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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Around the World in 80 Clichés

Around the World in 80 Cliches: Overused Expressions from Across the Globe - Laura Lee Hope

This is one of those books that is impossible to read without torturing sharing the most interesting bits with your friend/spouse/the stranger on the train sitting next to you.

 

The title is not quite accurate as the author herself confesses in the introduction.  The book is broken into 80 categories of clichés, (Hope, Madness, Anger, Sex, etc.) which means there are many, many more than 80 clichés featured here.  They are primarily English-origin, but every category also includes several international sayings, and whenever equivalents in other languages to a specific saying exists, she mentions them in the entry.  So really, the balance feels more 50/50.  

 

Breaking up the comprehensive listings are small breakout sections that cover a phrase more in-depth, and 1 question quizzes about foreign phrases and their meanings.  Such as:

 

If a Dutch speaker says "It is as if an angel is pissing on your tongue." (Alsof er een engeltje over je tong piest.), what does he mean?

  1. The meal is delicious
  2. You speak beautifully
  3. You are a great singer
  4. You are lucky

 

Answer:

A.  Apparently angel piss tastes like champagne

(show spoiler)

 

I'm quickly building a largish collection of language-origin books, so I found quite a few in this one that overlapped with others I've read lately, but my favourite still remains one that I've used for awhile, I could not have said where it came from until I read Speaking in Tongues, and it was included here too, as a favourite of the author's.  It's Polish and I think it's the perfect way to say "sooo not my problem":

 

Not my circus, not my monkeys

 

Suitable for language lovers and those that want to torture share the love of language with friends and family.