Category Archives: Sentence of the week

Like a bull in a china shop

If someone is like a bull in a china shop, they are very careless or clumsy in the way that they move or behave. In Spanish we say “Como un elefante en una cacharrería”

 

A blessing in disguise

Blessing (bendición) and disguise (disfraz): This expression refers to something that seems bad or unlucky at first, but results in something good happening later. For example: Losing that job was a blessing in disguise really. 

A similar expression could be: Every cloud has a silver lining.

In Spanish we say “No hay mal que por bien no venga“.

 

 

Between the devil and the deep blue sea

If you are between the devil and the deep blue sea, you must choose between two equally unpleasant situations. In Spanish we say “Entre la espada y la pared“.

You can also say “between a rock and a hard place“.

On the tip of the tongue

A tip- of-the -tongue situation happens when you can’t find the exact word. You can recall some features of the word but not the word itself. When that happens you say that “It’s on the tip of my tongue“. We have the same expression in Spanish “Tenerlo en la punta de la lengua“.

The cobbler’s wife…

There are similar sayings to express the same idea like: “The cobbler’s wife goes barefoot” or “The cobbler’s wife is the worst shod” or “The tailor’s wife is the worst clad“, among others.

A “cobbler” is a shoemaker and this expression means that a shoemaker makes shoes for everyone except for his wife. It is the same as the tailor, whose wife is the one that dresses the worst. In Spanish we say “En casa de herrero cuchillo de palo”

Chickens come home to roost

It is a proverb which means that you have to face the consequences of your mistakes or bad deeds.
Example:

Jill: Emily found out that I said she was incompetent, and now she won’t recommend me for that job.
Jane: The chickens have come home to roost, I see.

So if you say that chickens are coming home to roost, you mean that bad or silly things done in the past are beginning to cause problems.

Example: There was too much greed in the past, and now the chickens are coming home to roost with crime and corruption soaring.

In Spanish we say “pagar las consecuencias”

To wipe the slate clean

If you think of the image (to clean a blackboard completely) then the idiom becomes quite clear: to forget previous disagreements or differences and make a fresh start. This is what we say in Spanish “hacer borrón y cuenta nueva“.