Using Expressions Day-to-Day: Water P.5

Using Expressions Day-to-Day: Water P.5

English

Persian

Audio

To be very unlikely; When pigs fly
آب که سَر بالا بره، قورباغه ابوعطا می‌خونه
To be generous with another (wo)man's money
آب از دریا بخشیدن ; از كيسه‌ی خليفه بخشيدن
To be desolate; to be out in the sticks; to have nothing around for miles
نه آب است و نه آبادی نه گلبانگ مسلمانی
To be past the point of return
آب رفته به جوى باز نمی‌گردد; آب رفته رو بجوی باز آوردن
To blow over
آب ها که از آسیاب افتاد; آسیاب رو که به آب برگردوندن

آب که سَر بالا بره، قورباغه ابوعطا می‌خونه

This is used to denote the unlikeliness of something happening. So unlikely that until the time that water goes up and the frog sings (Avaze) Abou-ata, this thing will not happen. 

Avaze-Abou-ata is an offshoot of ‘Dastgâh Shur’, Dastgâh refers to a modal style in Persian music. For an explanation of Abou-ata visit here.  

به معنای کار غیر ممکن٬ اتفاق غریب الوقوع

It means an impossible task, a strange occurrence

Photo by Mobin Jahantark on Unsplash

آب از دریا بخشیدن ; از كيسه‌ی خليفه بخشيدن

 آب از دریا بخشیدن shares the same meaning as از كيسه‌ی خليفه بخشيدن, however, it must be said that the latter is more commonly used (and, as such, this is the one that will be spoken about for this example).

These expressions are used to describe somebody who gives away to others that which does not belong to them. In English, a person like this would be described as being ‘cheeky,’ or as someone who is ‘generous’ with another’s money or resources (the use of generous here, of course being ironic).

  از کسیه ای خلیفه‌ی بخشیدن  dates back to 786–809 and the reign of Harun Al-Rashid, the fifth Abbasid Caliph. The story revolves around Al-Rashid, his uncle and his  Iranian vizier, Jafar al-Barmaki who earnt the admiration of Al-Rashid when he forgave Al-Rashid’s uncles debts and provided him with a living, but all from the purse of the Caliph!

نه آب است و نه آبادی نه گلبانگ مسلمانی

به معنای شهر٬ روستا یا مکان بی رونق و بی آبادی

Meaning a town or village or place which isn’t prosperous or well-developed.

  گلبانگ مسلمانی refers to the call to prayer. گلبانگ is a synonym for ترانه (song) نغمه (song, chant). 

آب رفته به جوى باز نمی‌گردد; آب رفته رو بجوی باز آوردن

به معنای فرصت انجام  کاری رو از دست دادن یا ناتوان بودن در جبران یه چیزی یا کاری

Meaning that the opportunity to do something or make up for something has passed. 

It literally means that once the water has gone into the stream and it does not come back out. 

آب و روغنش رو زیاد کردن

آب و روغنش را زیاد کردن; آب و تاب دادن; لِفت و لعاب دادن; آب و روغن دادن; پیاز داغ چیزی رو زیاد کردن

 به معنای اغراق کردن; غلو کردن

For this expression, one can find many colourful synonyms which are all worthy of including and breaking down. 

آب و روغن + (ش) را زیاد کردن – means to increase the oil and water to something, to add more flavour or ingredients. 

آب و تاب دادن or چیزی را با آب و تاب شرح دادن  means to explain something lustrously, with embellishments, to embellish a story (to relate something with added detail – the detail being positive). 

لفت و لعاب دادن – This alludes to the process of re-coat or re-glazing a pan. لعاب means glaze or enamel. To add a shiny veneer to a story. 

Lastly, پیاز داغ چیزی رو زیاد کردن means to add more sautéed onions, a staple in Iranian dishes. Sautéed onions being delicious and tasty, again alludes to the idea of making something more sound more palatable or appealing by exaggerating or adding embellishments. 

In addition, this example uses another idiom – چیزی آش دهن سوزی بودن.

آش meaning soup, دهن mouth, سوزی burning.

So, literally, something is  “mouth-burning”. This alludes to when someone is making a very delicious meal and they can’t wait for it to cool down and so, in their eagerness to eat the meal, they end up burning their mouths. It follows then that when something is not very tasty, you are not in a rush to eat it and, therefore, it will not burn your mouth. 

This is used in several contexts, and can mean something is tasty (in it’s positive form), In it’s negative form it can mean that something is unattractive and in the context of marriage it can be used when someone has received a proposal but is not particularly interested in the person who has given it.

Photo by Simona Sergi on Unsplash

آب ها از آسیاب افتادن; آسیاب رو که به آب برگرداندن

This expression harks from the use of water-powered mills in Iran. The process in which the water causes the wheel to turn is very noisy. When the water is prevented from reaching the mill, the millstone stops turning and, the noise ceases. This process of stopping the millstone and the noise became an expression that refers to when there has been a commotion or hubbub that, after a time, ceases and calm is restored once again.

 به معانی وقتی که شرایط به حالت عادی برگشت.م

Meaning when things have gone back to normal

Photo by Joran Quinten on Unsplash

Leave a Reply