Persian is full of idiomatic expressions and frequently draws upon the elements. For instance, the word water is widely used both in literature and in everyday conversation. Due to Iran’s climate, water has always been of great sanctity in the minds of Iranians. As such, water’s veneration has been documented since the ancient Mithraism era and is the root of many symbols, myths and rituals. Additionally, water has great importance in Islam due to its life-giving and purifying qualities.
Therefore, to start our ‘How To Use Expressions Day-to-Day’ we will begin with water. For our first instalment, we bring five expressions with examples for everyday use.
The language used in this series will be the Iranian Persian spoken dialect. For a reminder of the most common changes found in the spoken language, please visit our previous blog post, ‘Spoken Persian in Iran’.
This expression is used when someone experiences physical changes to their body as a result of travelling
Masood has had a stomach-ache for a few days now and can’t eat anything. His mother said to him “because you’ve recently returned from travelling, your system has gone haywire — this is why you don’t feel well. It will soon sort itself out”
مسعود چند روزه كه دل درد داره و نمی تونه چیزی بخوره، مادرش به او گفت چون به تازگی از سفر برگشتهای، آب به آب شدی و برای همين حالت مساعد نیست. به زودی مشكل برطرف ميشه
برای گرقتن یه چیزی من به آب و آتیش زدم
I bent over backwards in order to get something
من بخاطر تو و این بچه و این خونه و زندگی خودم رو به آب و آتیش میزنم که شما گشنه نمونین بعد اینجوری داری جواب منونین دی؟
I bend myself over backwards for you, the kid, the house and “life” so that you (both) wouldn’t stay hungry, and then you respond to me in this way?
To ‘fish in troubled waters.’ This is often said in its negative form in order to discourage someone from taking advantage of a bad situation. However, it can also be used in a more neutral context to convey that you made the most of a negative situation.
The relationship between two people has gone bad and [there is] someone who would like to get together with one of them. Someone else says to him “az āb ge-lā-lood māhee na-geer” [don’t go fishing in troubled waters] and wait until the situation has improved.
رابطه بین دو نفر خراب شده است و کسی میخواد با یکی از طرفین دوست بشه. دوستش به او میگه از آب گل آلود ماهی نگیر و صبر کن تا اوضاع بهتر شه
The most literal use of this expression is …
When someone suddenly comes to a party and (the host) waters down the food to make more to go around, but the food doesn’t taste as good
وقتی به طور ناگهانی برای کسی مهمون بیاد اون به خورشت آب میبنده تا حجم اونو زیاد کنه اما غذا از مزه مییفته