Catalan idioms: Figs

“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” In many languages, people use fruits and vegetables in idioms or sayings. And Catalan is not an exception. Sometimes, fruits are used to refer to a part of the... 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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In many languages, people use fruits and vegetables in idioms or sayings. And Catalan is not an exception. Sometimes, fruits are used to refer to a part of the body, some other times as an adjective to describe a mood or a person, … As an example, we can use a sentence used in Catalan, that is also used in English: més content que un pésol (happy as a pea). There are many other Catalan idioms including fruits or vegetables, but they will lost their charm when translated. Nonetheless, we will try to translate some of the sentences about a seasonal fruit.
Today, we will try to explain some Catalan idioms containing the word fig, which can be translated into Catalan as figa. Not that different, is it? There are hundreds of idioms in Catalan that include the fruit (figa) or the tree (figuera). Such as:

Sembla que baixis (o Caiguis) de la figuera (go down or fall from the fig tree): it’s said when you don’t know something, when you don’t realize of something obvious or you are distracted.- Està pesant figues: (weigh down figs) which can be translated into “take a cat nap” – It is said for the resemblance between the movement of your head when napping on the sofa with the movement of the pan of a weighing scale when you put the fruit on it.- Ets un Figaflor (which is the world to describe the first fig of the season) – It is said to someone bland, without the energy or without personality.

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There is also another curious expression containing the word fig. Its the saying “fer figa” which can not be literally translated and it is said when something doesn’t come out as expected or when you run out of energy and faint. This expression comes from the Classical Greece. They were really superstitious and thought that the malefic powers of witches and wizards could reach you with just a glance. To avoid this threat, people put their thumb between the index and the middle finger. A gesture also known as “fer figa” (do the fig – for the resemblance between the form you hand takes and this fruit).

Many other languages include figs in their idioms. There are some examples in Spanish, such is “de higos a brevas” (from figs – the late fruit of the fig tree- to breba – the early fruit of the fig tree) which means from time to time, as 8 months will pass from the first fig to the first breba.

In English there are also some expressions using this fruit. One example can be: “not give a fig” meaning you are not interested in something.

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In this website there are more than 300 Catalan idioms using fig!! Do you know any other idiom or saying in any other language containing this fruit? You can share your recommendations, but also your doubts or questions with us on FacebookTwitter or Google +


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