Hilarious illustrations translate international idioms

Weird and wonderful phrases from all over the world are explained with these humorous illustrations.

Miscommunication happens easily enough when everybody speaks the same language, but once you add foreign tongues into the mix then things can get really confusing. To explain some of the usual turns of phrase and idioms they've come across while working with international clients, stationery supplier Viking have resorted to sketching these humorous illustrations.

Created by award-winning British illustrator Paul Blow, these 11 bold and stylish illustrations visualise how some of the world's more surreal idioms might look if they were literally translated into English.

From hairy teeth to sliding on sandwiches, there are plenty of quirky phrases out there to enjoy. Of course, the English language isn't without its own strange ways of saying things. Just where did the phrase cool as a cucumber come from anyway?

So give the full list of phrases below a browse, and maybe in the future you'll be able to impress people with your mastery of international languages and phrases.

Image 1 of 10

This phrase sure leaves us confused
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We give in, this phrase baffles us!
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Have you ever liked food so much you felt like your face would fall off?
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This phrase sounds great, but where does it come from?
Image 5 of 10

Too late, here's your mustard
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We're guessing this isn't referring to jam filled donuts
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Strange and surprisingly specific, this phrase needs to be used more widely
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Do leaders tend to have hairy teeth?
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Sweet and savoury in one unusual meal
Image 10 of 10

Nobody wants an onion instead of a meal

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dom Carter is Creative Bloq's staff writer, news finder, and all round design fan. You'll usually find him drooling over screen prints and coveting more notebooks than is practical.