It’s been another weird, wild and wonderful week here. I love alliteration. One of my favourites is ‘smashed to smithereens’, useful if you’ve just dropped a vase on the tiled floor. The word ‘smithereens’ probably derives from the Irish word smidiríní, meaning ‘little bits’. What I find particularly fascinating is the fact that the letter d in the Irish word becomes th in the English one, which could very well explain why Irish people tend to pronounce th as a t or a d. The word smithereens made me think of ‘blithering’ as in ‘blithering idiot’ (I can still hear my Dad calling other drivers that!). Blithering actually means ‘talking nonsense’ but since my Dad couldn’t hear the other drivers, it was likely a non-swearing swear word. It probably comes from the Scottish word ‘blether’.
I discovered a couple of very interesting things while translating: although expressions differ, they often stay somewhere in the vicinity! In English, we know a place like the back of our hand, in Dutch, it’s the thumb. See what I mean? In the vicinity. In English, we learn something off by heart, in Dutch, out of the head. Close enough😊 However in English, money doesn’t grow on trees, in Dutch, it doesn’t grow on people’s backs! Ah well, there goes that theory!