Angloland Learn Serbian – Phrases of the Week 4


RADIO MILEVA

Literal translation is radio by the name Mileva. Mileva is a Serbian name, though less common in this day and age, but with underlying humorous double entendre to refer to a woman , or possibly a man, who is much of a gossip spreading rumours and hearsay easily without checking whether they are true or not. This phrase may have originated in the times when there was no radio or TV so the gossip spread by word of mouth most often with malicious intentions. In Serbian one would say ‘Ti si prava Radio Mileva!’ (prava- real, genuine)The equivalent may well be ‘ you are a GOSSIP CENTRAL’ .

IĆI TRBUHOM ZA KRUHOM

Literal translation of this phrase is to ‘go elsewhere so that one can satiate the needs of one’s own stomach i.e. to leave one’s region or a country for more arable pastures or for better job prospects and business opportunities. (trbuh means a stomach, a belly ; kruh is an archaic word for bread) and ‘za’ means for.

BITI BEZ PREBIJENE PARE

Literal translation is to be without ‘a beaten penny or a dime’ meaning to be penniless, to be short of money, to be out of your pocket , to be poor and destitute. Most probably the origin of the phrase prebijena para originated from the coins being ‘beaten’ or ‘hammered out’ in the Mint. A related phrase would also be ‘biti svorc ili biti bez Žute banke’ meaning to be without a ‘yellow i.e. gold’ penny or a dime.

KO PRE DEVOJCI, NJEMU DEVOJKA

Literal translation of this phrase means ‘the one who comes to the girl first gets the girl. Its equivalent in English would be ‘First come , first served’ though the Serbian phrase is rather colloquial and used as a proverb so it cannot be used in formal business contexts for e.g. written on formal invitations because of its humorous contents in the way it is normally used in English

BITI NOĆNA PTICA

Literal translation of this phrase is 'to be a night bird' referring to the person who behave like ‘a nocturnal animal’ such as an owl,to say that a person is 'a night owl kind of a person' likes to live a nocturnal life, to stay up all night, to work or study at night or most often to a person who likes going out at night, to go clubbing all night long

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