Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9824779:

A snail in the hand is better than 10 on the roof 11 11, 6:54pm

We have a lot of really good ones in Romania. Some of my favourite include:

"a freca menta" ("to rub mint") and "a tăia frunza la căini ("to cut leaves for the dogs"), meaning to do nothing, waste time.
"a calca pe bec" ("to step on a lightbulb") or "a da cu mucii în fasole" ("to throw snot into the beans") "a da cu oiștea-n gard" ("to hit the fence with the ox-cart trace"), to break a rule or make a mistake
"a se potrivi ca nuca-n perete" ("to fit like the walnut on the wall") - to not fit at all
"a se termina în coadă de pește" ("to end in a fish's tail" - a story which ends anticlimactically
"a umbla cu cioara vopsită" ("to go about with the painted crow") - try to swindle someone - conversely, "a fi prins cu mâța-n sac" ("being caught with the cat in the bag") means being caught swindling
"unde și-a înțărcat dracul copii" ("where the devil raised his children"), "la mama dracului" ("where the devil's mother lives"), "la dracu-n praznic" ("at the devil's remembrance feast" - here specifically a type of feast held for a deceased person) all mean "very far", while "ca pe vremea lui Pazvante Chiorul" ("like in the time of Pazvante the One-Eyed", in reference to Osman Pazvantoğlu, a Turkish governor of Vidin and bandit captain who terrorised southern Wallachia in the early 1800s) meaning both something anarchic and something extremely old.

Finally, we have a myriad expressions meaning "to be drunk": - "a se chercheli" (no equivalent and nobody knows where this came from, but it's an idiomatic expression), " a se turmenta" ("to torment oneself" from French, "se tourmenter"), "a se griza"( "become grey", also from French, "griser") , " a se turlăci" ("become a young fool"), "a se amnări" ("to light oneself on fire"), "a se chefălui" ("to become partied"), "a se învinoșa" ("become inwined"), "a se abțigui" ("to falsify oneself"), "a se șumeni" (from the slavivc loanword "šumĩnŭ" meaning drunk), "a se matosi" and "a se matoli" ( both from "matol" a Romany loanword meaning drunk), "a se afuma" ("to fumigate oneself"), "a se sfinți" ("to sanctify oneself"), "a se aghesmui" ("to bless oneself by drinking holy water"), "a se tămâia" ("to bless oneself by fumigating with frankincense"), "a se târnosi" ("to enthrone onself" - usually meaning to become a priest in the Orthodox Church), "a se ciupi" ("to pinch oneself"), "a se cârpi" ("to mend oneself"), "a se magnetiza" ("to magnetize oneself"), "a se pili" ("to file oneself" - in the sense of metal machining, not paperwork), "a se electriza" ("to electrify oneself"), "a se trăsni" ("to hit oneself with lightning" - no, I'm not sure either how that would work), "a se turti" ("to flatten oneself"), "a se turci" ("to become a Turk"), "a se flecui" ("to become soft"), "a se căli" ("to quench harden oneself"), "a se oțeli" ("to become hard like steel"), "a se îmbăta lulea / tun / turtă / criță" ("to become drunk like a smoking pipe / cannon / pie / hardened steel)