10 interesting Romanian idioms

I've written a lot about foreign languages, but very little about my native language. So, today I'll present you 10 Romanian idioms which I find interesting and funny. Let's start!

La pastele cailor - at horses' Easter. Egg showing the image of a horse.

La paștele cailor, literally translated as at Horses Easter, is the equivalent of the English idiom at the Greek calends or when two Sundays come together. Simply put, it means never!

A vinde gogosi (Romanian) - to sell doughnuts.

The meaning of a vinde gogoși is far from its literal translation - to sell doughnuts. It means to tell fibs, that is to lieee!

A scoate din pepeni (Romanian) - to take someone out of the watermelons.

This is one of my favorite idioms - a scoate din pepeni. Translated word by word it means to take someone out of the watermelons. Probably you wouldn't guess, it means to make one angry.

A calca pe bec - to step on a light bulb

A călca pe bec - to step on a light bulb - is a quite easy one. It means to make a mistake/to get into trouble.

Floare la ureche (Romanian) - flower behind the ear.

This test is flower behind ear. That means the test is a piece of cake/very easy! Floare la ureche!

A fi prins cu mata-n sac (Romanian) - to be caught with the cat in the bag.

A fi prins cu mâța-n sac, translated as to be caught with the cat in the bag, means to be caught red-handed. Ups!

A se uita ca boul la poarta noua (Romanian) - to stare like an ox at a new gate

A se uita ca boul la poartă nouă - this is one I heard quite often in Romanian environment. Translated literally as to stare like an ox at a new gate, it means to be confused

A taia frunza la caini (Romanian) - to cut leaves for the dogs

To cut leaves for the dogs wouldn't make much sense, would it? So, a tăia frunză la câini means to waste time.

A-si baga piciorul (Romanian) - to stick your feet in. Confused man.

Trying to do something, but not succeeding, one might decide to stick his feet in. A-și băga piciorul means to call it quits, a tougher version of to give up.

A iesi basma curata (Romanian) - to go clean headkerchief

And finally, if you did something bad, but got scot-free, we'd say in Romanian you got clean headkerchief - ai ieșit basma curată!


That's it, curious reader. Now, tell me, which idiom you liked the most? 

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