Watch your moves (bis)

Christmas lights

What's up doc?

It had been a while since I faced such a humorous situation due to a linguistic misunderstanding. The previous iteration was when someone used "tongue in cheek" as an expression and I thought it had to do with
oral sex...

This time however no kinky analogy, but a medical misunderstanding when I poorly translated a French idiom in English. After having updated my Faceboook profile with this misleading sentence, in the course of the next thirty minutes, friends from all over the world were pinging me emails of sympathy, inquiring about my health... Thanks everyone for your concerns, but I am fine. Really.

So what did I say? Having had a poor day with a succession of bad news, I declared: "Gutted, I have inflated balls right up my throat". Writing this statement again now, with its aftermaths in mind, I realise that it calls an image of damaged limbs for the non-initiated... But that was certainly not the intention, so let me unfold the true meaning of this idiom.

Balls of steel.

In colloquial French two expressions describe a state of growing irritation. The first one is "Ca me gonfle", which could translate into "it inflates me", whilst the other one is "Avoir les boules", i.e. "to have the balls". Both expressions are closely correlated and express a similar feeling: being gutted or upset.

Visually they can interchangeably be accompanied by an appropriate gesture: two hands grabbing imaginary balls on each side of the throat (NB: with a more discreet alternative, where one hand claws the throat in a short back and forth movement).

It seems that this image would illustrate the fact that you are annoyed to the point that the "balls" - which are usually located a good meter lower - tend to make their way upwards like two inflated balloons, up to your throat.

So now you are warned. The next time you see a French guy massaging his throat suggestively, he may not be looking for a Strepsil... He probably just want you to leave him alone with your boring stuff.

To read further:

No comments:

Post a Comment