1. E dus cu pluta
He's gone on a raft (crazy)
2. Crede ca acolo umbla cainii cu covrigi in coada
He thinks dogs walk about with pretzels on their tails there
3. A luat teapa
He took a spike. Inspired by Vlad Tepes's method of impaling his enemies?
4. No e mare filosofie
It's no grand philosophy
5. A impuscat doi iepuri deodata
He shot two rabbits at once
6. S-a simtit acolo ca pestele in apa
He felt there like a fish in the water
7. Decizia arbitrului l-a scos din pepeni
The referee's decision pulled him out of his watermelon patch (made him angry, made him lose his temper). Apparently this refers to the fact that the guard watching over a watermelon patch had to shoo away people who wanted to steal some of the fruit.
8. S-a uitat la ea ca vitelul la poarta noua
He stared at it like a calf at a new gate
9. Ma uitam la ea ca pisica la calendar
I was looking at it like a cat at a calendar
10. Decizia lor e frectie la picior de lemn.
Their decision is a rub on a wooden leg
11. Frecam menta
We're just rubbing the mint (wasting time). Ancient Greeks used to rub their dining tables with mint to refresh the rooms. It appears the custom lasted throughout the centuries, for when Phanariote Greeks — from the main Greek quarter of Constantinople, Phanar — were appointed rulers in Moldova and Wallachia starting in 1711/16, they brought it with them. Soon throughout the Phanariote period (which lasted until 1821) and beyond, wealthy families had some of their servants rub the mint every day, and some of these servants liked the easy chore and made their best to do it for hours so as to avoid more strenuous tasks. It has thus come to be associated with indolence, pretending to work, wasting time . . .
12. Era o liniste de puteai auzi musca
It was so quiet, you could have heard a fly buzz
13. Se simte cu musca pe caciula
He feels he has a fly on his hat (guilty). This probably stems from fairy tales. I remember one where a bee landed on someone's hat to indicate to the protagonists something, possibly that the person was guilty (I'll have to look up that story again).
14. Tragi de timp
You're pulling at time (playing for time, stalling)
15. Doar imi trag sufletul
I'm just heaving up my soul (taking a breather)
16. Intinzi prea mult coarda
You're stretching the cord too much (pushing it/someone too far)
17. A alergat prin oras in costumul lui Adam
He ran through the city in Adam's suit
18. Nu e mare branza
It's no great cheese (big deal)
19. Om traim si om vedea
We'll live and see
20. Au facut din tantar armasar
They made a stallion out of a mosquito (made a mountain out of a molehill; the words "stallion" and "mosquito" are chosen in Romanian because they rhyme)
21. Au lasat-o in voia sortii
They left her to the will of fate
22. Si-a unit soarta cu a lui
She tied her fate to his (cast her lot with him)
23. Acum traieste la mama naibii
She now lives at the devil's mother's (far away)
24. Ii lipseste o doaga
She's missing a stave (as in a barrel missing a stave; missing a few marbles)
25. E limpede ca lacrima: ai gasit pe altcineva
It's clear as a tear: you've found someone else
26. Poti sa-ti pui pofta-n cui
You can hook your desire on a nail (you'll have to give up on something you really want). The Romanian pofta can mean desire, appetite, appetence, eagerness . . .
27. A facut-o batand din palme
He did it clapping his hands (quickly, without effort; you may think it means to order someone else to do something for you, but it doesn't)
28. A facut din rahat bici
He made a whip out of s**t (to achieve something notable with modest resources; sometimes used to mean that it's possible, that he really did it, and at other times to disparage his achievement, for you can't make a whip out of shit and make it crack [which is the lesser-known extended phrase])
29. E un rahat in ploaie
He's a s**t in the rain
30. Minte creata!
Curly mind! (used to address someone who may think he is smart but whose ideas are, in fact, rather stupid; it most likely has to do with the circumvolutions of the brain, but is used disparagingly)
31. A cazut din lac in put
She fell from a lake into a well (from the frying pan into the fire)
32. A cautat-o cu lumanarea
She looked for it with a candle
33. Fata aia e tufa de Venetia
That girl is a Venice bush (clueless)
34. Vorbesti de lup si lupul la usa
Talk of the wolf and the wolf (appears) at the door
35. A asteptat asa de mult, ca i-a iesit parul prin caciula
He waited so long, his hair came out through his hat
36. Rade ciob de oala sparta
Laughs the shard at the broken pot
37. Ai mancat rahat cand erai mic?
You ate s**t when you were a kid? (are lucky)
38. Cred ca te imbeti cu apa rece
I think you're getting drunk with cold water
39. Nu face nici cat o ceapa degerata
It's not even worth a frozen onion
40. I s-au aprins calcaiele din momentul cand a vazut-o
His heels got on fire the moment he saw her
41. Ma doare exact in cot!
It hurts me right in the elbow! (I don't care at all!)
42. Nu mai manca c***t
Stop eating s**t (lying)
43. I-ai dat moara la apa . . .
You gave water to her mill . . .
. . . and then she started rattling off all these Romanian expressions!
Feel free to share other expressions, but please keep them PG rated!
That's hilarious! Yes, people and all cultures have expressions for lazy but smart :)
I can totally find myself in frecam menta... I believe everybody has his or her lazy (but smart) version of himself or herself somewhere... Thanks for sharing these funny expressions.
Derdriu: No, I haven't. What is that site? As for the Monty Python sketches, they still baffle me :)
Mira, Have you seen the site that gives common phrase equivalents from English to a number of other languages and always shows as the last the translation of "My hovercraft is full of eels" from Monty Python?
Mira, Thank you for sharing English and Romanian expressions with us. Is the saying "A alergat prin oras in costumul lui Adam"/"He ran through the city in Adam's suit" ever used with "she" and "Eve"? One of my favorites is "Frecam menta"/"We're just rubbing the mint."
You're welcome! It's my pleasure :)
Oh my! I didn't mean for you to do extra work. But thanks for the additional clarification. :)
Dear Treathyl and others, I have gone through the phrases and given more explanations.
You're right. I've identified a few more which would need further explanations. But I'll leave them as they are for now :)
I'm laughing at myself right now. Even though you've translated those sayings into English, I still need an interpreter for most of them. I'm clueless! Not only is the language different but clearly the culture is different as well. I'm reading but inside my head I'm going: '(O.o) What does that mean?' LOL. :) Thanks for sharing them though.