Portuguese idiom of the day

Just learned this one, and am going to be waiting for a chance to use it:

É cor de burro quando foge.

“It’s the color of a burro on the run.” (Literally, “when it flees.”) In other words, a color that defies description. This reminds me of a friend who dyed her hair and called it “a color not normally found in nature.” She doesn’t dye her hair anymore, alas, so I can’t use this phrase on her.

I’ll keep looking.

Advertisements

About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in language, Portugal. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Portuguese idiom of the day

  1. xenatuba says:

    Reminiscent of a car color that came out a few years back from Chrysler…was it brown? pink? Mauve? I will now call it “É cor de burro quando foge”, or “fleeing donkey” for my dispatchers.

  2. Alex says:

    I’m glad you liked it, I use it very often 😀 . Many portuguese speakers don’t know, but it’s believed that this expression came from a corrupted form of “Corro de burro quando foge”, which sounds almost the same and means “I run away from a donkey when it flees” (an advice not to mess with it when it’s fleeing, because it becomes quite aggressive). The derived form is much funnier and was adopted popularly as an expression meaning a color which is either unspecified or impossible to describe. (Source: Origens de Anexins, by Castro Lopes, ed. Rio de Janeiro: Francisco Alves, 1909).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s