What exactly happened to make it illegal to own a single guinea pig? Why would lawmakers ban peeing in the ocean? Who thought it credible to forbid getting drunk in a pub? Or, for that matter, to stop people locking up burglars, running 'violently', driving dirty cars, or sleeping on a bench?
Hold your horses! How much do you know about Europeans' animal idioms? Does the Slovenian roosters' breakfast ring you a bell? Will you pay the Portuguese duck for that? Do not worry: we won't let you swallow French grass snakes!
You're looking for a friend called 'Pierre Martin' in France ? Hard cheese, he's going to be tough to find. Don't even try to type 'Rossi' in an Italian search engine! Meanwhile, in Germany, 'Müller' is so frequent that you may end up... in a supermarket!
Have you ever wondered what your neighbouring country’s nicknames are, and how they got them? Do you know which European country is considered the Land of a Thousand Lakes? Where do the nicknames ‘Albion’, ‘Hellas’, ‘Magyars’ or ‘Lusitania’ come from?
It’s all about European cuisine… but in its great diversity! Mahlzeit! wishes you the German, Hyvää ruokahalua! replies the Finn, Dobrou chuť! says the Czechs and Bon Appétit! answers the French.
Apart from “haha” or “lol” in English, have you ever wondered how European languages indicate laughter on social media? Have you ever seen a Finn writing *reps* online, a German laughing with *grins* or an Estonian typing “irw”?
The ‘old boy‘, the ‘longfellow‘, the ‘bratwurst‘, the ‘pink oboe‘, the ‘trouser snake‘, the ‘love whistle‘… We often reward lifelong friends with a nickname... and Europeans do not lack creativity when it comes to referring to their manhood.
Don’t pretend you forgot “Simon says…” Well, you will now be able to play the game in all European languages, as it appears that Simon has a couple of other friends throughout Europe who are famous for giving commands in their own language.
When Spaniards “pretend to be Swedish“, they just pretend to be ignorant… When Romanians “steal the German’s pipe“, they are just getting drunk… And Slovenians “go to Rome” when they give birth!
Sometimes you just can’t cotton-pickin’ remember what something’s called. Sometimes it’s a lot of times. And sometimes you just don’t know the proper name of an object. What do you do in these moments? You use a placeholder of course!