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Autumnal idioms in other languages


21st September 2017

Emily Robertshaw


Summer has drawn to a close and autumn has officially arrived!
As the leaves start to fall from the trees and porridge and stew become our staple diet, we’re celebrating some fun autumnal idioms in other languages.


Appuyer sur le champignon (French)


Literal meaning: To press on the mushroom
Actual meaning: To be insistent about something
English equivalent: To put your foot down


Mangiare la folgia (Italian)


Literal meaning: To eat the leaf
Actual meaning: When you say something that’s not true and it’s believed
English equivalent: To take the bait


Essere una zucca vuota (Italian)

Literal meaning: To be an empty pumpkin
Actual meaning: To not be very intelligent because your head (pumpkin) is empty
English equivalent: The lights are on but nobody’s home


Dar calabazas a alguien (Spanish)

Literal meaning: To give someone pumpkins
Actual meaning: To turn someone down 
English equivalent: To give someone the cold shoulder


Chodit kolem horké kaše (Czech)


Literal meaning: To walk around hot porridge
Actual meaning: To avoid the topic
English equivalent: To beat around the bush  


Er hat mich durch den Kakao gezogen (German)

Literal meaning: He’s pulled me through the cocoa
Actual meaning: He’s joked with/tricked me
English equivalent: He’s pulled my leg

More blog posts


Funny French idioms


Chinese idioms


Five French tongue-twisters


8 essential Brazilian Portuguese phrases