Proverb – Finnish

“Menan pois medä on petitu.”

“Let’s go, we’ve been cheated.”

“Let’s get out of here, we’ve been cheated.”

The informant is a 25-year-old insurance broker who grew up in Ohio and the Los Angeles region. His father is Finnish and his mother is a third generation Swedish American.

The informant told me, “You say that whenever you leave a restaurant or a store or anything like that.” He said it’s like a joke, one doesn’t say it when one is upset that the place over charged one, one says it walking out of any store or restaurant. The informant learned this saying from his father who moved from Finland to the United States from Finland during his college years and had a family here in the States. The informant said that he uses this saying much more frequently than other Finnish sayings – like the Finnish saying about the Finnish Politician Putkinen.

I think it makes sense that the informant uses this saying frequently here in America because it translates well. There’s nothing about it that is uniquely Finnish. Both in Finland and in the United States it’s easy for one to walk out of a decently priced restaurant and feel like one spent more money than one meant to or to not realize how much money one has spent. It is possible that this phrase might be a slight criticism of consumerism – in that it’s easy to feel cheated walking out of a store. In that there isn’t a type of store or restaurant that is targeted as the “cheating” kind it could be said that the system of buying and selling of goods is more the object of criticism in this proverb – however tacitly that might be expressed.

We’ve been cheated (only proverb)