Tag Archives: Insult

Shoe Polish: A Folk Insult?

You don’t know shit from Shinola. According to the Informant, he heard this phrase growing up from his father. It was typically said by Person A in situations in which Person B doesn’t know what’s going on or for general naivety. It’s not exactly a proverb, because it ridicules those without wisdom instead of imparting… Continue Reading »

Arabic Proverb

Original Script: القرد بعين امو غزال Phonetic (Roman) script: Al gird be ain umo ghazaal. Transliteration: Al gird be ain umo ghazaal. Full translation: The monkey in the eye of its mother is a gazelle. Background Information about the Piece by the informant: “I like this because it just is an example of how the… Continue Reading »


About the Interviewed: Spencer is a former student of the George Washington University, now graduated and teaching English overseas. He describes his ethnic background as “Potpourri”, with his family having a mixture of Scottish-Polish origins with some Irish thrown in the mix. His family has lived in North America for generations, so he prefers to identify… Continue Reading »

Go Salt Yourself!

“Pojdi se solit!” Translation: “Go salt yourself!” Used as an expression of frustration, this phrase can be taken to mean, “screw you!” The informant has been saying this particular phrase to me since I was young, whenever I was sufficiently irritating. For years, I was puzzled by why she would repeat this seemingly nonsensical saying… Continue Reading »