10 +1 Handy & Humorous Hungarian Idioms

  • 7 Oct 2021 3:43 PM
10 +1 Handy & Humorous Hungarian Idioms
Looking at popular idioms of various nationalities, we can often spot some intriguing similarities in logic with often rather humorous alterations in content. Here's a look at some local ones which you can use in daily life for fun in Hungary - as you can see many are pretty amusing when back-translated into English.

1. While you might say “A leopard can't change its spots”
Hungarians say, “Kutyaból nem lesz szalonna”, meaning, “You can’t make bacon out of a dog”.

2. While you might say “It’s all Greek to me.”
Hungarians say, “Ez nekem kínai”, meaning “It’s Chinese for me”.

3. While you might say “It’s not as good as you think.”
Hungarians say, “Nem kolbászból van a kerítés”, meaning “The fence is not made from sausage”.

4. While you might shout “You’re blocking my view!”
Hungarians shout “Apád nem volt üveges!”, meaning “Your dad wasn’t a glassmaker!” As in, you’re not transparent, so get out of the way.

5. While you might say “Yeah right, and pigs fly!”
Hungarians say “Majd ha piros hó esik!” meaning, "When red snow falls!"

6. While you might call something “Useless”
Hungarians say, “Kevés vagy, mint mackósajtban a brummogás”, meaning, “You’re as little as the roaring in a Mackó cheese (which is a type of cheese that has a small bear on the label).

7. While you might say someone is “naïve”
Hungarians say, “Kenyérre lehet kenni”, meaning, “You can spread them on bread”.

8. While you might say “Far, far away”
Hungarians say, “Az Isten háta mögött”, meaning “Behind God’s back”.

9. While you might say “She’s jumping for joy!”
Hungarians say, “Örül, mint majom a farkának.”, meaning, “She’s as happy as a monkey about his tail”.

10. While you might ask children “Why are you crying?”
Hungarians ask, “Miért itatod az egereket?”, meaning, “Why are you giving drinks to the mice?”.

+1. While you might say “It’s not worth the effort”
Hungarians say, “Annyit ér, mint halottnak a csók”, meaning, “It’s worth as much as a kiss to a dead person”
- which is quite dark and so not one to use too often most probably!

There are lots of other great Hungarian idioms out there but the presented these as they are quite commonly used.

Please feel free to use them but in the right context of course, we don’t want you to offend anyone after all.

Words by Daniel Csaki for XpatLoop.com

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