dilluns, 22 de desembre de 2008

Nose and compass are two of a kind

Val.: «Segons el nas, el compàs»

Penis size is often believed to be related to the size of the nose. This expression shows how Valencian people bear in mind one of the most popular myths about the male organ of copulation.


Un mite molt estés per tot el món és que la mida de l’òrgan masculí erèctil està estretament relacionada amb la del nas. L’ús d’esta expressió fa palesa eixa creença popular.

Linguistic clarifications:

The word "compass(es)" (compàs, in Valencian) in this context is an euphemism for ‘penis’. Another words referring penis in this language are piu ("peg", "pin" or "bolt"), pardal ("bird"), xufa ("tiger nut"), tita ("turkey hen"), cigala ("crayfish"), etc.

divendres, 12 de desembre de 2008

To have one’s first ears

Val. «Tindre encara les primeres orelles»

Significa no haver canviat, ser el mateix de sempre. Esta expressió es pot utilitzar, per exemple, quan algú intenta fer vore que és més jove del que realment és. Un altre li pot contestar irònicament: Tu, sí, tens encara les primeres orelles!


It means to remain young. You may use this expression as a reply when somebody tries to make you believe that he is younger than he really is. You may tell him: Yes, you are so young, you still have your first ears! This would be a subtle way to mean that you don’t believe him.

dijous, 30 d’octubre de 2008

Saint Anthony fell in love with a pig

Val.: «Sant Antoni s’enamorà d’un porc...»

Esta expressió vol dir que l’amor és cego. Es diu quan una persona manté una relació sentimental amb algú físicament poc agraciat. La frase és una manera de disculpar eixe fet, de llevar-li importància, encara que té una intenció clarament burlesca. La comparança amb l’animal ve del fet que Sant Antoni Abat era un gran amic dels animals i, quan en veia un de ferit, el curava. Aixina ho féu amb un porquet, que, per a mostrar-li el seu agraïment, va decidir acompanyar-lo la resta de sa vida. És per això que popularment se l’anomena Sant Antoni del Porquet.

Curiositat: Els italians també utilitzen eixa expressió, sembla que volent dir “mai no digues mai”, que tot és possible, fins i tot l’afer de Sant Antoni amb el porquet!


This expression means that love is blind. People say it when someone is in love with an ugly person. Normally these news are the talk of the town. We nosy parkers, in order to forgive the relationship, as a kind of consent and approval (even though that’s non of our business) take Saint Anthony’s case as an example: He was accompanied all his life by a pig that wanted to show gratitude to the saint, as it has been cured by him. So it is not that bad that the person is not very good-looking if his/her partner is really in love. Anyway, note the mockery implied on this saying, the comparison with a pig...

More info about Sant Antoni del Porquet.

dijous, 25 de setembre de 2008

Make the hand

Val. «Fer la mà»

This vulgar expression means to masturbate, to wank off, when talking about men. Another expression very usual in Valencian comes from this: ‘Anar a fer la mà’ (To go and make the hand), used in the imperative form ―Vés a fer la mà― is a vulgar expression of disapproval and annoyance, similar to the English expressions ‘Go and jump in a lake’, or ‘Go to hell’. Then, you send somebody to make the hand when you are fed up with him/her. Of course, the degree of seriousness of the sentence depends on the tone of your voice, as many other expressions and interjections, for instance Xe.

On its turn, the set-phrase ‘a fer la mà’ can be used in an enormous variety of contexts (all of them colloquial or vulgar), having diferents shades of meaning. Hereunder you have some of the most used, with examples:

1) Eixe poble està a fer la mà - That village is miles away (= a long distance)

2) Va vindre la policia, i la festa se n’anà a fer la mà - The police came, so the party went up the creek (= end up in failure or disaster)

3) Pots deixar de fer la mà amb la piloteta? – Could you stop bothering with that little ball? (= horse around, bother)

4) Haver de llegir l’obra completa de Josep Pla en una setmana és un fer la mà – It is a tough task to read the complete works of Josep Pla in a week (= a harsh, tough activity)

5) A fer la mà el teu examen de trompeta, vull dormir! - To hell with your trumpet exam, I want to sleep!

diumenge, 21 de setembre de 2008

To have a tinned mouth

Val. «Tindre la boca llandada*»

It is said of people that are able to eat a very hot meal without apparently feeling its heat. This expression means that they have no sensitivity in their tongues, as if these were not made out of human flesh. It is usually said of people who have the bad habit of devouring instead of savouring the food.


Es diu de una persona té la boca llandada (o és bocallanda) quan pareix que no tinga sensibilitat en la boca, que menja sense que aparentment li afecte l’excessiva escalfor o gelor de la vianda en qüestió. Se sol dir de qui té el costum de menjar massa ràpid, sense assaborir el menjar.


Val. Alena no et cremes! Per l’amor de Déu, tens la boca llandada!

Eng. Stop to breath, please, you’re gonna get scalded! For God’s sake, you have a tinned mouth!

* pronounced /llandà/ in spontaneous speech

dissabte, 20 de setembre de 2008

Her fig is clapping her hands

Val. «La figa li fa palmes»

This comment is said to remark that a girl or a woman is getting aroused. It is especially used when somebody notices that a woman feels attracted to a guy (or a girl). This can be deduced from her behaviour or from a gossip.


Este comentari se sol fer quan es nota que una xica se sent sexualment atreta per algú. Això es pot deduir pel seu comportament, pel xafardeig que nos ha contat algú, etcètera.

Linguistic clarifications:

1) Remember that the word ‘fig’ in Valencian is synonym for ‘cunt’ (woman vagina). Obviously, a vagina doesn’t have any ‘hands’ to clap with, but still, for sure you can guess the metaphor of a vagina applauding.

2) Even though nowadays the word ‘palmell’ and the expression ‘picar de mans’ is preferred to mean ‘clap one’s hands’, the archaic word ‘palma’ is still widely used in Valencian, as well as set-phrases like ‘tocar les palmes’ o ‘batre les palmes’.

Does your mother make a hole when she is pissing?

Val.: «Ta mare quan pixa fa clotet?»

This rethorical question is made when one begins to be upset and disturbed by somebody’s comments that are making fun of him and meddling in his private life, when a joke is lasting for too long and one becomes to be annoyed. Then he/she makes this harsh comment in order to restore seriousness.


Esta ‘pregunta retòrica’ es formula quan una persona comença a molestar-se pels comentaris d’un altre que es burla d’ell, quan la persona troba que ja n’hi ha prou de bromes, que s’estan ficant en la seua vida privada i ja s’ha d’acabar la befa. Llavors fa eixe comentari tallant per a restablir la serietat.

dimarts, 16 de setembre de 2008

Whisperings in the group are not good manners

Val.: «Escoltetes en reunió són de mala educació»

It means that it is bad manners to whisper at somebody’s ear, and people around you realise that you have something to hide, that maybe you are speaking badly of them.


Vol dir que és de mala educació xiuxiuejar a l’orella d'un altre quan hi ha més gent davant, perquè ells se n’adonaran i pensaran que tens alguna cosa a amagar o que estàs parlant malament d’ells o criticant-los.

diumenge, 14 de setembre de 2008

By Saint John’s day, ripe or unripe, figs for sure!

Val. «Per Sant Joan bacores, verdes o madures, bacores segures!»

Este refrany nos recorda que comencen a haver bacores al començament de l’estiu, pel dia de Sant Joan, el vint-i-tres de juny.


This saying reminds us that figs start making a showing at the beginning of the summer, by Saint John’s day, that is, June 23th.

To be sown

Val. «Estar sembrat»

Es diu quan una persona està contenta per alguna cosa i es torna extravertida, expressa la seua alegria de manera activa. Es nota que està inspirada, sorprenent, divertida, aporta vida a la conversació, conta acudits, etcètera.


It is said when a person is, for some reason, very happy, and he/she expresses his joy actively. One notices that he is inspired, surprising, fun; he livens up the conversation, telling jokes, etc.

dimecres, 23 de juliol de 2008

Those who don't run any risks will never catch a fish

Val.: «Qui no s’arrisca no pisca»

It means that when you want to achieve a purpose, to get something you really want, you must make an effort to get it. You must not be afraid of the consequences or possible risks that your actions might imply.


Vol dir que quan algú vol assolir algun objectiu, aconseguir alguna cosa, cal que s’esforce de valent i que treballe per a aconseguir-ho, sense tindre por de les conseqüències o dels possibles riscs.

Example / Exemple:

Val. Li agrada molt eixa xica però no s’atreveix a proposar-li una cita. Jo sempre li dic que qui no s’arrisca no pisca.

Eng. He feels attracted to her but he is too shy to ask her out. I always tell him that those who don’t run any risks will never catch a fish.

dimecres, 2 de juliol de 2008

Let's have a good sight, figs in August!

Val.: «Bona vista vejam!»

La frase Bona vista vejam! es diu quan trobem una persona que fa molt de temps que no véiem i teníem ganes de vore-la. Figues en agost és la resposta fixada a eixa frase, que significa «he arribat quan tocava». L’origen d’eixa resposta està en el fet que «la majoria de les varietats de figa són agostenques, cosa que indicaria que és pertinent l’aparició de l'individu en qüestió» (gràcies a curiopatia.com).


We say the phrase Bona vista vejam! (literally, Bona [‘Good’] vista [‘sight’] vejam [‘let’s see’]) when we see someone we had not seen from long ago, or when somebody is late in an appointment. That person could reply figues en agost (literally, ‘figs in August’) meaning ‘I’m just on time’, because figs normally ripen precisely in August.

divendres, 9 de maig de 2008

To speak in Ocho

Val. «Parlar en ocho*»

It is a mocking way to say 'speaking Spanish'.

E.g. Long ago in my village everybody spoke Valencian, now most of the people speak in ocho.


És una manera burlesca de dir «parlar en castellà»

Ex. Abans al meu poble tot el món parlava valencià, ara quasi tots parlen en ocho.

Linguistic clarifications:

*Ocho is the number eight in Spanish.

dilluns, 24 de març de 2008

To have a lid for every little casserole

Val. «Tindre tapadora per a tots els perolets»

It is said when somebody has an answer for every question or when somebody has always something to say with regard to a subject in a conversation. It is used for people who have a strong personality and who speak with an eloquent tone.


No matter how long you try to convince him, he has a lid for every little casserole

Ja pots intentar convéncer-lo, que ell sempre té tapadora per a tots els perolets.

Linguistic clarifications: 1) As in many words in Valencian, the /d/ in tapadora normally drops in spontaneous speech, so it is pronounced tapaora. 2) perolet is the diminutive form of perol (= casserole/pot). Diminutive forms are highly used in Valencian.

dissabte, 22 de març de 2008

To be cleaner than a horse mackerel

Val. «Estar més net que un sorell»

It means 'to be skint'. It can be applied to a person or to a wallet. 'To be clean' means to have no money. The comparison with a horse mackerel comes from the fact that it is a small fish and you cannot get much from it.

divendres, 14 de març de 2008

To talk for not keeping quiet

Val. «Parlar per no callar»

That expression can be used for reject an statement of other people.


- Diuen que si guanyen les eleccions frenaran el canvi climàtic.

- Saps que pense jo?... Que això és parlar per no callar!

(- They say that, if they win the elections, they'll stop the climatic change.

- You know what I think?... That's to talk for not keeping quiet!)

dijous, 13 de març de 2008

Those who keep when there’s still some will eat whenever they want to

Val. «Qui guarda quan té menja quan vol»

Este refrany expressa el caràcter conservador dels valencians respecte al menjar i als diners. Eixa característica social deu provindre dels períodes històrics en què els valencians varen patir carestia.

Variants: «Qui dóna el que té no menja quan vol».


This proverb expresses the conservative nature of Valencians with regard to money and food. Particularly, this idea might come from previous times when Valencians had to get through lean periods. (wars and postwar periods, etc).

divendres, 1 de febrer de 2008

To have one's bollocks peeled (out of doing something)

Val. «Tindre els collons pelats [de fer alguna cosa]»

Es diu que u té els collons pelats de fer alguna cosa quan hi té molta experiència.

«Els altres professors tenen els collons pelats de veure situacions critiques que dius tu. I no s’espanten».
D’esta obra de teatre.


To have one’s bollocks shaved (out of doing something) means you got a lot of experience carrying out a job, task or activity.
There are in Valencian a lot of colloquial (often rude) expressions with the word collons (‘bollocks’). You can read an interesting study on it here.

diumenge, 27 de gener de 2008

Am I speaking or a coach is passing by?

Val. «Parle jo, o passa un carro?»

It's an advice for reclaiming people's attention when there's something to say and no one is listening.

To be worse than a pain

Val. «Ser més mal que un dolor»

(explicit meaning)

dimarts, 15 de gener de 2008

To do and undo, the task of the mattress repairer

Trac la foto d’esta pàgina

Val. «Fer i desfer, la faena del matalafer»

Este comentari es diu amb to de queixa quan una faena que ja estava prou avançada s’ha de mamprendre de nou des del principi, o bé quan algú canvia un pla que ja estava establit. L’expressió menciona l’ofici del matalafer: antigament, la gent no es comprava un matalaf nou quan el que tenien estava ja vell i deformat, sinó que cridaven el matalafer, que s’encarregava de reparar-lo, obrint-lo i donant-li forma de nou amb un pal.


You say this sentence, with a slight tone of complaint, when some task has to be set again from the beginning, and also when somebody changes a plan which was already drawn up. The expression mentions the job of the mattress repairer: long ago in Valencian country people did not buy a new mattress when the old one was used up, as we do nowadays. At that time they called the mattress repairer, who took the mattress, opened the cover and gave it shape again by beating the material of the inside (for example, wool) with a stick.

dijous, 10 de gener de 2008

Every day is Tuesday for wretched people

Val. «Per als desgraciats tots els dies són dimarts»

Este refrany el solem dir quan una persona desgraciada ha patit alguna desgràcia puntual (la mort d’un familiar, la pèrdua de la faena, etc.) que la fa trobar-se en una situació encara pitjor de la que estava, de manera que nos pareix que està destinat a patir tota sa vida.

El dimarts és, tradicionalment, un dia de mala sort la nostra cultura. Per això la gent evita casar-se o batejar els xiquets en eixe dia de la setmana.


You may use this expression when an unfortunate person has just suffered an accident or a regrettable tragedy which makes him even more wretched than he was, so that it seems that he is doomed to fall into disgrace again and again.

Tuesday is a symbolical day of bad omen in our culture. That is the reason why people avoid to marry or to baptise children this day of the week.

diumenge, 6 de gener de 2008

To take out fire from your molars

Val. «Traure foc pels queixals»

It's said when someone gets angry.


Es diu que u trau foc pels queixals quan manifesta una gran indignació o irritació. També es pot dir quan algú patix molt de dolor per una malaltia.