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Idioms & Phrases

Umtea Kollxar Udok

Water off a duck’s back Umtea kollxar udok  literally means “water on a large upside-down water pot. The equivalent English metaphor, “water off a duck’s back”,  is therefore almost a literal translation of the Konkani one, except that as the water is poured from above, the umto kollso  below is replaced by the duck.  Yet the Konkani metaphor is perhaps more … Continue reading »

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Bara brêstar ani tera sunkrar

Utter destruction “Bara brêstar ani tera sunkrar” literally means “twelve Thursdays and thirteen Fridays” and offers no clue to its intended significance. It is true that the number thirteen has been generally considered as unlucky, so much so that sometimes even builders and owners of apartment buildings give in to the superstition and take you from … Continue reading »

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Chuddtêcho sorôp

Meaning: An empty threat (literally: a palm-leaf snake) When I was a kid, we didn’t have TOYS Я US where we could hope to get our birthday presents from. And in Goa, where I grew up, there used to be no such thing as a birthday celebration in the first place, though I must admit … Continue reading »

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Chitt Ailea?

In the days of old, there used to be two common forms of greeting. One was the usual “How are you?” or preferably “Are you well?” To a male person: “Tum boro ahai mum?” To a lady: “Tum bori ahai mum?” To a younger girl: “Tum borem ahai mum?” To two or more males: “Tumi … Continue reading »

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