Apart from being just downright fun, idioms are also a window into a language’s cultural origins and an amazing way of blending into a new place as a local.

What is an idiom? This is an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of kits constituent elements. In other, a bunch of words put together in an unusual way to mean something completely different!

In the spirit of summer and all the upcoming vacations to be enjoyed, here is a list of some unique travel-themed idioms from languages around the world.

One example is the English phrase: “It’s raining cats and dogs.”  If you hear this when you travel to the U.K, it means that it’s raining really hard. Allegedly this comes from the days lack of street drainage in the seventeenth century, literally washing away stray cats and dogs through the streets.

Read on for some more fascinating idioms from around the world.


1. Sambil menyelam, minum air = while driving, drink water
Meaning: accomplish two things at once
Example (translated): “While driving, John could drink water, making him one of the more efficient executives at the office.”


2. Jump on the bandwagon
Meaning: deciding to do something when it is already successful or fashionable
Example: “So many people are trying to quit smoking that I might as well jump on the bandwagon and quit.”


3. لبس لي فيها ناقة ولا جمل (laisa lii fiiha naqa wa la jamal)  = I don’t have a camel in the caravan
Meaning: this matter doesn’t concern me
Example (translated): “If Tom didn’t have a camel in the caravan, he would rarely pay any attention to the matter.”


4. Makati ang paa (Ma-ka-tí ang pa-á) = itchy feet
Meaning: a person who loves going places
Example (translated): “You will never catch Jimmy in the office; he is the itchy feet in the team.”


5. Katzensprung = a cat’s jump
Meaning: a short distance away
Example (translated): “The shopkeeper’s home was a cat’s jump away from his shop, making his commute easy.”


6. Ехать зайцем (yehat’ zaytcem) = to ride as a hare
Meaning: to travel a train without a ticket.
Example (translated): “His attempt of riding as a hare was unsuccessful and he was fined heavily. ”


7. 오십보백보 (oship bo bek bo) = 50 steps are similar to 100 steps
Meaning: the two alternatives are equivalent or indifferent
Example (translated): “I can take the bus or the subway to get home; during rush hour 50 steps are similar to 100 steps.”


8. Facile come andare in bicicletta = as easy as cycling
Meaning: very easy
Example (translated): “She said writing stories was as easy as cycling for her.”


9. Y aller par quatre chemins = to get there by four paths
avoid getting to the core of the subject

Example(translated): “Let’s not get there by four paths and discuss this matter.”

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