W.I.X.: In Other Words

While researching for WIX, I found an amazing though (too) small book: In Other Words, Christopher J. Moore, a Levinger Press Book, Walker & Company. It is indeed ‘A Language Lover’s Guide to the Most Intriguing Words Around the World’.

In the section on Western European languages I stepped into rire jaune, literally translated from the French as “to laugh yellowy”, meaning to “give a laugh that betrays your true feelings”. The author states that yellow is not seen as a positive color by some cultures, but in France it does not represent a ‘coward’, as in English, but a ‘traitor’.

Then I remembered my Dutch friend’s reaction to a poor joke of mine: “hahaaaa…..I’m laughing like a ‘farmer with a toothache”: lachen als een boer die kiespijn heeft. I asked her to explain: “it is sour grapes….I did not really want to laugh, the joke is bittersweet…Does that make sense?” We might laugh out of the wrong side of the mouth, but my question now is whether those grapes are also yellowy!

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “W.I.X.: In Other Words

  1. Ooo love all these expressions in other languages and I actually remember learning lachen als een boer die kiespijn heeft when I lived in the Neths!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s