That’s not what it means.

10 Aug

This piece came by WhatsApp, that great global distributor of important news and nonsense masquerading as important news. But as much as it might elicit a chuckle, it makes for a worthy piece of hilarious consideration. The literal meaning of local puns is worth a moment of consideration because it makes perfect sense to the locals and no sense at all when translated.
One tiny example:
Daal mein khuch kaala hai. Translation: There is some black in the pulses.
You’d have to explain to someone that this is the idiom for saying: something is amiss, or this looks suspicious. But then you would have to be a resident of a country that eats daal to know that when the daal is made, there is no business for a black spot of anything to appear. A cook would immediately fish the offending bit out and examine it closely. The entire bowl of daal would be summarily trashed if the intruder (so to speak) was an insect.

Do you have any such delightful mis-interpretations of idioms? Please share.

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