5 Seemingly Quirky Expressions You’ve Probably Not Heard of that’s Used in Different Countries

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Many of us have probably heard of or used common sayings such as “a piece of cake” or “run like the wind”. Here are 5 sayings that you may or may not know that are used by people from around the world.

Pack a sad (New Zealand)

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Looking at it literally, that just sounds sad. I’d very much rather pack a sandwich, thank you. Pack a sad is commonly used in New Zealand as a term to describe throwing a tantrum.

Example: You ate the last slice of cheesecake? Clint will pack a sad when he finds out.

Give someone pumpkins (Spain)

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I’d gladly accept the pumpkins – I could make some pumpkin soup to go with my sandwich. Then again, it doesn’t exactly mean what it says. It’s actually a Spanish expression for turning someone down.
Example: I asked Lylia to be my date for prom and she gave me pumpkins.

To have the midday demon (France)

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Ah, the only demon (well, technically the devil) I want in my life is the actor from the Netflix series “Lucifer”. I’ll have him at any time of the day. Unfortunately for me, the only midday demon I’m having is what this French proverb means – to have a midlife crisis.

Example: I’m considering changing my job for the third time, it’s not easy to have the midday demon.

When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers (Africa)

Image credit: @chapmangamo

This reminds me of the times I watch superhero movies. They’re always battling it out with evil villains in busy cities, thrashing everything in their way (collateral damage). The people of the city are the ones who bear the brunt of the aftermath. That is essentially what this Kenyan proverb means, when powerful beings go against one another, it is the powerless that suffer.

Example: The conflict between Mainland China and Hong Kong is a classic example of when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.

Not my circus, not my monkeys (Poland)

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First it’s elephants, and now monkeys? It sure does sound a lot like a circus. This polish expression basically means not my problem.

Example: You forgot to hand in your assignment for the second day in a row? Not my circus, not my monkeys.

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