Catalan Idioms: Who will bell the cat?

“Because we are convinced that culture can cross borders, this site is created for those of you who want to understand better our culture and language” Have you ever heard an idiom that means something is too difficult or dangerous? Each area and surely each town and even each family, has its own way to... View Article


“Because we are convinced that culture can cross borders, this site is created for those of you who want to understand better our culture and language”

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Have you ever heard an idiom that means something is too difficult or dangerous? Each area and surely each town and even each family, has its own way to use idioms and expressions.

Not all Catalan expressions are widely known. Some of them are only used in some specific places, some others aren’t too used and some others are being replaced by Anglicisms. But there is an expression that can be literaly translated into Catalan, Spanish or English without losing its meaning. We are talking about the sentence: belling the cat.

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Have you ever heard this sentence? We have to recognize this expression is a bit old-fashioned and there are more trendy expressions that can easily replace this one. Do you know where it comes from? There is a fable in which a group of mice where looking for a solution to stop worrying for the cat that wanted to catch them. One of them proposed to place a bell around the cat’s neck, so that they will know if the cat approaches. What an extraordinary idea! One the initial emotion subside, one of them said: “But, who will bell the cat?” Those words demonstrate how difficult and risky it was to do what they wanted to and they finally decided to leave things as they were.

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And you, which expression or idiom do you use to say something is really dangerous or too difficult? Do you swear, use modern expressions or try to use traditional idioms?

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