"I'm not hanging noodles from your ear." In Moscow, this curious, engagingly colorful assertion is common parlance, but if you're not Russian your reaction is probably "Say what?" The same idea in English is equally odd: "I'm not pulling your leg." Both mean: Believe me.
As author Jag Bhalla demonstrates, these amusing, often hilarious phrases provide a unique perspective on how different cultures perceive and describe the world. Organized by themesfood, love, romance, and many morethey embody cultural traditions and attitudes, capture linguistic nuance, and shed fascinating light on "the whole ball of wax." For example, when English-speakers are hard at work, we're "nose to the grindstone," but industrious Chinese toil "with liver and brains spilled on the ground" and busy Indians have "no time to die."
This surprising, often thought-provoking book is a perfect gift for word lovers, travelers, and anyone who enjoys looking at life in a riotous, unusual way. And we're not hanging noodles from your ear.
Jag Bhalla is an Oxford-educated technology entrepreneur and avid traveler who gathered the material for this book in the course of his enterprises and adventures. He co-produced the feature-length documentary film Voices in Wartime.
"In this amusing look at cultural similarities, what we call 'a chip on the shoulder' the Italians call a fly on the nose, and what we call 'nervous in the Service' is in Spanish like a crocodile in a wallet factory."The New York Times (William Safire)