Tradurre le frasi idiomatiche / 3


Call someone on the carpet: to confront or hold someone responsible for some misdeed. Aspettare al varco, anche se usare questa frase fatta per tradurre l’originale non rende l’idea del confronto, quindi, forse, fare un liscio e busso.

Call (someone’s) bluff: to challenge someone to carry out a threat or prove the truth of a statement. Andare a vedere le carte, far scoprire le carte, venire a vedere le carte, scoprire il bluff.

Call a spade a spade: to speak plainly or call something by its right name, even if it is unpleasant. Dire pane al pane.

Call the shots: to be in control or to give orders. Avere il polso della situazione.

(Open a) Can of worms: a situation that contains many unexpected and unwanted problems and consequences. (aprire) la pentola dei vermi.

Carry a torch (for someone): to be in love with someone, usually someone who does not love in return. Avere qualcuno nel cuore.

Cast pearls before swine: to offer something to someone who cannot appreciate it. Dare perle ai porci.

Catch someone redhanded (get caught redhanded): essere colti in flagrante.

Change horses in midstream: to change plans or leaders in the middle of some action or event. Cambiare cavallo in corsa.

Charmed life (to lead a): to be lucky or avoid danger. Una vita rose e fiori.

Checkered past (to have a): in inglese l’espressione allude più ad aspetti negativi del passato di qualcuno e quindi alti e bassi è meno efficace anche se rende l’idea di un passato discontinuo; anche: avere qualche scheletro nell’armadio. 

Chew someone out: to scold somebody harshly. Fare a pezzi. Fare il liscio e busso (a qualcuno).

Chew (something) over: to think slowly and carefully about something. Ruminare.

Chicken out : Fare il coniglio.

A chip of the old block: very much like one’s parent(s). È tutto suo padre. È tutto sua madre (e varianti).

Chip on one’s shoulder: a feeling of bitterness caused by a sense that one has been treated unfairly. 2. Carl has a chip on his shoulder because he was passed over for promotion in favor of Maria, although he feels he was better qualified. QUindi: essersela presa, troppo forte avere il dente avvelenato.

Clam up: to not say anything. Acqua in bocca. Restare abbottonati.

Clean slate (wipe the slate clean) or turn over a new leaf: Voltare pagina.

Climb/Jump on the bandwagon: to join the crowd in following a popular position, cause, activity, or fashion. Salire/Saltare sul carro del vincitore.

Close shave: Per un pelo.

Closed-minded: (Essere) chiuso.

Cock-and-bull story (synonyms: song and dance; snow job) : A story that is too unlikely to be believed. Fanfaronata.

Cold feet: To be too scared to do something. Con la coda tra le gambe.

Cold turkey: abruptly; not gradually. Di punto in bianco.

Come full circle: to return (figuratively) to a point where one has been before. Chiudere il cerchio.

Come home to roost: to return to cause trouble 1. If you tell a lie, you may get caught up in it and find that it comes home to roost.  2. Dorothy is convinced that she is ill and dying because her unhealthy lifestyle has come home to roost.   Nel primo esempio: Le bugie hanno le gambe corte. Nel secondo: ritorcersi contro.

Come off it!: a response to a statement that cannot be believed (sentence 1) or a behaviour that must be stopped (sentence 2). 1. You expect me to believe that you don’t know how that dent in the car fender got there? Oh, come off it! 2. First you ask for juice and then change your mind and say you want milk. I get it for you, and now you beg for water. Come off it!  Vedi di piantarla. Dacci un taglio.

Come out of (one’s) shell: Uscire dal guscio.

Come out smelling like a rose: to avoid blame that one deserves; to seem innocent. Uscirne come un giglio di campo. Uscire pulito (da una situazione).

Cook (someone’s) goose: to ruin someone’s plans. Rompere le uova nel paniere (a qualcuno).

Cool one’s heels: far fare l’anticamera (a qualcuno)

Cost (someone) a mint/ an arm and a leg: To cost a great deal of money.  Costare un occhio; costare un occhio della testa.

Cornered: trapped with no means of escape. (Essere) messi nell’angolo.

Crocodile tears: false, exaggerated tears. Lacrime di coccodrillo.

Cry over spilled milk: Piangere sul latte versato.

Cut corners: to do things poorly or incompletely in order to save money. Essere troppo avari.

Cut off (one’s) nose to spite (one’s) face: to injure oneself in the process of seeking revenge or attempting to punish someone. Talvolta traducibile con: Darsi la zappa sui piedi.

Cut someone to the quick: to hurt or wound someone deeply. Spezzare il cuore a qualcuno; avere il cuore a pezzi come nella frase: I was very hurt when my son and daughter-in-law told me they wouldn’t be spending Christmas with us this year. I was cut to the quick.

Cut the mustard: to meet standards (only used with people). Essere all’altezza (del compito, del lavoro, della missione, ecc.)

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