Curious Expressions

I have always been curious about other languages. Especially languages other than the ones I am fluent in. And so I picked out this little book of idioms and proverbs of colorful languages of the world.


There is a subtle yet significant difference between idioms and proverbs (the author also shares it in this book);

An idiom is a phrase that has a meaning of its own that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words.

On the other hand, a proverb is a short popular saying that gives advice about how people should behave or that expresses a belief that is generally thought to be true.

Source: Learners Dictionary

I was in for a marvelous surprise; this book has all the right elements for some light, yet intellectual reading. Each idiom and proverb is beautifully explained; Ella Frances Sanders provides both, information about the culture of the country, and also smoothly connects and compares it to the idioms which we are familiar with in the English language. A colorful illustration, done by the author, accompanies every proverb and idiom. I’m still finding a hard time to decide whether I like the writing more or the illustrations; both are so simple at the same time impactful, making it a fun and easy book to read for a wide range of audience. Below are a few of my favorite sayings from the book:

To pull someone out of their watermelons (Romanian)


Grapes darken by looking at each other (Turkish)

Swallowed like a postman’s sock (Colombian Spanish)


My eye went with me (Maltese)

To feel like an octopus in a garage (Spanish)

To wear a cat on your head (Japanese)


To give a green answer to a blue question (Tibetan)

God bless you and may your mustache grow like bushwood (Mongolia)

Some days honey some days onions (Arabic)


I wonder if you are familiar with any of these expressions, if not, quick! Set out to find their meaning, and use them to amaze and amuse the people around you, after you have entertained yourself with them. You might just end up with a lot of phrases becoming your favorites as well.

The only disappointment I experienced while reading this book was when I realized that there were some languages put in twice, not that I dislike those languages, but because I would have loved to learn another handful of idioms from other countries. I understand that this book could have only so many, and so I hope the author soon publishes another, similar book of intriguing curious expressions from the countries left out.

Some of the sayings made me grin, some made raise my eyebrows with surprise, some made me sober, and some made me laugh out loud. This little book of curious expressions is a wonderful choice to read. Pick it up, and learn a little something about the world through the most expressive form of art- language.


Disclaimer: Thank you to Blogging for Books for sending me this book in exchange of an honest review. That being said, all opinions are sincerely my own.

5 thoughts on “Curious Expressions

  1. Wow. I never really thought about idioms in other languages. The ones you mentioned sound intriguing and i do wonder what they mean. haha. gonna prob google all of them right now. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks like a really interesting book. Instead of “some days honey, some days onions,” I’ve been heard to say the similar, “some days you’re the bat, some days you’re the ball.” Which references American baseball. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s