It takes a brave pigeon, ahem person, to use this phrase

Here is one of today’s phrases of the day:

Katherine Hirshs Phrasen des Tages vom 22.08.2013

Deutsch:  Ich hege Taubenmut, mir fehlt’s an Galle.
Englisch: I am pigeon-liver’d and lack gall.

Hellooooo….Phrasen des Tages editors, this may be from Hamlet but it is not a phrase people are going to need to use, probably ever, but certainly not in everyday life in the English speaking world.

While I am guessing that you probably also won’t be using tauben Ohren predigen – “to flog a dead horse” or literally “to preach to deaf ears” – everyday either, at least you won’t have people wondering in which bygone century your English textbook was written. You also get the chance to puzzle new learners like me who are likely only to know the plural noun die Tauben – “the pigeons” – and not the adjective taub (in the expression it is inflected to match Ohren), meaning in this instance “deaf,” but also “numb.”

And you would certainly be better off learning these other phrases using die GalleGift und Galle speien/spucken -“to fly off the handle” or “to be in a rage” – or jemandem kommt die Galle hoch – “someone’s blood is boiling”- or jemandem läuft die Galle über – “someone is seething or livid.”

And finally, there is the not to be missed clang-translation from French (where grand ongle “big toe” has become großen Onkel “big uncle”) that means “pigeon-toed” that I know you will not be able to wait to use: über den großen Onkel gehen.

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