Julia Viacheslavovna Lipnitskaia's mom in Japan (calcifer13) wrote in linguaphiles,
  • Mood: productive
Hello linguaphilies,


In Japanese, we have this expression;

ちゃぶ台をひっくり返す
Chabu dai wo hikkuri kaesu.

means getting very angry.

The phrase "chabudai wo hikkuri kaesui" literally means to flip a chabudai over. Chabudai is a small round dining table (see below)

chabudai-up

and this chabudai usually is used in a small room on tatami mat floor. So those who use chabudai as dinner table more likely a poor family. For instance, one example, that I want you to visualize is as follows;

A father of a poor family suddenly gets into a rage while the whole family member are eating dinner. The eldest son would say something inappropriate, then the father falls into a rage and he turns over the chabudai, the dinner table. Japan used to be very poor before, so chabudai was a dinner table which had been used by most of the people.

It is a good phrase because it represents a Japanese old custom as a part of Confucianism. The father is the most powerful one in the family and he gets angry even for a tiny little thing because he is already very tired working whole day, and the son is usually very rebellious and he has also built up the stress.

Do you have some equivalent expression in you country? Something along the casual daily scene that explains your original culture well.
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  • 33 comments

mamculuna

December 19 2013, 00:51:12 UTC 4 months ago Edited:  December 19 2013, 01:17:41 UTC

One from the southeastern US is "to live high on the hog," which means "to live well." It refers to the idea that the best cuts of meat on a pig, like ham and pork chops, come from the higher parts of the pig, and so the wealthier people ate those. Poor people ate things like the pig's stomach and feet. But I think it also sometimes has the sense of spending more than you can really afford; not sure exactly how that came to be part of it.

Ironically, pork belly is quite fashionable now in upscale restaurants in big cities in the US, but when I was a child, you found it only in poor grocery stories in poor neighborhoods in the south.

otana

December 19 2013, 03:22:32 UTC 4 months ago

You see this happen a lot, food like lobster, pork belly, oxtail, tongue and other lower class staples suddenly becoming fashionable. It's great to see people eating more than the best cuts (since it's far less wasteful), but heartbreaking to see the prices skyrocket out of the range of the people who have been using it as one of their sole food sources.

lied_ohne_worte

December 19 2013, 08:02:00 UTC 4 months ago Edited:  December 19 2013, 08:02:31 UTC

It can also happen when food becomes harder to get due to things dying out. In the village where I grew up in, there was a small castle where some side branch of the Princedom's ruling family had been living. My father found an account in old records about how the castle servants were complaining because they were constantly being served salmon (from the river right behind the castle, so probably as fresh as you can get it). As far as I know, there hasn't been a significant salmon population in that river for around a hundred years. Now, you can get salmon in the supermarket nowadays, but it's not everyday food.

calcifer13

4 months ago

otana

4 months ago

muckefuck

December 19 2013, 04:40:18 UTC 4 months ago

"High on the hog" never had the sense of living beyond your means for me. In fact, we most often used it of people whose ship had come in.

calcifer13

December 19 2013, 07:58:44 UTC 4 months ago

wow! that's very interesting! Thanks for your input!

laudre

December 19 2013, 01:13:35 UTC 4 months ago

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Hmm. I'm sure there's some, but I'm having trouble calling them to mind at the moment (getting over an illness, still very wobbly).

calcifer13

December 19 2013, 07:59:29 UTC 4 months ago

haha pls think about it and let me know it later! I like your icon and emoticon btw^^

laudre

4 months ago

muckefuck

4 months ago

khh1138

3 months ago

helenadax

December 19 2013, 01:48:30 UTC 4 months ago Edited:  December 19 2013, 01:50:23 UTC

In Spanish there's an expression:" Cuando seas padre, comerás huevos". (When you become a father, you'll eat eggs). It's an expression you say, especially to your children, if they want to do something but they aren't old or experienced enough. Eggs were a very expensive food back then and they were usually reserved for the head of the family and ill people.


calcifer13

December 19 2013, 08:00:09 UTC 4 months ago

wow I see, only fathers could have eaten eggs, right? wow! thanks for your input!

lied_ohne_worte

December 19 2013, 02:18:22 UTC 4 months ago

Hm, perhaps this:

In German, this is called "Haussegen" ("house blessing"), in this case saying "May God bless this house". They used to be very popular, although they're now quite antiquated, and were often put above a door or on a prominent place on the wall. They were often embroidered. Old half-timbered houses might also have bible verses etc. put on a beam above the door if it's not just the name of the person who built the house - this is a bit more elaborate than usual.

Now, if there is a family argument, an expression for it is "Der Haussegen hängt schief" - "The house blessing is hanging crookedly".

calcifer13

December 19 2013, 08:02:33 UTC 4 months ago

lol Hanging crookedly is funny too! Thanks for your input!

hadgm

December 19 2013, 03:08:20 UTC 4 months ago

Came here to mention that there is an actual Japanese arcade game, complete with a table for you to pound and flip :) lol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTokWiEAgPg

calcifer13

December 19 2013, 08:03:03 UTC 4 months ago

hahahahahah! you made my day Thanks! hadgm!

muckefuck

December 19 2013, 04:45:39 UTC 4 months ago

My dad was a farmboy, so he taught us lots of colourful expressions. I wonder how many of them would still make sense to most people nowadays. Phrases like "independent as a hog on ice", "work like a rented mule", "a clod in the churn", "rode hard and put up wet", and so on don't make much sense if you've never spent any time around farm animals.

calcifer13

December 19 2013, 08:03:46 UTC 4 months ago

wow that's interesting! farm language is have a lot to learn! Thanks for your input!

lilacsigil

December 19 2013, 07:22:06 UTC 4 months ago

Flat out like a lizard drinking! Off like a bride's nightie! Hope your chooks turn to emus and kick your dunny door down!

calcifer13

December 19 2013, 08:04:02 UTC 4 months ago

haha

muckefuck

December 19 2013, 16:06:45 UTC 4 months ago

"Off like a prom dress", in the American vernacular.

My dad used to say, "Off like a terd of hurtles!"

rheasilvia

December 19 2013, 12:40:01 UTC 4 months ago Edited:  December 19 2013, 12:41:14 UTC

One of my favorites is "die Katze aus dem Sack lassen"/"let the cat out of the bag", meaning finally revealing the actual facts; there used to be a time when people would buy a chicken or other small animal in the market, only to come home, open the bag they'd been given and discover they'd been sold a worthless cat instead.

Also: "Schwein gehabt" ("you've had (a) pig") meaning you've been lucky - because the main prize at country fairs used to be a pig, so if you won it, you were indeed lucky.

mamculuna

December 19 2013, 13:25:53 UTC 4 months ago

I never knew that origin of "let the cat out of the bag." Thanks! So it's similar to "buying a pig in a poke"- poke is a word for sack or bag, so if you buy a pig in a poke, you don't know what you've got.

rheasilvia

4 months ago

lied_ohne_worte

December 19 2013, 13:37:55 UTC 4 months ago

I'd somehow never thought about the origin of either of these, how silly of me! Thanks for pointing these out!

rheasilvia

4 months ago

muckefuck

December 19 2013, 16:07:42 UTC 4 months ago

Is that where the whole pig = good luck association comes from in German? Because this has always slightly baffled me.

rheasilvia

4 months ago

whswhs

December 19 2013, 20:02:35 UTC 4 months ago

An expression I grew up with for losing one's temper is "blowing your stack" or "blowing your top." These come, I believe, from old-style steam engines that didn't have safety valves, where the steam pressure might get too high and the engine would explode and kill people. "Boil over" and "blow up" are somewhat similar ideas. The underlying idea seems to be partly that anger = combustion and partly that everyone is familiar with machines that can become dangerous.

ubykhlives

December 20 2013, 05:26:37 UTC 4 months ago

I wonder if "doing your block" in Australian English might come from a similar thing - overheating a car's engine block can cause it to crack and malfunction.

"Chucking a wobbly" may be unrelated, but it means the same thing.

muckefuck

December 20 2013, 19:25:56 UTC 4 months ago

"Chucking a wobbly"? I swear, half of your slang sounds like it was made up entirely to take the piss out of Yanks. (And of course your national love of doing just that makes it impossible to tell when we're actually being trolled.)