per mille balene!

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by CorwinD, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. CorwinD New Member

    I would like to know what the idiomatic expressions "per mille balene!" and "corpo di mille balene!" mean.

    I understand them to mean "for a thousand whales" and "body of a thousand whales".

    Thank you.
  2. Sovi Senior Member

    this expressions usually express amazement and it somehow recalls old sailors. You can find it both in front of something of positive or in front of huge problems. It is an expression I’ve seen in books but I’ve never heard it used in common life (not even among sailors and “sea people”)
  3. stella_maris_74

    stella_maris_74 Mod About Chocolate

    Italian - Italy
    Hi CorwinD and welcome to the Forums :)

    Imagine that expression as something Popeye would say ;)

  4. maria vecchi Senior Member

    "Per mille balene!"
    Can any native suggest a similarly picaresque phrase in English?
  5. Teerex51

    Teerex51 Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Shiver me timbers! Blistering barnacles! and more. See some pirate lingo here.
  6. AshleySarah

    AshleySarah Senior Member

    English - N.Ireland
    What about:

    Holy Toledo!
    Jumping Jehosofat!
    Suffering soccotash!

    These are expressions of surprise (positive or negative), are read in books (e.g. comics), but are never said in real life. :)

    P.S. Well done Teerex! I couldn't think of any 'nautical' expressions.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  7. maria vecchi Senior Member

    THANK you all, and Teerex also for the precious tip!
  8. Teerex51

    Teerex51 Senior Member

    Milan, Italy
    Arrr...Belay that talk, me wench! Let's splice the mainbrace...:rolleyes:

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