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Definition and small brief

Idiomatic expressions with their particular meaning and

their translation
Bibliography & Webliography

Idiom / Idiomatic
A speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar
to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual
meanings of its elements, as in keep tabs on
(To observe carefully e.g. Lets keep tabs on the new guy).

An expression whose meanings cannot

be inferred from the meanings of the
words that make it up.
O expresie al crui neles nu poate fi dedus din
sensuri ale cuvintelor care o compun.

To get the sack - means to get fired.(a fi concediat)


He got the sack when they found out that he'd lied about his
A fost concediat cnd au aflat c el ar fi minit n legtur cu
calificrile sale.
In his 1869 'Slang Dictionary', John Hotten records these alternatives
get the bag (from the North of England)
get the empty (from London).

A pig in a poke - something that you buy without knowing if it is good or not
Un porc ntr-o traist / O mare pcleal

At the hiring fair, the farm-labourer would aim

to buy a big to fatten for winter. Despite his
taking care not to BUY A PIG IN A POKE a
"free" drink would distract him while a cat was
subtituted for his carefully selected piglet.
Reaching home, his sense of triumph would
soon become one of shame and misery as he

All hat and no cattle (Texas, U.S.A.) / big hat, no cattle

Originally used in reference to people imitating the fashion or style of cowboys.
Cinele care latr nu muc / E numai gura de el.

e.g. George says he's a great cook, but he

sliced his thumb off trying to peel a potato.
He's all hat, no cattle.

George spune c este un mare buctar, dar

i-a tiat degetul ncercnd s curee un cartof.
E numai gura de el.

Go the whole hog (U.K., U.S.A. & Australia) also go whole

hog (U.S.A.) a face un lucru pn la capt
It was going to cost so much to repair my computer, I thought I might as well go the
whole hog and buy a new one.
M-ar fii costat prea mult s mi repar calculatorul, aa c m-am gndit c a
putea foarte bine sa merg pn la capt si s mi cumpr unul nou.

Live high of the hog a tri pe picior mare

Joe lived high of the hog for many years until he had no more
Joe a trit pe picior mare pentru muli ani, pn cnd a
rmas fr bani.

Like a fox guarding the hen house / A predator among

the prey
Why did you put your spendthrift brother in charge of managing your
inheritance? That is letting the fox guarding the hen house!
De ce l-ai pus pe fratele tu risipitor s se ocupe de gestionarea
motenirii tale? Este ca i cum ai lsa o vulpe s pzeasc coteul ginilor !

Put all one's eggs in one basket A pune toate oule ntr-un singur co;
A miza totul pe un singur lucru.
e.g. Don't invest all your money in one company, I adivse you to diversify and not to
put all your eggs in one basket.
Nu-i investi toi banii ntr-o singur companie, te sftuiesc s te
diversifici si s nu i pui toate oule ntr-un singur co

Have a cow - to be very worried, upset, or

about something
- a nnebuni de nervi
e.g. I thought he was going to have a cow
when I told him I'd lost his key.
Am crezut c va nnebuni de nervi cnd i-am
spus c i-am pierdut cheia.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch - nu i numra

puii nainte de a
iei din ou
You might be able to get a loan from the bank, but don't count your chickens before
they hatch.
S-ar putea s poi s iei un mprumut de la banc, dar nu-i numra puii nainte
de a iei din ou / dar nu spune hop, pn nu ai srit anul.

Black sheep of the family - Oaia neagr a familie

Mary is the black sheep of the family, she's always in trouble with the police.
Mary este oaia neagr a familiei, ea mereu are probleme cu poliia.

Buy the farm - to die; to get killed a da ortul popii

e.g. I'll pass through this illness; I'm too young to buy the farm.
Voi trece de aceast boal, sunt prea tnr ca s dau ortul popii.(sunt prea tnr
ca s mor)

Bet the farm/ranch (American) to bet everything on

e.g. TV networks are obviously willing to bet the farm on special
sports events; they paid millions to broadcast the Olympics.
Reelele de televiziune sunt gata sa mizeze tot pe evenimentele
speciale din sport; au pltit milioane pentru a difuza Olimpicile.

Funny farm - Cas de nebuni / Spital de nebunii

If things get much worse they'll be carrying me off to

the funny farm.
Dac lucrurile o s se nruteasc mai mult, o s m
bage la spitalul de nebuni.


are present in any domain, any language, any nation more

exactly they are everywhere


are the salt and the pepper of any language;


make a language sound very creative, and can also get you
into trouble understanding it;


are not used to make things simple, some of them are really
complicated and they dont mean what they sound like;


allow people to express complex things in a more simplified

Aurel Trofin,1996 Bucureti, Dicionar Englez-Romn Expresii idiomatice

i locuiuni