Idioms

One of the reasons why reading British tabloid papers is often a bit complicated is because of these papers’ extensive use of puns and idioms. Although puns are very often practically impossible to translate, many English idioms have Norwegian equivalents. Sometimes they are almost identical down to word level, whereas others share content but use different imagery or “pictures”.

Exercise

Pair up the following 15 idioms with their Norwegian counterparts and explain what they mean (those which are not self-explanatory).

1) This is the last straw
2) He is off his rocker
3) To rest on one’s oars
4) It’s six of one and half-a-dozen of the other
5) To burn one’s boats
6) He will never set the Thames on fire
7) To look as miserable as sin
8) My goose is cooked
9) To take the wind out of someone’s sails
10) It happens once in a blue moon
11) To ride one’s hobby horse
12) To beat about the bush
13) To be as thick as thieves
14) To rest on one’s laurels
15) To be unable to keep the wolf from the door


a) Se ut som om en skal i begravelse
b) Brenne alle broer bak seg
c) Det er dråpen som får begeret til å flyte over
d) Henge sammen som erteris
e) Sitte med hendene i fanget
f) Det skjer hvert jubelår
g) Gå som katten rundt den varme grøten
h) Å hvile på sine laurbær
i) Det er hipp som happ
j) Suge på labben
k) Han er ikke riktig navla
l) Han har ikke oppfunnet kruttet
m) Hundre og ett er ute
n) Ta luven fra noen
o) Ri sin kjepphest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Key: 1-c, 2-k, 3-e, 4-i, 5-b, 6-l, 7-a, 8-m, 9-n, 10-f, 11-o, 12-g, 13-d, 14-h, 15-j