Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Funny Idioms

I saw some funny YouTube videos the other day of this German guy ranting about how American idioms are confusing. I thought I'd share one of the videos with you. But before that, I'm going to share some that definitely would be confusing to someone that didn't speak English well. Here are some of my favs that are hilarious when taken literally:
  • Tie the knot (Why would they tie a knot together? Is that a type of game?)
  • On pins and needles (Who in their right mind would want to be on pins and needles?)
  • To steal someone's thunder (There is no way that someone could possess their own thunder, let alone someone stealing it)
  • Kick the bucket (Why would someone want to kick the bucket?)
  • Flea market (Who'd want to go to a flea market? Disgusting)
  • Graveyard shift (You really work in a graveyard? Creepy)
  • You are what you eat (I'm not a hamburger)
  • Charley horse (if you were standing by someone and they were screaming in agony while clutching their leg, wouldn't it be odd for him to say, "I've got a Charley Horse!")
  • Raining cats and dogs (I don't see any cats or dogs anywhere and it isn't possible for it to rain cats and dogs)
  • Back seat driver (There's no way someone can drive in the back seat)
  • Elvis has left the building ("What?" they'd say. "I thought he was dead)
  • Pulling your leg (Why would you want to pull my leg?)
  • Get up on the wrong side of the bed (Which side of the bed is the right side to get out on?)
  • Hold your horses (What? There are no horses anywhere and if there were, why would I want to hold one?)
  • Let the cat out of the bag (Why would I put a cat in a bag in the first place? That's cruel)
  • Put a sock in it (Why are you talking about a sock, and what am I supposed to put it in?)
  • When pigs fly (Pigs can't fly)
  • Smell something fishy (*sniff sniff* I don't smell any fish)
  • Water under the bridge (Well, duh. Water is under the bridge)
So what are some of your favorite idioms? Do you have a favorite from the list above? Feel free to add your own confusing thought to any of the phrases above?

Writing. Jewels.

Okay, here's the video I promised... Get ready to laugh.


26 comments:

  1. Those are great idioms. We have lots of expressions we use and are clueless as to why. My kids didn't realize where "fax" came from (short for facsimile). How long before no one alive remembers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dying language. So sad. It's sort of like Taiwanese... before long it will no longer be spoken. Sad, huh? I know this cuz I lived in Taiwan for a while (my mission).

      Delete
  2. Someone else posted about this same subject earlier! I'll stick with my "Break a Leg" saying. I know it does have real meaning, but who wants to break their leg just before a performance?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hilarious! It's true, these things make perfect sense to us but to someone else they are so confusing. I remember learning some idioms in the languages I studied at school and thinking "these make no sense!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Chinese the way you say "I'm so so" as in I'm feeling so so is "Mama huhu" which literally means horse horse tiger tiger. I'm not sure how you get so so out of that but there ya go. haha

      Delete
  4. Idioms are pretty funny when you stop to think about it. But OMG, the clip was so funny. "I eat the chip and then I punch peoples in the balls." HILARIOUS. This guy is my hero for the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! I love how he takes the turn at the end there that the footballer is a pansy. Freaking funny!

      Delete
  5. Those idioms are hilarious! Although, I've never heard of "Charley Horse" before. Thanks for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, Komal, I hope you never, ever get a Charley Horse. They are PAINFUL!

      Delete
  6. Hah! That was hilarious. :) Thanks for sharing, Julia!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Some of those really are absurd, yet funny. I use some of them too. I say them without thinking. Habit, I guess. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, I just thought of another one!

    "It's a shoe in."

    Really? In what? (=

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yeah, they don't make much sense, do they?

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Eskimos see sixteen different forms of ice which are as different to them as trees and shrubs are different to us. Hindus, on the other hand, use the same term for both ice and snow. Creek and Natchez Indians do not distinguish yellow from green. Similarly [some other tribes] and many other people make no terminological distinction between blue and green. The Hopis have no word for time." -R. Pirsig Can you imagine what idioms these folks would not get? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting facts, David. I'd imagine they'd have some crazy idioms. Thanks for the comment, David.

      Delete
  11. These are great! It's amazing how things we say are taken differently elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hehe! It's so true that idioms don't make much sense unless you are native to them. Although, I have to say that someone could still Thor's thunder, if they dared, because he does actually have thunder. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Haha! I remember asking my mom about "flea markets" when I was little. Seriously. Who came up with that name?! And last night I took a towel out of the cupboard and sniffed it and thought, that smells fishy, and then I wanted to laugh at myself, 'cause I didn't mean it in the idiom way, I meant it literally smelled fishy!

    ReplyDelete
  14. A most comprehensive idiom list. Kick the bucket ... that reminds me of that first scene in It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. :)

    ReplyDelete