Fun English: 14 Commonly Used Phrases that, if Translated Directly, Could Go Horribly Wrong

cats and dogs rainingWARNING: The following article contains vulgar language and due to its content should not be viewed by anyone.

Do you find yourself getting bored and tired of traditional English learning methods?

Do you prefer to have fun while learning English?

Well then you’re in luck, because we here at Real Life English have got another fun English article for you today.

Here are some common phrases used in English that could be quite dangerous if you translated them directly.

Enjoy!

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Fun English—Don’t Translate These Phrases Directly

  1. “I’ve got my eye on you.”
    “Get it off!”

To have your eye on someone means that you’re watching them closely because you’re suspicious of them.

  • You’ve got your father’s eyes
    “He’s got my eyes?? Give them back!”

People commonly say you have your father’s/mother’s eyes when you have the same color eyes as them.

  • LMAO (Laugh my ass off). Pick it up! It’s slipping. OH GOD IT’S OFF. GRAB IT.”LMAO is used in informal chats to emphasize how funny something is. You don’t just laugh out loud (lol), you laugh your ass off.
  • Lets get shit-faced.”
    “Why would you want to put poop on your face?”
    “Alright, then let’s get hammered.”
    “DUDE, I don’t like pain!”

To get shit-faced and get hammered means to get really drunk.

  • I was shitting bricks.”
    “You’re exaggerating dude. You couldn’t have been THAT dehydrated.”

A brick is small rectangular block made for building.

If someone is shitting bricks it means they’re extremely scared.

  • Cat got your tongue?
    “Yeth”

If the cat got your tongue it means you can’t think of anything to say.

  • Break a leg!
    “Why do you hate me?”

To break a leg means to have good luck. It originated in show business as an anti-jinx.

  • Cry me a river.
    “How deep?”

If someone tells you to cry me a river, they think you’re exaggerating your problems and have no sympathy for you.

As a bonus you can say, “Cry me a river, then build a bridge and get over it.” To get over something is a common way to say it no longer affects you or you no longer care about it.

  • It’ll cost an arm and a leg.
    “Considering that’s the price for a robot arm and leg… I’ll take it!”

If something costs an arm and a leg it means it’s so expensive you feel like you have to give a part of your body for it.

  • Fuck this shit.
    “Okay. You got a condom?”

When someone says fuck this shit it means they are sick and tired of it, they’re over it, they no longer care.

  • Messi was ON FIRE at last night’s game.
    “Is he alive??”

If someone is on fire it means they keep doing something extremely well again and again.

  • Knock yourself out.”
    “Okay, CLUNK.”

Clunk is the sound something heavy makes when it hits the floor.

To knock yourself out means that you’re giving someone permission to go try something by themselves.

We say it’s raining cats and dogs to exaggerate how hard it’s raining.

  • He threw the baby out with the bathwater.”
    “That asshole! I’ll kill him!!”

To throw the baby out with the bathwater is when something good is eliminated when trying to get rid of something bad. In other words, don’t get rid of everything and start over, you can still preserve the good parts.

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11 Comments

  1. Clara Tomaylla on August 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    very interesting

  2. Giovanna Rozza Parker on August 30, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Very interesting stuff! I'd like to add that in Portuguese we do have the expression "Cat got your tongue", but we replace the verb get for "comer": "O gato comeu a sua lingua?" Also, we have an equivalent to "it'll cost an arm and a leg"; we replace the limbs for the eyes: "Vai custar o(s) olho(s) the cara!" And for "shitting bricks" or "shit scared" we say "cagando de medo".

  3. Laurindo Sachombe on August 30, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    I enjoyed it a lot. Thank you

  4. Daiana on August 30, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    You’re on fire with this post!

  5. Ethan Zinho on August 31, 2013 at 8:33 am

    This is hilarious. And I really liked the photo you used!

  6. Trevor on August 31, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks for all the kind words, guys. :^)

  7. Diego Davi on September 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I got no words to describe… Simply amazing and relaxed! 😀

  8. Diego Davi on September 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I got no words to describe… Simply amazing and relaxed! 😀

  9. Loay Amin on September 3, 2013 at 9:04 am

    one another… " tell me about it " what does it mean? and how can I use it? Trevor

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