Books

Over60

10 common sayings that sound way funnier in other languages

10 common sayings that sound way funnier in other languages

‘Nice guys finish last’ means something very different in Spain… have a giggle at some of these international sayings. When you think about it, they’re probably giggling at some of ours!

Money doesn't grow on trees

Instead of ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’, try:

‘The sky doesn’t throw chicks’. (Arabic)

Nice guys finish last

Instead of ‘Nice guys finish last’, try:

‘A cat in gloves catches no mice’. (Spanish)

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch

Instead of ‘Don’t count your chickens before they hatch’, try:

‘Don’t praise the day before evening’. (German)

All talk and no action

Instead of ‘All talk and no action’, try:

‘If he made 100 knives, none would have a handle’. (Farsi)

To beat around the bush

Instead of ‘To beat around the bush’, try:

‘To walk like a cat around hot porridge’. (Finnish)

The grass is always greener on the other side

Instead of ‘The grass is always greener on the other side’, try:

‘Tasty is the fish from someone else’s table’. (Yiddish)

A drop in the bucket

Instead of ‘A drop in the bucket’, try:

‘Nine cows, one hare’. (Chinese)

Out of the frying pan, into the fire

Instead of ‘Out of the frying pan, into the fire’, try:

‘Fallen from the sky, stuck on a date palm’. (Hindi)

To cost an arm and a leg

Instead of ‘To cost an arm and a leg’, try:

‘To cost the eyes in your head’. (French)

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Instead of ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’, try:

‘If you don’t enter the tiger’s cave, you won’t catch its cub’. (Japanese)

Written by The Bathroom Reader's Institute. This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.