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CULTURE

The Illustrated Book of Sayings

Weird, funny and gross idioms from all over the world that sometimes just don't translate

by Katie Olsen
on 31 August 2016

Writer and illustrator, Ella Frances Sanders' new book "The Illustrated Book of Sayings" is a charming collection of idioms that get lost in translation. The kinds of phrases you don't often hear in traditional language lessons, these are the sayings that you learn when immersed in a culture. From the bleak to the romantic and straight-up weird, each one is explained in words and pictures—perfectly outlining the sometimes hard-to-comprehend concepts.

There are too many favorites to list. However, one standout is "jeegaretō bokhoram" which is Farsi and translates to "I will eat your liver"—surprisingly it's not a threat, but actually a term of endearment; a way to express immense affection for a loved one. From the Japanese "to wear a cat on your head" (to fein innocence), to the Russian "I'll show her/him where the crayfish spends the winter" (to give somebody a piece of your mind) and the Australian English term for something going rotten or feeling unwell, "off like a bucket of prawns in the midday sun," these sayings are weird and wonderful and worth keeping in your mind for the perfect occasion.

Officially set for release 13 September, "The Illustrated Book of Sayings" is available for pre-order online now, for $15.

Images by Cool Hunting

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