lasciare con un palmo di naso

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by TrentinaNE, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    La frase parla del Senattore Barack Obama:
    Giovedì sera a Washington è anche riuscito a lasciare con un palmo di naso i media americani e internazionali, con una finta che li ha dirottati davanti alla casa di Hillary Clinton, mentre lui...

    Il dizionario di WR dà "to feel disappointed" come il significato di restare con un palmo di naso. Allora lasciare con un palmo di naso significarebbe "to leave them feeling disppointed"? i.e., "Thursday night in Washington, he also left the American and international media feeling disappointed, by a feint that diverted them to Hillary Clinton's house while he..."

    È comune la espressione palma di naso?

    Grazie,
    Elisabetta
     
  2. ilaria77 Junior Member

    Italian
    Si e' comune.
    Significa quello che hai detto tu, anche se deve pur esserci una traduzione piu' letterale...
     
  3. Claudio_it

    Claudio_it Senior Member

    Modena - Italy
    Italy-Italian
    Yes, the meaning is correct, but is can be widened... it means leaving disappointed because of having been outsmarted, outwitted or ripped off.
    Hope it's clear, I don't know any literal translation though...
     
  4. ilaria77 Junior Member

    Italian
    Perhaps short-changed?
     
  5. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    Actually, you mean it can be narrowed to something more specific. ;)

    I think ilaria's "short-changed" may be on the right track...

    Elisabetta
     
  6. Claudio_it

    Claudio_it Senior Member

    Modena - Italy
    Italy-Italian
    I really thought enlarging the concept because I wanted to say it has further meanings in it...
    but probably it's a conceptual error of mine... I mean that in doing that I probably not widen but rather I narrow the concept
    I'm a little mixed up :confused: :)
     
  7. baldpate

    baldpate Senior Member

    London
    UK, English
    I understand the meaning of the phrase from the explanations/translations suggested here. But could some Italian speaker kindly explain the image behind this figure of speech? I guess "palmo" here means "span" (a short length, a hands-breadth), but why naso?

    I ask not only out of interest, but also because I personally find that understanding the basis of a figure of speech helps me to remember it.
     
  8. Claudio_it

    Claudio_it Senior Member

    Modena - Italy
    Italy-Italian
    I looked it up because I didn't know it, and I think the reason behind it is not very know, not even in Italy. Anyway it seems it comes from a gesture people (mostly children) make to mock people, putting their thumb on the nose and moving the other fingers. Since the lenght of the hand from the thumb to the little finger is called "palmo", the phrase means that when you do that (and you mock somebody) you leave him "con un palmo di naso".
    Here is a thread on the gesture http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=206936
     
  9. baldpate

    baldpate Senior Member

    London
    UK, English
    Aaaah - thank you Claudio_it - that makes sense now.

    Incidentally, the gesture you describe is known here as well.
     
  10. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    But just to be clear: Lasciare con un palmo di naso is not equivalent to fare marameo, is it? (Grazie del link, Claudio. :))

    Elisabetta
     
  11. Claudio_it

    Claudio_it Senior Member

    Modena - Italy
    Italy-Italian
    Baldpate: You are welcome. Ah I didn't know it was used in GB too.

    Elisabetta: You are welcome too. No, no, it's not equivalent to "fare marameo", it's just where it comes from, but they have different uses.
    Bye
    Claudio
     
  12. bridgespotter Senior Member

    English
    The phrase 'thumb your nose' or 'cock a snoop' at someone is linked to the same action and meaning as un palmo di naso. It is usually used to dismiss someone's comments or treat them with contempt.
     
  13. morgana

    morgana Senior Member

    I'm pretty sure that "lasciare qualcuno con un palmo di naso" means to outwit someone and leave him dumbfounded.
     
  14. Claudio_it

    Claudio_it Senior Member

    Modena - Italy
    Italy-Italian
    Be careful, "lasciare con un palmo di naso" is not the gesture of Thumbing your nose, that is just where the phrase has taken origin... it actually means "to outwit someone and leave him dumbfounded" as Morgana suggests. I don't know if there is a comparable phrase in english though.
     
  15. Beccaccia

    Beccaccia Senior Member

    Moon Alpha Base 1
    USA Vulcan
    I woud like to draw your attention to the ""Famous Italio Calvino and I believe (correct me if I am mistaken) that he does not use this phrase as "Outwit" someone, perhaps it coud be used like that ? Let me know what you think?

    Inverno
    Marcovaldo by Italio Calvino

    Here is a few lines from his story:

    Dopo essere uscito dal cinema, apre gli occhi sulla via, torna a chiuderli, a riaprirli: non vedeva niente. Proprio niente. Neanche a un palmo dal nasò. Nelle ore in cui era restato la dentro, la nebbia aveva coperto la citta

    Could this be ‘’not even a hand in front of his face’’

    Grazie

    M
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  16. morgana

    morgana Senior Member

    This is completely different, it is not an idiom but it's literal :)
     
  17. Claudio_it

    Claudio_it Senior Member

    Modena - Italy
    Italy-Italian
    Exactly, as Morgana says, this is different. Unfortunately they can be simply mixed up by not natives because they are almost the same but:

    "Lasciare con un palmo di naso" o "rimanere con un palmo di naso" means to outwit or to be outwitted (leaving disappointed and dumbfounded) while "a un palmo di naso" means very close.

    e.g.
    1 "Angelina Jolie è uscita dalla porta posteriore e ha lasciato tutti i paparazzi con un palmo di naso" She has deceived them getting out through the backdoor
    2 "Non trovavo le chiavi eppure le avevo a un palmo di naso" I couldn't find my keys although they were very close to me (here the meaning is the one of the Marcovaldo's example)

    They are very similar but the meanings are completely different. Italian sometimes is quite strange, by the same starting point it develops through different concepts. :)
     
  18. bridgespotter Senior Member

    English
    Fabulous discussion everyone, thanks.
     
  19. morgana

    morgana Senior Member

    Actually, I've always heard "a un palmo DAL naso" :)
     
  20. Claudio_it

    Claudio_it Senior Member

    Modena - Italy
    Italy-Italian
    Really, they are used both.
    I've tried to search them on google:
    "a un palmo di naso" 1610
    "a un palmo dal naso" 1620
    Very tight race :)
     
  21. underhouse Senior Member

    Can this be used in a figurative sense?
     
  22. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    "Short changed" is most often used figuratively, though it comes from the literal meaning.
     
  23. underhouse Senior Member

    So it could fit in Elisabetta's original phrase...
     
  24. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    ...the American media was left short-changed...

    This would imply that they deserved something and were disappointed at not having received it.

    ...the American media felt they were short-changed...

    This would imply that they felt they were denied something that they wanted, but didn't necessarily deserve.

    Two examples:
    The meeting with the King was scheduled for 2PM, but he didn't show up.
    The people were short-changed.

    They were hoping the King would be there, but he never arrived.
    They felt short-changed, but there were never any promises he'd be there.
     
  25. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    I think outwitted is the best fit in this context. Short-changed implies that the journalists were deprived of something that they were owed. Outwitted indicates that they were successfully out-maneuvered. ;)

    Eliabetta

    Ciao, Tim -- siamo incrociati con la stessa idea! :)
     
  26. underhouse Senior Member

    Ho capito! Grazie a tutti e due! :)
     
  27. Beccaccia

    Beccaccia Senior Member

    Moon Alpha Base 1
    USA Vulcan
    Here is a quote from a truly great dictionary "Hoepli.it" that has phrases
    all of you might find interesting :)

    Pàlmo
    nm
    1 (= spanna) span, hand(’s)-breadth, palm (raro)
    • arrivare con un palmo di lingua fuori dalla bocca to arrive puffing and panting; :D avere un palmo di barba (di notizie) to *be stale; conoscere qs a palmo a palmo to *know st thoroughly; esplorare il territorio palmo a palmo to *go over a territory inch by inch; misurare qs a palmi to calculate st in palms; restare con un palmo di naso to *be very disappointed; ha un muso lungo un palmo he’s in a real sulk; c’è solo un palmo di neve there’s less than a foot of snow
    2 (= palma della mano) palm
    • nascondere nel palmo della mano ..to palm


    Ciao

    M
     

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