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How Other Countries Say “When Pigs Fly” and Other Idioms

You’ve heard the idiom “when pigs fly” plenty of times, but do you know what they say in Spanish? You’d get the same message across by saying “when frogs grow hair.” That was news to me, and I love it.

The series Idiomascots, illustrated by Genevieve Edwards, gives 5 other examples of absolutely bizarre sounding idioms translated from other languages.

That’s the funny thing about cultural phrases, they could be restated in any number of ways to get the same message across. “When pigs fly” in Finnish is “kun lehmät lentävät” (when cows fly) because it sounds better rolling off the tongue. In French they say “quand les poules auront des dents” (when hens have teeth). Wayne’s World said it a different way: “and monkeys might fly out of my butt.”

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Find prints of these illustrations at Frankly Fluent, where all proceeds go to Beanstalk – a UK literacy charity that recruits, vets, trains and supports volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind with their reading.

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