My arms are too short

I speak three languages every day – Danish, English and Italian. I’ve sort of gotten use to it, though the hard disk breaks down every now and then. Most days I don’t even think about it. I’ve written about how frustrating it can be, but sometimes it can be equally funny. The most fun comes from metaphors and general sayings.

I don’t know many non-English speakers that didn’t giggle over the phrase “when the shit hits the fan” the first time they heard it; the visual is amazing. Some phrases just do not make sense. Like “he’s sweating like a pig” – we discussed that one quite a bit in our household; pigs don’t sweat. We’ve changed it into “sweating like a running pig”.

By now, I am also quite adventured in the Italian sayings (one of my favorite is “He shat outside of the bucket” when someone does/says something stupid). But not always. Like this morning:

Me: I’m making porridge, do you want some?
Mr Husband: hmmrrrgghmm OK
Me (out of sympathy because he hates porridge): would you like a cafe latte with it?
Mr Husband: I don’t want to drink milky coffee with a milky breakfast
Me: but I make the porridge with water
Mr Husband: that’s because your arms are too short!

I will leave it to you, to guess what that is all about!

4 thoughts on “My arms are too short

  1. Hi Signe! Thanks for visiting my blog. I’ve come over to see what yours is all about. I don’t see what the connection between milk and short arms is either. I make my porridge with half milk and half water. I soak the oats in water overnight, then add milk for the morning cooking.

    • Thanks for the return visit 😉 I’ve visited your blog for some time, I really enjoy it, but it took a little to work up the currage to comment.
      That is a really good tip! I soak mine in water overnight too – but don’t add anything in the morning. I’ll try to add less water and then add milk in the morning. Maybe we will both be happy then 😉

      PS I found out what the thing with short arms is; I had to ask. Apparently I’m a stingy because I use water instead of milk – and the saying is that a stingy person has arms too short to get his hands in his pocket (for his money). It’s just that the second part of the sentence is implied…

  2. I live with a german, two english people and another dane, so the house language is english. However, because german and danish is so similar, they also (apparently) share a lot of more or less figurative speech… So the german and the dane will be cooking or whatever, and say stuff like “how strong is it?” “oh, not so bad, it can do with some more chili”, because strong means hot in both languages. Of course this example is really boring, but you get the point and i don’t remember the other instances.. I just find it amazing that they use a third language to speak the words and images of their own.

    • Ah you hit a sore spot there. I can’t say I recognise the experience with the Germans I know. We may have similar expressions, but German and Danish is not similar. It comes from two completely different language groups. And we have very different cultural ways; the Scandinavian culture is quite different to the Germanic. But I’m glad to hear they get along.

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