Expressions of Europe

Europe is the continent of linguistic creativity. If we pay attention to our neighbors’ jokes, tongue twisters or spoonerisms, we discover many ways of thinking and understanding the world. One may notice for instance that every European country do jokes about one or various of its neighbors. This illustrate the special kind of links which bind nations together. One may also notice that behind funny tongue twisters, there are sometines amazing stories. It learns us a lot on the historical backgrounds of each country. This section will mainly revolves around those European expressions, trying to introduce them in a transnational outlook.

European Countries’ Nicknames

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?

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European ‘Bon Appétit’

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.

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European Nationality-Related Idioms

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!

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European Palindromes

You may not know but “Romanians are aces in love”, “in the morning even yogurt makes you fat” in Serbia, “Cheese has a smell” in Croatia, “Karin shave well” in Sweden, or “mice have no grandsons” in Italy…

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European Superstitions

What happens if you bite your tongue in Serbia? If a bird shit on you in Lithuania? If you spill wine on the table in Portugal? If you knock on wood in Germany? Or if you touch the red pompom of a sailor’s beret in France?

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European Jokes

But who are we poking fun at? Belgian jokes are very popular in France, such as jokes on Swedes are very common in the Nordics. In the Baltic countries, people tend to laugh at Estonians, whereas in Balkan countries, they do jokes on Bosnians.

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European Tongue Twisters

“She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore”, “Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal”, “Les chaussettes de l’archi-duchesse, sont-elles sèches, archi-sèches ?” Tongue Twisters will teach you a lot on European culture and history.

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