10 Weird Phrases from Around the World

All around the world, there are a plethora of weird phrases that, at first, sound like complete nonsense. Once you understand them, though, they make a lot more sense. On top of that, a lot of them are quite funny to think about! In this blog, we’ve gathered together some of our favourite phrases from around the world:

nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy” – “Not my circus, not my monkeys”

This Polish phrase is perhaps the best way to tell someone that something is absolutely not your problem. In fact, I’ve found myself using this phrase in everyday conversation, that’s how much I love it!

I’ll be there now in a minute

To the untrained ear, this could sound confusing at best, and completely nonsensical at worst. However, it’s quite simple: it just means someone will be there soon, but they can’t say how soon.

Zwei Dumme, ein Gedanke” – “Two idiots, one thought”

The phrase “great minds think alike” has a second part that is often missed; “…but fools seldom differ”. This German idiom is similar to the latter, but in typical German fashion, is much more direct.

Hjulet snurrar men hamstern är död”-  “The wheel is spinning, but the hamster is dead”

This entry from Sweden is a much more brutal-sounding equivalent to the English “the lights are on, but no one’s home” or “a few sandwiches short of a picnic”. It is used to describe someone who is considered less intelligent but can also be used to describe someone who doesn’t react when you speak to them.

It’s like Blackpool Illuminations in here

6 words that bring dread to those of us who grew up in the UK – this unique turn of phrase is most often heard when an unnecessary amount of lights are turned on in a room, to the point where it looks like the famous Christmas lights that illuminate the seaside town of Blackpool, England.

Գլուխս մի՛ արդուկիր (glukhs mi՛ ardukeer)” – “Don’t iron my head”

A useful phrase for when someone is being particularly bothersome or annoying. This Armenian phrase is perfect for when you need someone to leave you alone after a busy day at work.

Chodit kolem horké kaše” – “To walk around in hot porridge”

This is the Czech equivalent of the English “to beat around the bush” – avoiding the main topic of conversation, or approaching it in an overly cautious or roundabout way.

Se me fue el avion” – “The plane left without me”

Mexico’s entry on this list is used when something gets away from you – thankfully, not an actual plane in this case. It’s used when someone loses their train of thought, or they forget what they were saying. A similar phrase in English would be “I was away with the fairies”.

Arrampicarsi sugli specchi” -“To climb the mirrors”

When you’re arguing with someone and they know they’re wrong but can’t, or won’t, admit it, you’d say that they are climbing the mirrors. In English, you’d say that they are clutching at straws. Both equally weird phrases, right?

Før Djævlen Får Sko På” -“Before the devil puts his shoes on”

When someone is an early riser in Denmark, they’re said to wake up before the devil puts his shoes on. People will also use this phrase when they have to wake up at the crack of dawn for something. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about these weird phrases used around the world. Do you know any weird and wonderful phrases in another language? We’d love to hear them! Feel free to share your favourites with us on our Twitter or LinkedIn pages!