Having something that is certain is much better than taking a risk for more, because chances are you might lose everything.
In Czech we say word for word : Better a sparrow in the hand than a pigeon on the rooftop.
And what do you think about this – take the risk or keep what is certain?

Prvni fraze tydne je vcelku jednoducha. Dost podobna nasi verzi. ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ – Preklad : Jeden ptacek v hrsti vyda za dva ve krovi. Nebo-li nase hezke ceske ‘Lepsi vrabec v hrsti nez holub na strese’. Vyznam : Mit neco jisteho je mnohem lepsi nez riskovat pro neco vic, protoze je sance, ze ztratime vsechno.
A co si o tom myslite vy? Riskovat nebo ne?