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Have you ever had that frustrating feeling of being at a loss for words? You know what you want to say - the perfect idiom exists in your own language - but you're speaking English, and English sadly lacks the very turn of phrase you love so much! Boris Ludwig introduces some of the "missing idioms" which we think ought to be introduced into European English... And this time, he finds himself "between four eyes" with "his heart on his tongue!"

moustache
Photo: Armin Kübelbeck (licence)
Heiner Brand doesn't blow on his moustache

Have you ever thought about what attracts you when you meet someone you fancy? Is it their hair or the way they dress? Is it the character that's hidden behind it all or do you have a strange affection towards muscles, shoes or piercings?

Although appearance isn't everything, it probably plays quite a major part in our attraction to others! And as you get intimate with European languages, you'll see that the body linguistically crucial, too. Parts of the body feature as swearwords, as symbols, in metaphors and in idioms.

In order to speak a bit more fluently next time you meet someone you like, here's a list from E&M that should help you impress them - or even "wind them round your little finger"!

Just imagine the following situation: you're invited to a friend's party, and you meet an attractive boy or girl but don't know what to say. You could talk about how you like the music or the the singer, but maybe you're worried that talking about music is a bit of an old-fashioned way of catching someone’s attention. No, it isn't, if you just use the right words. So take your cue from German and say: "Hey, that song is an earworm" (Hey, der Song ist ein Ohrwurm.) Maybe they'll ask you what you meant, and you can tell them that an earworm is a really catchy song.

Now the two of you are already talking privately, "between four eyes," as Czechs would say (mezi čtyřma očima). That's a good start, isn't it?

So what could you do next? You could stand up to get some drinks for the two of you. But as the bar is full of people and a big crowd are waiting for their drinks, you'd better jump up and run by "putting your legs onto your shoulders" (Italian: le gambe sulle spalle).

Now you're back with two glasses of fine wine that were quite hard to get as you had to push forward in the queue. But what if your companion speaks frankly - what if he "has his heart on his tongue," (German: Das Herz auf der Zunge tragen) – and tells you that he doesn't like people pushing forward in queues?

Well in this case you have two possibilities left: you could either go Russian and tell them: "I don't blow on my moustache" (в ус не дуть - v us ne dut') which would mean that you don't care at all, and empty your glass of wine alone. Or you could put a curse on his or her family, smash his or her car, tell bad childhood stories in front of his or her friends and write an e-mail with six words inspired by Dutch: "That mouse will have a tail." ("Dat muisje zal een staartje hebben") - Which means, I'm not finished with you yet...

Whatever happens, have a nice party!

“Dat muisje zal een staartje hebben” -“Dat muisje zal een staartje hebben” -
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