divendres, 31 d’agost de 2007

For nothing there's no need of hamper

Val. «Per a no res no cal cabàs»

Es diu quan s'ha fet un esforç debades, o contestant a algú que diu que no necessita res.


It's used when an effort has been done in vain.

Linguistic clarification: Valencians normally pronounce the word per a as pa.

A short pencil is better than a good memory

Val. «Memòria curta, llapissera llarga»

Este refrany nos diu que la memòria humana no és infalible, aixina que més val no confiar-se i apuntar en algun lloc les coses importants que cal recordar.

Variants: «Val més llapissera curta que memòria llarga».


This proverb tells us that human memory is limited, so it is better to write down somewhere those things we really want to remember.

Old cauldron: bump or hole

Val. «Caldera vella: bony o forat»

Significa que les coses velles sempre tenen algun defecte.

It's said of old people or things. they always have some deffect.

What a pod had hapenned to me!

Val. «Quina baina m'ha passat!»

It's a set phrase used to express astonishment.

In Valencia the word 'baina' (also beina) can be used as synonymous of 'bother'.

Other example of this used is:

He, uncle pod!

Val. «El tio baina!»

It's used to reproach somebody for something. Most of the time it also implies that the 'baina' person has acted cunningly, that he is a cheeky devil or that he has nerve to to something. Thus, this expression would be a mild reproach, and sometimes even a positive amazement.

To be older than a mortar's bottom

Val. «Ser més vell que un cul de morter»

Significa ser molt vell. També es diu «durar més que un cul de morter (en un bancal)». 


It's said of old people or things.

dijous, 30 d’agost de 2007

To be rougher than a quince

Val.: «Ser més aspre que un codony»

Ser més aspre que un codony significa ser poc afable i de tracte difícil o desagradable. L'expressió també es pot fer servir per a comentar el tacte o el sabor aspre d'algun menjar o d'alguna cosa.


It means 'to have surly temperament'.

Also it can be used for remarking the harsh touch or taste of food or anything else.

To be happier than a jujube [tree]

Val. "Estar més feliç que un gínjol [-er]"

It means to feel (oneself) irresponsible and lucky.

It's said because the jujube tree needs no care to grow up.

Hide the ducks... 'cause people from the capital are coming

Val. "Amagueu els patos*... ...que vénen de la capital"

That sentence is used as a collective warning.

It means that sometimes you must be careful with other people.

Linguistic clarifications:

*Patos is a Spanish barbarism. The standard word in Catalan is ànecs

dimecres, 29 d’agost de 2007

To be dizzier than an 'all-i-oli'* sauce

Val. «Estar més marejat que un allioli»

It's said when somethings makes you sick. All-i-oli is a Valencian gastronomic delicatessen. It's a thick sauce made of crushed garlicks & olive oil. It needs to be stirred a long while, that's why we relate this sauce with a dizzy state.


Es diu quan una persona està marejada, desorientada i confusa.

dimarts, 28 d’agost de 2007

We'll see... "that's what blindmen say"

Val.: «Ja vorem... que diuen els cegos»

S'usa per a indicar desconfiança davant de promeses incertes.


This sentence can be used as independent or as a set reply with comical effect. Its meaning, due to a synonimous effect, has a subtile interpretation. It must be understood this way:

Someone says: We'll see... [that's: maybe we all have an evidence of something at once]

And the reply is: ...that's said by blindmen. [in other words: All blindmen say "we will see at once"].

In any case this sentence is used for displaying mistrust about someone's (even oneselve's) affirmation.

To have a splash-like face

Val. «Tindre cara d'esguit»

It's said of people who have a peculiar face; as they were already spattered by something.

Not to stand up a handspam up from the ground

Val. «No alçar un pam de terra»

It's said of short people or kids.

To be drowned in a glass of water

Val. «Ofegar-se en un got d'aigua»

Ofegar-se en un got d'aigua significa vore's incapaç d'afrontar la més mínima dificultat.


Valencians say that someone chokes in a glass of water when people do not have any courage, they are fainthearted and timorous. It is said about people who are not able to face difficulties.

[To do something] ...as if the world was ending

Val. «[fer alguna cosa] ...com si s'acabara el món»

It means '[To do something] in an exaggerated and hopeless way'

To be the owner of the artichoke field

Val. «Ser l'amo/a del carxofar»

It means 'to assume the leadership of a group'


Val. «Molt!»

It is an interjection used to liven up a situation; especially to congratulate or celebrate someone's initiative.

Ex. "I've bought some beer. // (answer): - Lots!!!"

Open the vine shoot!!!!

Val. «Obri el pàmpol!!!»

It means 'listen carefully'.

Not even to learn to die

Val. «Ni per saber morir»

«Ni per saber morir» significa «de cap de les maneres».


This weird and unaccountable expression can be used for saying 'in no way'.

Ex. «He doesn't moves from the sofa. Not even to learn die.» / «He not even to learn to die will move from the sofa.»

To burst like a firecracker

Val. : «Rebentar com un tronador»

This expression can be used in its literal or figurative meaning. It's said when a situation or a person blows up due to the pressure.


Esta expressió es pot usar en sentit literal o figurat. Es diu quan una situació o una persona rebenta a causa de la pressió.

To have grace in loads of 25 pounds

El signe de l’arrova és ben antic (este és d’Albacete en 1775), i ara ha reviscolat amb l’ús que se’n fa en internet 

Val. «Tindre gràcia per arroves»

Es diu que algú té gràcia per arroves quan té la qualitat de fer riure els altres, quan és bromista i ocurrent; també quan té destresa i habilitat en una activitat, especialment l’artística (ballar, cantar, pintar, etc.). Esta frase feta s’usa, per tant, com a afalac cap a una persona. No obstant, també es pot gastar irònicament, i llavors pren el significat contrari: que la persona és dessaborida, seriosa o bé que, quan pretén bromejar, resulta ridícula o inclús bròfega i desagradable.

Una arrova és una mesura de pes que antigament es feia servir per a pesar productes com la farina, la taronja o l’oli, i hui dia encara està present en la ment de molts llauradors. Segons les zones on es gastava, l’arrova equivalia entre 10 i 13 quilos (com a mesura de massa) o entre 12 i 16 litres (com a mesura de capacitat) segons que el líquid fóra oli o vi. Per això, tindre alguna cosa «per arroves» vol dir, en sentit figurat, lo mateix que tindre’n «a cabassos», o siga, abundantment, sobradament i excessiva. No debades esta locució adverbial s’utilitza en altres frases fetes i refranys, com ara «El mal entra per arroves i se’n va per onces». Este, concretament, vol dir que les desgràcies de la vida nos vénen de sobte i tenen un efecte devastador, que es cura ―se’n va― a poc a poc amb el temps (cal pensar que una onça o unça són només 28,33 grams). 

Exemple d’ús:

Que tornen Noelia i Javi Vila! Cantaven fenomenal, sabien estar en l’escenari, tenien simpatia i eren els millors. [...] Jo tampoc comprenc perquè lleven gent que agrada a tot lo món, com no comprenguí quan et llevaren a tu, Abradelo, amb lo que te volem [...] A vore si tornes a vindre a Xàtiva. Per què no poseu a Noelia i a Javier? Tenen gràcia per arroves. 

Comentari d’un internauta en la web de la presentadora de televisió i cantant Maria Abradelo (adaptat) 


The sentence Tindre la gràcia per arroves (literally, ‘To have grace by loads of 25 pounds’) is a compliment we pay to someone who has a gift for making people laugh. It also means that somebody has talent for painting, drawing or music: he ‘has grace’, that is, he does something gracefully. The compliment, however, is often used ironically. Then it comes to mean just the opposite: he or she is boring or, when he jokes o tries to be funny, he is coarse and disagreeable. 

An arrova is a customary unit of weight, mass or volume in Valencian agriculture. In weight it was equal to 25 pounds (11.5 kg) in Spain, and 32 pounds (14.7 kg) in Portugal. Per arroves in the popular saying comes to mean ‘a lot’.

To be a demon

Val. «Ser un dimoni»

It means 'to have an annoying behaviour'

To puzzle the Devil

Val. «Marejar el dimoni»

It is said when someone has a confusing attitude that makes sick everyone around him.

Ex. 'Stop doing that. You're puzzling the Devil!'

dilluns, 27 d’agost de 2007

The Fig Anthology

'Fig' is the Valencian equivalent for english swearword 'cunt'.

It's also used for name the fruits of the fig tree.

There's a whole collection on set phrases inpired by or around the fig. In his literal and figurative meaning...

- To have a fig as big as a hamper

Val. «Tindre una figa com un cabàs»
It means 'to be very lazy and irresponsible'

- To remain with one's fig well wide

«Quedar-se amb la figa ben ampla»
It means 'to avoid the effort of solve a trouble'

- To be a soft fig
«Ser una figa molla»
It's said about fainthearted or timorous people who do not usually take the initiative.

- Your aunt's fig
«La figa (de) 'ta tia»
It's an interjection that means 'in no way'

- To do fig (your legs)
«Fer figa (les cames)»
It's said when a limb or muscle fails.

- To be a fig-sucker
«Ser un llepafigues»
It's said of people who butter up other people or, in a general, about flatterers.

- To be up to the fig
«Estar fins la figa»
It means 'to be fed up of stand a situation'

- To touch oneselve's fig
«Tocar-se la figa»
It means 'to do nothing'

- To be a fig full of tooth
«Ser una figa amb dents»
It means 'to be fainthearted'

- In summer the fig searches for the dick
see entry

- The normal way is the fig for the bird
see entry

- A fig hair holds more appeal than a ship's hawser

see entry

To become stick dial

Val. «Tornar-se varilla»

Many devices have a gauge or stick indicator (odometer, speedometer) that fluctuates depending on a set parameter.

With this expression, Valencians would mean 'to become absolutely mad'; like a crazy stick meter on a flood device.

The silliest one makes clocks in here

Val. «Ací el més tonto* fa rellotges»

It's a comic sentence for saying that there's a lot of astute or shrewd people gathered together.

* standard: beneït

Man at night, puppet at day

Val. «Home de nit, ninot de dia»

It is used by parents when a son comes back home very late.

All prostitutes have fortune and I'm a bitch and a half and I don't have anything

Val.: «Totes les putes tenen fortuna i jo puta i mitja i no en tinc ninguna»

It's a wailing refrain related with the fate of some women.

Were envy ringworm, what a lot of scabby people we’d see!

La monomaníaca de l’enveja o Hiena de Salpêtrière, de Théodore Géricault.

Val. «Si l’enveja fora tinya, quants tinyosos hi haurien!»

Este refrany significa que l’enveja és un mal que afecta molta gent, encara que a sovint no ho advertim. I és que, mentres que la tinya és una infecció que es detecta a primera vista —els afectats presenten caspa, escames, crostes o pústules en la zona capil·lar—, l’enveja és un sentiment i, com a tal, no és tan visible, especialment perquè qui l’experimenta el tracta d’amagar. L’enveja es detecta a través dels actes de les persones a mesura que les coneixem; si fora tan visible com la tinya, nos faríem creus de quants envejosos tenim prop de nosaltres.

«Si l’enveja fora tinya, tothom portaria barret».
«Si l’enveja fora tinya, no voríem mai el sol».


This proverb means that envy is a resentful emotion that affects lots of people around us, although we don’t often realize it. Ringworm is a condition detectable at first sight —sick people present dandruffs or pustules in the scalp—, whereas envy is a feeling and, as such, it’s not that visible, especially because the greedy person tries to hide it. We detect envy through people’s behavior as we get to know them. Were envy so visible as ringworm, we’d be surprised how many envious people are close to us.

To be like chicken's stack

Val.: «Estar com una garbera de galls»

Significa estar completament boig. També es diu «Estar com un cabàs de gats».


It is said of someone who is very crazy.

You'll be rid of being a miller, but you won't escape from being a thief

Val. «De moliner fugiràs, però de lladre no te n'escaparàs»

It's said to bad people who cannot avoid their wickedness in any situation. Like a corrupt miller who changes his occupation but cannot get rid of his evil behaviour.

To cause more damage than a hailstorm

Val.: «Fer més mal que una pedregada»

Es diu que una persona o una acció fa més mal que una pedregada quan és molt perjudicial i produïx un mal difícil de reparar. Es compara amb una pedregada perquè es tracta dun fenomen meteorològic molt destructiu per als cultius, que pot fer malbé la collita i, amb això, la faena de tot un any. Poden fer més mal que una pedregada, per exemple, un delinqüent o un criminal, un exèrcit invasor, una decisió política, etc.


«Un nou centre comercial [...] dedicat exclusivament a superfícies comercials faria més mal que una pedregada als comerços de l’interior de Gandia»

«Si no heu anat mai, hui fa un dia boníssim per a visitar el castell de Sagunt i la ciutat romana per on va passar Anníbal fent més mal que una pedregada».


Fer més mal que una pedregada (literally, ‘To cause more damage than a hailstorm’) means to be very harmful and damaging. It is often said about people like offenders, thieves or murderers, who cause irreparable damage to other people, and also about policy measures or military actions that have a negative impact on citizens. Just like a hailstorm wipes out the harvest, human behaviour can be very harmful.

Linguistic clarification: Valencians generally pronounce the word pedregada as pedregà in everyday speech, dropping the d.

To be blockheader than a bundle of stem

Val. «Ser més burro que una garba de canyots»

It's said of someone who is seriously dumb.

By fire!

Val. «A foc!»

Interjection used to liven up a situation.

If you are hungry, have a bellow

Val. «Si tens fam, pega un bram»

It's just a play on words used as a reply to someone who says 'I feel hungry'

Who wants no dust, mustn't go to the threshing floor

Val. «Qui no vullga pols que no vaja a l’era»

Esta expressió s’utilitza per a explicar que qualsevol acció té les seues conseqüències, i tu eres l’únic responsable de ficar-te en problemes o en situacions que et poden fer mal. Això s’expressa amb la metàfora de la pols (què és una cosa negativa): en una era sempre n’hi ha, aixina que si no vols trobar pols, millor no vages ahí.


This expression is used to explain that some actions obviously have their consequences, and you are the only responsible of getting into trouble or mixed up in situations that may harm you. This is expressed with the metaphor of the dust (which is a negative thing): at a threshing floor (era) you’ll always find dust. So if you don’t want to encounter dust, you better think it twice and don’t go there.

Era (Catalan word for ‘threshing floor’) is a well-known place by Valencians. It is a large stretch of hard floor where the grain is threshed. This is a traditional construction in the rural areas of the Valencian Country, one of the major rice producers of the world.

To have spirits higher than C. D. Alcoià

Val.: «Tindre més moral que l'Alcoià»

Tindre més moral que l'alcoià vol dir tindre molta moral, ser persistent contra l’adversitat.


It means 'to have lots of optimism', regarding to the history of C. D. Alcoyano (see links below).

- variation(s):

To have as much morale as Alcoià


More about C. D. Alcoyano in Wikipedia (Val.)
More about C. D. Alcoyano in Wikipedia (Eng.)

To be more pumpkin* than made to order

Val.: «Ser més carabassa que manat a fer»

* pumpkin also means 'dumb' in Valencian. It means that someone is so dumb that it seems they have made him on purpose.

To catch a breast hair

Val.: «Agafar un pèl de mamella»

Agafaràs un pèl de mamella! és una expressió que hui s’usa per a advertir a algú que, si no s’abriga, podria refredar-se. Però un pèl de mamella no és un constipat, sinó una denominació popular de la mastitis, una inflamació de les mamelles que es produïx en les mares lactants i, algunes vegades, en nounats i adolescents. Alguns símptomes d’eixa malaltia són els mateixos que els de la grip (el malestar i la febre). Per això, antigament la gent pensava que u corria el risc d’agafar la mastitis si s’exposava a un corrent d’aire fred. Hui dia, la consciència del significat original de «pèl de mamella» s’ha perdut; s’entén com a sinònim de constipat o grip, i l’ús s’ha restringit a esta advertència per a qui no es cuida del fred.


«Feia molt de fred […] de poc va anar que no ens agafés un pèl de mamella!».
(d’un blog de Vinaròs)

«¿No agafaran fred? A vore si agarren un pèl de mamella, com diuen al meu poble».
(comentari d’un Flickr en què apareixen unes figures nues)


«Agafaràs un pèl de mamella» ―literally Agafaràs [‘You’ll catch’] un pèl [‘a hair’] de mamella [‘of breast’]― is a sentence used to warn somebody he might catch a cold if he doesn’t wrap up. Curiously, pèl de mamella is not exactly a cold; it is the popular name for puerperal mastitis, an inflammation of the mammary gland in the breast in connection with pregnancy, breastfeeding or weaning. This disease shows flu-like symptoms, that’s why in the past it was thought that people run the risk of catching the disease by exposing themselves to a cold draft.

diumenge, 26 d’agost de 2007

To go around more than Piquer's trunk

Val. «Rodar més que el bagul de la Piquer*»

It means to move (somebody or something) constantly from a place to another.

* It's refered to Concha Piquer, well-known Valencian couplet singer.

- variation(s):

To go around more than a fake coin

Val. «Rodar més que un xavo fals»

To dunk the 'fartó'

Val.: «Mullar el fartó»

És una manera bròfega de dir tindre sexe.


It is a vulgar way for expressing 'to have a screw'

* fartó: Valencian gastronomic delicatessen. It's an elongated bun made of flour, milk, eggs, oil, sugar and backing powder. It's eated complemented with Valencian tiger nut's juice called orxata.
learn more about orxata i fartons.

To have sour flavoured bollocks

Val. «Tindre els collons agres»

It means 'to be fed up of stand a situation'

ex. "I've got sour flavoured bollocks of your arrogance"

To wipe one’s butt with confetti

Val.: «Torcar-se-la amb un confeti»

Es diu, a manera de burla, que una persona se la torca amb un confeti quan és arrogant, estirada, primmirada, melindrosa i susceptible, i en conseqüència tendix a corregir i posar objeccions a lo que diuen, fan o proposen els altres. Sol dir-se de gent que es vana de ser culta o de classe alta o que, sense ser-ho, manifesten igualment un comportament altiu.

Es tracta d’una exageració: s’entén que torcar-se el cul amb un paperet tan xicotet és prova d’una finor i delicadesa que contrasta amb la pràctica del restant dels mortals, que usa paper higiènic.

L’expressió mostra variacions, depenent de com vullgam ser d’explícits: es pot dir torcar-se el cul amb un confeti, torcar-se-la amb un confeti o torcar-s’ho amb un confeti. Totes fan referència als genitals o bé a l’anus.


«Tinc un amic (culte, tercer cicle universitari, una elit en la seva especialitat i que se la torca amb un confeti) que es nega a tocar un ordinador perquè (diu ell) no fa sonets».

D’un apunt sobre la gent que menysprea les noves tecnologies.

«I sí, el que diu Aida conforma ja per ell mateix un estàndard i com a tal l’entén el públic de la sèrie. Però on estan eixos altres estàndards no estàndards en la ficció en valencià? Jo no els veig per ninguna banda. Veig tot el contrari: que continuem torcant-nos-la amb un confeti».

Comentari en un debat sobre la tasca dels correctors lingüístics de les sèries de Canal 9.

Expressions relacionades: Filar prim, Menjar cervellets de canari.


We say in mockery that somebody wipes his butt with confetti (literally es torca [‘wipes’] el cul [‘his/her butt’] amb un confeti [‘with confetti’]) when he or she is a snooty, an arrogant and fussy person who tends to correct and raise objections to everything others say, do or suggest. It is often said about people who boast of being cultured and high-class, even though it may not be true.

This exaggeration implies that wiping one’s butt with such a small piece of paper shows refinement and delicacy in contrast to what ordinary people do, that is, to use toilet paper.

To be ugliest than knock his father with a dirty sock

Val.: «Ser més lleig que pegar-li a un pare amb un calcetí brut»

Someone who is ugly.

Do you know what Hueso said? “Instead of giving orders, do it yourself”

Val. «Saps què va dir Hueso*?: “En lloc de manar-ho, fes-ho”»

Hi han persones que són molt còmodes i tenen el costum de manar als altres que facen coses que els pertocaria fer a elles mateixes. Esta frase servix de resposta per a quan algú nos mana fer alguna cosa que ell o ella pot fer perfectament. En el temps que la persona usa donant l’orde, podria fer l’acció desitjada ell mateix.

Amb este sentit, hi ha un refrany molt semblant: «Més val fer-ho que manar-ho». Este afig un altre matís de significat: per a que tot ixca bé i exactament com nosaltres hem pensat, millor no deixar la faena en mans d’un altre.

*«Hueso» deu ser el nom d’un personatge fictici, el nom del qual s’aprofita per a fer la rima.


There are lazy people who use to ask everyone to do things they are supposed to do. This expression is a set reply to those who give us an order that they themselves are perfectly able to carry out. It means that during the time you waste giving the order you could have performed it yourself.

Hueso would be just a sort of fictitious character whose name helped to make a rhymed sentence. Hueso is the Spanish word for ‘bone’.

Possible alternatives:

«Do you know what Bone said? “While you give the order, you could have done it yourself”»

«Saps que va dir Hueso? “Mentres ho manes, fes-ho”»

To be (/remain) more bitter than a lupin field

Val. «Estar (o quedar-se) més amarg que un tramussar»

Estar més amarg que un tramussar significa estar afectat per un gran dolor físic o moral; també significa ser molt lleig.


It means 'to exit damaged or harmed from a situation'. It is a mistery why Valencians use that set phrase, because lupin beans aren't bitter at all (but maybe the lupin plant has bitter taste).

With money, nougat candies

Val. «Amb diners, torrons»

It means that anything can be obtained by the power of money. The Valencian syntactic structure must be understood this way: "If you have got money, you have got nougat candies".

Common sense!

Val. «Coneiximent!»

Este és un consell que els pares, els iaios o simplement la gent major diuen als jóvens quan estan a punt d’eixir (de viatge, de festa,etc.) perquè es comporten bé i no beguen en excés.


This is an advice that parents, grandparents or just old people repeat to the young, asking them to behave properly and not to drink excessively.

Some other synonymous interjections hard to translate are:

―Crisma! (‘Chrism’, meaning common sense)


―Trellat! (meaning ‘reason’ and ‘common sense’)

Hold on!

Val. «Aguanta!»

Esta interjecció s’utilitza quan algú està fent una cosa molesta, perquè pare. També s’usa per a demanar calma a la gent que té un caràcter impulsiu.


This interjection is used for making someone stop doing something that is annoying. It can also be used for calming down someone’s impulsive nature.

Some equivalents in English: ‘Hang on!’; ‘Hold on a minute!’


Val. «Llenya!»

This interjection it's used for cheering up people, in order to encourage him to take the most of an action (drinking, for example).

Master’s love, water in a basket [and servant’s in a hamper]

Val. «Amor d’amo, aigua en cistella [i el de criat en panera]»

Este refrany parla de les relacions entre amos i criats, entre caps i treballadors. Vol dir que en qualsevol relació en què una de les parts té poder i autoritat sobre l’altra, l’afecte que el superior puga mostrar pel subordinat ―o viceversa— no serà mai sincer, perquè segurament estarà suscitat per l’interés d’un per traure profit de l’altre. La falsedat i la caducitat d’este «amor» es mostra a través d’esta metàfora: l’aigua que, en ficar-la en una cistella de vímet, s’escola i desapareix tan prompte comencem a omplir-la.


This proverb talks about the relationship between masters and servants. It means that every human relationship based on the use of power and authority cannot be honest and sincere. Love cannot occur between them because both master and servant act purely in their own interest. Hence the metaphor of the falseness of a love like this: if you try to carry water on a wicker basket or a hamper, the liquid drains through the gaps.

Observacions: Una altra expressió amb la locució i la metàfora «aigua en cistella» és «Amor de donzella, aigua en cistella».

Mother who goes... and father who comes back

Val. «La mare que va.... i el pare que torna»

This senseless set sentence is used to avoid a swearword when we are in the presence of kids or in a public context.

The original phrase would be:

"[I crap on] the mother who gave you birth"

Val. «[Me cague en] la mare que et va parir»

But in order to avoid this rude expression, we change the set phrase and add the sentence about the father.
This is possible as the auxiliary verb which forms the past in Valencian is also the verb 'to go'. Thus, if in the rude original expression we split "va parir" (gave you birth) and leave just "va" it can be interpreted as 'she goes', especially if we ad the second sentence i el pare que torna (and the father who comes back).

To heat oneself's pot

Val.: «Calfar-se el perol»

Significa preocupar-se de manera constant i ininterrompuda per un tema.


It means 'to think harder about something' or 'to think in a deep and unsttoped way'. It's used when any matter is the cause of a serious worrying and our head starts heating like a pot or a saucepan on a burner.

dissabte, 25 d’agost de 2007

To be meaner than tench in juice

Val. «Ser més roí que la tenca en suc»

Un valencià diria això a un altre que no es comporta bé i reincidix una vegada i una altra en la mateixa actitud vil.


A Valencian would say this to another guy when the latter behaves in an improper way and relapses again and again into the same attitude. The saying means something like: ‘There is no hope for you’, ‘You’re hopeless’, ‘There’s no way of dealing with you.’
The two translations into English are due to the fact that roí in the original saying refers both to the evil nature of the character and to the bad flavour of the fish in question.

*also To be worst than tench in juice

divendres, 24 d’agost de 2007

The tongue tastes from what it talks

Val.: «La llengua, del que parla, tasta» / «Del que parlaràs tastaràs»

Significa que no hem de condemnar o criticar el comportament dels altres, perquè algun dia nosaltres podríem comportar-nos de la mateixa manera, acabar fent el que tant critiquem.

Exemple: No digues que mai seràs infidel a la teua parella, perquè la llengua del que parla tasta.


It means that we should not rashly condemn or criticise someone’s behaviour, cause we could end up behaving the same way in a given future. You never know when the same thing might happen to you.

E.g. Don’t say you would never leave your girlfriend cause the tongue tastes from what it talks.

To be wicker than Rope-Cutter

Val. «Ser més roí que Tallacordes»

És una frase feta basada en un personatge fictici de l’imaginari popular valencià.


It’s just another set phrase based on a fictitious character of Valencian traditional tales and stories.
If you're cold, wrap you up in a fart

Val. «Si tens fred, embolica't en un pet»

This is one of the many comical (often dirty) rhymes that Valencians use just for fun, as a joke. The substance of these expressions is on the rhyme and on their insolence. Here you have another one:

If you're thirsty, take a piss and drink straight from the bottle

Val. «Si tens set, pixa i beu al gallet»

When a woman looks at you and laughs, it's because she wants dick but she doesn't tell you

Val. «Quan la dona et mira i es riu, és que vol piu i no t'ho diu»

Used to explain the wish of a woman of having sex with a male. She is very shy to ask for sex and the desire just makes her smile.

Like a brothel without a brothel boss

Val.: «Com una casa de putes (sense ama)»

Es diu del lloc on regna un gran desorde, on tota la gent fa el que li pareix.


Used to explain a situation of chaos caused by the absence of somebody who lacks the profile of a leader.

Eat, drink and have fun, and don’t be a “green-bean”, Baptist

Val. «Menja, beu i divertix-te i no sigues bajoca, Batiste*»

Esta rima nos aconsella que aprofitem les coses bones de la vida, que evitem la tristor i el patiment. Bajoca, a més de l’embolcall d’un llegum, en llenguatge col·loquial significa «babau».


This piece of advice means that we have to take the most of good things of life, and avoid sorrow and suffering. Bajoca (literally ‘green bean’) in colloquial Valencian means ‘dumb’.

Those who don’t work when young, when old will sleep on the straw

Val. «Qui de jove no treballa, de vell dorm en la palla»

Este aforisme recomana a la joventut que treballen mentres són jóvens, perquè com més com més diners guanyen, millor serà la qualitat de vida quan siguen majors. Si fan el gandul de jóvens, de vells no tindran on caure morts.


This aphorism encourages people to work when they are young, because the more money they earn, the better standard of living they will reach when they are old. If they idle, when old they won’t have a place to lay their heads.

dijous, 23 d’agost de 2007

Westerly wind: cold water and hot wine

Val. «Ponent: aigua freda i vi calent»

Este és un refrany que els valencians diem quan bufa el vent de ponent. En València, eixe vent és molt calent i la millor protecció és beure aigua fresca o vi.


It’s a saying that Valencians use when it's blowing the westerly wind. Here in Valencia this wind is hot and our best selfprotection is to drink cold water or just wine.

To hurt more than a grass stucked into the eye

Val. «Molestar més que una brossa en l'ull»

It's used for telling of someone who is bothering too much.

All agrees to the rich or crazy man

Val.: «Al ric i al loco*, tot li para bé»

Valencians use this refrain to mean that not only madness but money justify any weird behaviour.

* standard: boig

The procession takes place inside

Val.: «La processó va per dins»

Ho diuen les persones que no exterioritzen el seu patiment, per a fer saber al seu interlocutor que, encaraque no ho fan vore, patixen.


This is a sentence people who are suffering say, meaning that although they do not reveal it, they suffer in their heart.

This is a fine time to take out the green-haired woman

Val. «A bones hores trauen la del monyo verd»

Valencians use this sentence when somebody arrives very late.

The Lord laughs about dick's sins

Val.: «Dels pecats del piu, el Senyor se'n riu»

S'usa per a indicar que les faltes sexuals no es consideren greus.


With this refrain Valencians admit that punishment applied to the practice of sex is senseless.

Bye bye, beans crop!

Val.: «Adéu, camp de faves!»

It's a wailing set phrase that can be used when something becomes unrecoverable. Like a harvest of beans swept by a downpour.

Hey, the one of the oil!

Val. «Ie, el de l'oli!»

Interjection used as a greeting among friends (must be said loudly).

Hardly anything says the newspaper!!!!

Val. «Quasi res porta el diari!!!!»

This sentence is used for express astonishment about the complexity of a concrete situation.

Women and hen, market.

Val.: «Dones i gallina, mercat»

Is it used for to say that women speak loud or shouting.

Women: cabbages

Val. «Dones: cols»

Is it a despective sentence about women. It means that, you can't do anything with a woman.

To be a harder work than a loose pig

Val. «Donar més faena que un porc solt» 

Donar més faena que un porc solt significa causar moltes molèsties o donar molt de treball, tant una persona com una activitat. La comparança amb el porc solt prové del fet que atrapar eixos animals és un repte, ja que són ràpids, desconfiats i intel·ligents. 

Exemple d'ús:
«Estic baldada. Eixe hivernacle em dóna més faena que un porc solt...» 
Mataren el verd, de Carme Miquel (pàgina 109) 

«Fer més mal que un porc solt»
«Donar més faena que un bou»
«Donar més faena que una onça de cucs»


Valencians use this expression (literally Donar ['to give'] més faena ['more work'] que un porc solt ['than a loose pig'] when something involves hard work or when somebody is a bother. Trapping a loose pig is a challenge as they are fast, suspicious, and smart.

To hold the tide

Val.: «Aguantar marea»

Significa aguantar estoicament i amb paciència les adversitats.


It means "to confront stoically any adversity".

To crap by half ass

Val. «Cagar per mig cul»

It is said to miserly people who prefer suffering or hardship to spent any money.

dimecres, 22 d’agost de 2007

We've just drunk oil

Val.: «Ja hem begut oli»

Haver begut oli significa no haver-hi ja remei, estar perdut, haver caigut en un perill.


It is said when a given situation has just turned bad, you are lost, apparently there is not solution.

Roll up your trouser leg and you'll see a cloud of dust

Val.: «Arromanga't el camal i voràs que polseguera»

With this expression, Valencian males warn females that their sexual desire is urgent and uncontrollable. Just to see a piece of skin coming up from a trouser leg (or skirt) can arouse him to the top.


Amb esta expressió, els hòmens valencians avisen les dones que el seu desig sexual és urgent i incontrolable. Només en vore un clap de pell aparèixer davall d'un camal (o falda) pot posar-lo molt calent.

Young horse in old cart: destroyed cart

Val. «Haca jove, carro vell: desfet el carro»

The meaning of this saying is related with the impetuosity of youth.

Air, coalman!

Val. «Aire, carboner!»

This interjection it's used to rush people to do something.

We only recall Saint Barbara when it thunders

Val. «Només recordem Santa Bàrbara* quan trona»

This refrain means that people are only concerned about a trouble when it's too late and the consequences are unavoidables.

*Saint Barbara: Valencian patron Saint of storms

dimarts, 21 d’agost de 2007

To blow on cold stock

Val. «Bufar en caldo gelat»

Bufar en caldo gelat significa esforçar-se inútilment o bé fer ostentació d'una situació benestant que realment no es posseïx.


It means to make an effort in vain, because there is no solution for a situation and all the remedies make things worse. It also means to flaunt a healthy situation when you don't really belong to the middle-class.

To go before the storms

Val.: «Anar per davant de les tronades»

Significa previndre les adversitats.


It is said of the reckless people, regarding to their toughtless behaviour.

Valencians usually pronounce tronades as tronaes (dropping the d) in everyday speech.

There are more days than pork-sausages

Val. «Hi han més dies que llonganisses»

S'usa per a indicar que hi ha molt de temps disponible o de sobra per a fer una cosa.


Popular expression used to remark that there's always plenty of time to do things.

In summertime the fig looks for the dick

Val. «En estiu, la figa busca el piu»

This refrain emphasizes the fact of female sexual effervescence during the summer season.

The normal way is the fig to the bird

Val. «Lo normal és la figa pa'l pardal».

La rima prové de la creença que lo natural és que als hòmens els agraden les dones i viceversa.


It means that everytime there's a natural way of doing things.

In here there is implied a clear sexual connotation as figa (fig) is a colloquial word for 'vagina' and pardal (bird) is its homonymous for 'dick'. Basically it comes from the belief that the natural thing is that men like women and vice versa.

*Lo (standard: Allò / El)
**pa'l (standard: per al)

Four men for load the saint platform, and it stills on the ground!

Val. «Quatre pa' l'anda... i l'anda en terra!»

It's said when, in a cooperative work, people gives preference to discussion rather than make an effort.

Money and bollocks are just for the occasions

Val.: «Els diners i els collons són per a les ocasions»

Frase que convida a disfrutar dels diners quan se'n tenen.


It means that, actually, people have just a few chances in life to enjoy prosperity and passion.

Those who don't cry, don't suck

Val. «Qui no plora, no mama»

It means that no reward or wish can be accomplished without complainings or effort.

To embitter more than the oleander

Val. «Amargar més que el baladre»

A Valencian would say, when speaking of a person, that he or she embitters more than the oleander when this person is so annoying and pessimistic that makes you feel bad and depressed after having a conversation with him/her. The saying refers to the deadly toxicity of this plant.


Un valencià diria d’un altre que «amarga més que el baladre» quan eixa persona és desagradable i pessimista fins al punt que que parlar amb ella nos afecta l’ànim i nos fa vore-ho tot negre també. L’origen de l’expressió cal buscar-lo en la toxicitat mortal de la planta.

Related expressions: Amargar més que la retrama

God gives carob beans to those who can not gnaw it

Val.: «Déu dona garrofes a qui no les pot rosegar»

Significa que a vegades les persones tenen un destí no desitjat per injustícies de la vida.


It means that sometimes people has an unwanted fate because of the unfairness of life.

To be heavier than a watermelon necklace

Val. «Ser més pesat que un collar de melons d'Alger»

It's said to people who is unbearable.

To carry on with a fart big as an axe

Val. «Portar un pet com una estral»

It's said to anyone who gets hardly drunk. In Valencian 'fart' and 'drunkenness' are synonymous.


Es diu d'algú que està en un estat d'embriaguesa forta. En valencià, «pet» i «borratxera» són sinònims.


- To carry on with a fart...

...as a General - (Val. ...com un General)

...as a hamper - (Val. ...com un cabàs)

...as a hoe - (Val. ...com una aixà)

To be dumber than Heel

Val. «Ser més burro que Tacó»

Ser més burro que Tacó significa ser molt estúpid, d'intel·ligència molt obtusa.


It is said to people who are pigheaded or clumsy.

To be wicker than 'Fire-Skinner'

Val. «Ser més mal (/roí) que Pela-focs»

It's said to people who have a really bad behaviour; 'Fire-Skinner' would just be a fictitious character of Valencian culture, like many others as 'Carracuca', 'Garró' (Eng. Pig's Knuckle), 'Tacó' (Eng. Heel), etc.

dilluns, 20 d’agost de 2007

He who does not ressemble his father is a pig

Val. «Qui no li sembla a son pare és un porc»

S'usa per a indicar que els fills, per herència o per imitació, solen semblar-se als pares.


This sentence states the idea that clihdren usually resemble their parents.


Val. «Redéu!»

Interjection used for express astonishment or complaint.

To go out with hot ear

Val. «Eixir calent d'orella»

It is said when someone has a violent punishment as a consequence of his audacity (or insolence).

There where the tuna fish bellows

Val. «Allà a on brama la tonyina»

Dir que una cosa està allà a on brama la tonyina significa que eixa cosa està molt llunt.


It’s used for emphasizing the long distance of a place.

From musician father, player (/dancer) son

Val. «De pare músic, fill tocaor (/ballaor)»

S'usa per a indicar que els fills solen tindre el mateix caràcter i les mateixes inclinacions que els pares.


This saying means that things that there is always in you something that stems from your parents.


Val. Aguarda!

Interjection that we Valencians use to express our astonishment about something.

diumenge, 19 d’agost de 2007

The dead man talks to the beheaded man! (who made that hole in you?)

Val. «Li diu el mort al degollat! (qui t'ha fet eixe forat?)»

A Valencian will say this saying as an answer to a reproach made by somebody who should not make it, as he has the same (or even worse) fault or shortcoming or that is guilty of the same accusation.

(The second sentence between brackets is meant just to rhyme with the first.)

Each little casserole has it's little cover

Val.: «Cada cassoleta té la seua tapadoreta»

It's used for explain that anybody will find her/his life love.

Hold the wax candle, this is gonna be a lengthy procession

Val. «Agafa el ciri, que la processó és llarga»

It's used when there's the suspicion that a given situation (or its consequences) is going to be lengthy one.

We've seen ourselves so good and now we're wearing glasses

Val. «Tan bé que nos hem vist i ara amb ulleres»

Amb esta expressió nos lamentem del fet de fer-se vell i dels efectes que això té en nosaltres.


This expression is a kind of lament: it curses the fact that all of us as humans are bound to grow old.

A «fig hair» holds more appeal than a ship's hawser

I borrowed this picture from this site

Val. «Tira més un pèl de figa que una maroma de barco»

Este refrany evidencia la poderosa influència del sexe femení sobre la voluntat. Un pèl és una cosa fràgil, mentres que una maroma de barco és resistent. No obstant això, el pèl de figa (que simbolitza la dona i el seu atractiu sexual) atrau més la voluntat dels hòmens cap a un lloc que una corda grossa com les que s’usen per a amarrar barcos.


The Valencian word figa has several meanings. One of them ‘the fruit of the fig’. However, in colloquial language it also means ‘female vagina’. With this meaning, Valencians have created the proverb Tira més un pèl de figa que una maroma de barco (literally, A fig hair holds more appeal than a ship’s hawser), meaning that the influence that the female sex exerts on men is very powerful: a vagina hair verb would attract men more than a hawser tied around them (tirar means both ‘pull’ and ‘appeal’).

Those who sing at table and eat in bed are out of his mind

Val.: «Qui canta en taula i menja al llit no té l'enteniment complit»

Este refrany recorda que cal comportar-se correctament en cada situació si no volem que nos prenguen per bovos. Els iaios i els pares dirien esta expressió als seus fills quan, per exemple, els xiquets estan dinant o sopant i es posen a mirar el telèfon mòbil en compte de dedicar-se a menjar.


This saying encourage us to behave rightly in each situation if we do not want to be dismissed as mad. Grandma would tell you this, for instance, when you are having dinner and suddenly you start using your mobile phone.

This proverb offers many alternatives as there are counties in our linguistic scope:

Qui canta a la taula i xiula al llit, té el seny poc eixerit (Catalonia)
Qui canta a sa taula i pixa en es llit, no té es coneixement complit (Mallorca)
Qui canta en taula i xiula al llit, no té l'enteniment complit (Land of Valencia)

dissabte, 18 d’agost de 2007

Sprinkle, 'cause it's raining!

Val. Arruixa, que plou!

The figuratively meaning of this refrain is related to the stubborn character of many people of our country, those who insist in making something that causes a damage; like a gardener watering a plant during a hard rain.


El sentit figurat d'este refrany està relacionat amb el caràcter tossut d'alguna gent del nostre país, dels qui insistixen en fer alguna cosa que causa dany, com un jardiner que rega una planta quan està plovent. Es diu davant d’una reprimenda o per a mostrar que u no fa cas de lo que li diuen o ordenen.
If you don't fuck in Falles*, don't miss it in Easter

Val. «Si en falles no folles, en pasqua no falles»

Valencian celebrations are good opportunities to get off with somebody. Everybody seems to know everybody, people are happy (often drunk) and the towns are crowded. A good Valencian friend will always remind you about it.

Falles: Valencian celebration of the feast of St Joseph

Unfortunate man, with his own bollocks stumbles

Val. «El que és desgraciat, amb els collons entropessa»

S'usa per a lamentar que tot li ix malament a algú.


It is used when we feel sorry for those persons whose misfortune is the cause of their personal disgrace.
It's raining a little, though raining so little, it's raining enough

Val. «Plou poc, però per a lo poc que plou, plou prou»

Just a play on words about the occasional rains in our country.

Eat a lot, shit hard and don't be afraid of dying

Val. «Menja molt i caga fort i no tingues por a la mort»

This is a piece of advice which is self-explaining, a piece of Valencian idiosyncrasy and philosophy in one sentence.


Esta dita s'explica per ella mateixa, és un bri de la idiosincràsia i la filosofia valenciana, tot en una frase.

To be happier than a dog with a lung

Un cobrador daurat rosegant ben pagat (de Wikimedia Commons)

Val.: «Estar més content que un gos amb un lleu»

«Estar més content que un gos amb un lleu» significa estar molt content i satisfet. La comparació prové del costum d’alimentar els gossos amb la freixura, anomenada també corada (i els seus diminutius coradeta i coradella). Les dos paraules es referixen al conjunt vísceres dels animals que les persones no solem menjar i que es poden demanar al carnisser; freixura bàsicament al lleu o pulmó i coradeta també a l’òrgan del cor.


«Estar més content que un gos amb un lleu», (literally, Estar [to be] més content [happier] que [than] un [a] gos [dog] amb [with] un [a] lleu [lung] means to be happy and satisfied. The comparison comes from the habit of feeding offal to dogs, especially lung as food.

I've got a hamper of the same colour

Val.: «Del mateix color tinc un sarnatxo»

S'usa per a remarcar, de manera irònica, la manca de veracitat del comentari que algú ha fet.


This sentence is used to express, ironically, the lack of truthfulness of someone's comment.


- This morning I've been in Formentera taking a sunbath sorrounded by lovely womans.

- Oh, sure! I've got a hamper of the same colour...

Going more dressed up than Pica-sàries

Val. Anar més mudat que Pica-sàries

divendres, 17 d’agost de 2007

To be made out of the Devil's skin

Val. «Ser de la pell del dimoni»

A careful Valencian grandma would advise her grandchildren not to hang around with those who are de la pell del dimoni, that is, those rascals who are a veery bad influence.

Every stone makes the wall

Val. «Tota pedra fa paret»

This expression means that any help, even a small thing, is useful in order to achieve something.


Esta expressió vol dir que qualsevol ajuda, fins i tot el detall més insignificant, és útil per a aconseguir alguna cosa.

dijous, 16 d’agost de 2007

This is Rosemary Honey!

Val.: Ser mel de romer

A native Valencian will use this sentence to mean that something (basically food) is tasty or delicious. Sometimes this expression is preceded by the emphatic interjection Xe, resulting as follows:

Xe! Açò és mel de romer!

and return the trunk to the kid!

Val.: «Tornar-li la trompa al xic!»

S'usa per a posar en relleu la cabuderia d'una persona que reincidix a voler fer una cosa o a repetir alguna cosa insistentment.


Popular expression commonly used in arguments, meaning that someone is always using the same reasoning, being even annoying.

Who is hungry dreams of bread rolls

Val. «Qui té fam somia rotllos»

Este refrany vol dir que la gent sempre desitja el que no té o el que li fa falta ―siga açò menjar, diners, sexe, etc.— fins al punt de fantasiejar o obsessionar-s’hi.


It means that people always wish what they don’t have ―be it food, money, sex, etc.—, and sometimes it verges on obsession.

What do you think big eared [big snout/ potbellied]?

Val. Que t'ha paregut forellut [morrut/panxut]?.

Colloquial expresion used to remark some fact that is rare or unusual

To be of the itching year

Val. Ser de l'any de la picor
Mainly it is said when someone or something is very old

dimecres, 15 d’agost de 2007

Ey, brunette, do you fancy an idle bird?

Val. «Ei morena, vols un pardal sense faena?»
It is a distasteful comment used when a Valencian is captivated by the sight of a charming woman walking by the street and deems convenient to offer her his private parts...


Ey, blondie, do you fancy a wingless bird?Val. «Ei rubiales*, vols un pardal sens(e) ales?»* standard: rosseta

Strangers will come and will throw us out of home

Val. «Forasters vindran i de casa nos trauran»
«De fora vindran i de casa nos trauran»

Esta frase s’utilitza quan un foraster o nouvingut menysprea la cultura, costums i llengua del país, quan no s’hi vol adaptar.


It is used when a native Valencian remarks the inappropriate attitude of a foreigner who despises the culture and language of the Valencian country, and refuses to adapt himself to it.
To have more keys than the organ of Sollana

Val. «Tindre més tecles que l'orgue de Sollana»

It is used to mean that somebody is too touchy, oversensitive, irritable or pernickety.

To go as droppings along an irrigation canal

Val.: «Anar com cagalló per séquia»

Anar com cagalló per séquia significa obrar sense voluntat pròpia, portat per les circumstàncies o per la voluntat d'un altre.


Valencians say this expression when one is lead by circumstances or by someone else's will and he/she is unable and helpless to change a situation.
To go hungry as a pig's knuckle

Val. Passar més fam que garró / Tindre més fam que garró

It is used when somebody is starving
To gobble down more than a little leech

Val. Menjar més que sangonereta

To eat more than a river bend

Val. Menjar més que una revolta de riu

Both are used when somebody eats far more than necessary

No friar butts for free... and if he does so, it's badly done

Val. «Debades, ningun frare pega cabotades»

S’usa per a indicar que ningú tregalla o fa alguna cosa sense obtindre res a canvi. L’acció de pegar cabotades es referix probablement a l’acte de resar o pregar.


It means that nobody works for free, without expecting anything in return. The head banging probably refers to the act of praying.

Certainly, my dear

Val. «Ausades, vida»

S’usa per a intensificar allò que es diu.


It is used to agree with what the other person has just said, to emphasize that there can be no doubt about it.

Equivalent expressions in English: Indeed, certainly.