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October 29, 2008

Chicken saying from Uruguay

Hi, I'm a Uruguayan English teacher, and I was looking for the translation of a saying we have in Spanish. As I couldn't find it in your collection, I am sending it to you, as my contribution to your excellent site.
The saying in Spanish goes like this:
"aplicar la ley del galllinero."
It could be translated as "apply the law of the henhouse", meaning that the hen which sits on top p**ps on the ones below.
Please reply to me and tell me if there is a similar saying in English, and how it goes.
Thank you, and keep on collecting Chicken Sayings!


Dear Ana
Love the saying!!!!!
Are you in Uruguay? You didn't include a mailing address.
You are eligible for a bumper sticker if it won't cost me an arm and a leg to mail it. (Roughly translated, that up to about $2) ;-)
There is no English equivalent, though it is a great saying!
I think the closest thing to it might be Ronald Reagan's "trickle-down theory" which said if you give a tax rebate to the rich they spend it and the poorer people benefit. Of course that is not true, so your saying is better!
Let me know where to send a bumper sticker.

Hi, Allison,
Thanks for your reply! And for confirming that there is no equivalent in Engllish.- I have to confess, though, that after reading your extensive collection of "chicken sayings" I had already acknowledged that if nothing appeared there, it was because it didn't exist in English-. Please enlighten me on how to express it correctly in English.

Tell me something about you. Do you have a chicken farm? :)

I am a teacher in Colonia, Uruguay. I run a small language and IT school, with around 100 students in total. I love reading and studying, and spend most of my time teaching. One of my hobbies is learning through the internet. Whenever I need to expand my knowledge on ANY topic, I just look it up on the net, and bingo! there it is. This is the way I learnt about your web page.

About the "trickle-down theory", I can tell you that in Uruguay we had a president who advocated for "making the pie bigger so that there would be more to give out". Regrettably, the only thing he made bigger was the fortunes of the wealthier lot of society, and the number of homeless people.

Thank you again,
Ana D

Your bumper sticker is on the way.
I translated it as
Aaplicar la ley del gallinero. (Spanish - 'apply the law of the henhouse' means a hen which sits on top soils the ones below)
My website doesn't use the word "p**p" which is somewhat off-color. "Soils" is more polite.
I'd love to see a picture of where you live and or teach.

Hi, Allison
Thank you for the bumper sticker! I am looking forward to receiving it!
Here goes a couple of pictures of me at work. They are not new, but not so old either.

picture of Anna


Dear Allison,
I have been very busy, but I haven't forgotten you. In fact, a few days after you announced you were sending the bumper sticker, it was brought to me by the mailman.
Thank you very much for it. I have been trying to understand its meaning, and here goes my guess:
Is it a figurative way of saying that anything that is forbidden becomes mobsters' matter?
I was thinking of the ban on alcohol during the '20s or the ban on soft drugs like marihuana in most countries...
Please write back and enlighten me!!!!


Dear Ana
It is a joke. In the 1980’s there was a movement to outlaw firearms in America. That was a slogan from a national rifle association, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” That means that if firearms are against the law, only law breakers will have guns. It also kind of means that the bad guys would be in charge if good guys don’t have guns to fight back with. I don’t know if I believe that, but changing it to being about chickens made it funny.
I hope that makes you laugh, too!