Idioms of the World

Idioms. /ˈɪ.di.əmz/ n. Those little phrases specific to a language whose meaning is not merely the sum of its parts. Such as, “It’s raining cats and dogs,” which literally no native English speaker ever says, so can we please stop teaching that in ESL classes?!?

We’ve talked about my favorite Spanish idioms involving bread, so you might well think, what else is there to ever say on the subject of language?!? And while I agree that hardly anything can beat a combination of linguistics and sourdough, this infographic of Idioms of the World made my day (hey, that’s an English idiom!) when I first saw it over on Cup of Jo.

Idioms of the World

idioms-of-the-world-infographic (1)

*Here’s where this infographic first appeared.

My favorite’s gotta be “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” What’s yours?


  • Pingback: DMPK()

  • Pingback: GVK Biosciences()

  • Pingback: Shenzen Pools()

  • Great post! As a translator, idioms and ‘frases hechas’ fascinate me too. One of my favourites in Spanish is “tener el pavo encima” (have the turkey on top of you) meaning that someone has the giggles.

    • I’ve never heard of that one!! Thanks for sharing :) Idioms would certainly be the hardest part of a language to translate, I would think.

  • lindsaypunk

    TO FEED THE DONKEY SPONGECAKE. Where the eff did that come from?!! :P

  • These are super cute, and I never knew the Spanish pumpkins one!

    “Not my monkeys, not my circus” reminds me of “Not my chair, not my problem” from this bizarre video, which I quote entirely too often.

    The common response to the Italian “Into the mouth of a wolf” is “Crepi!” (“Kill it!”), which I love. I also like the Italian expression for having a dance, “Fare quattro salti,” literally “To do four jumps.”