Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by emma1968, Mar 11, 2006.
How would you translate this Italian saying :" sputare nel piatto dove mangi"
Sarebbe 'to bite the hand that feeds you'.
Emma can you explain exactly what the idiom means? I have an idea but want to be certain.
If you make a job and you say bad thinks about it, someone could say :
"stai sputando nel piatto dove mangi!"
Più o meno dovrebbe rendere l'idea
Bello anche tradotto in italiano!
Would that mean to do something bad to someone who is helping you in some way? If that is the case then shamblesuk's translation fits perfectly.
I agree but I read it differently. Emma's example seems to mean to talk negatively about your own work. If that is true, then I can't think of an equivalent idiom in English.
Perhaps you are fouling your own nest is close, but f-y-o-n implies ruining your own work, not just saying bad things about it.
I still don't get the meaning in Italian. Maybe Emma could give us a few more examples. I actually thought that it may have been our shitting in one's own nest because spitting in the plate that you are eating from sounds very similar to me. Maybe Italians are a little more refined than we are.
Edit: Girino, I've just read your edit. We're on the same wave length. Maybe it means more than just talking badly about your own work.
Yes, actually it is not only about talking badly.. but also acting in a wrong way towards someone/something that is on your side. I don't know if it is clear enough...
For example, if you complain about the company where you work or the house where you live, you are talking against something that gives you money every month, or provide you a safe place to stay.. These are the only examples that I can think of...
Dopo la spiegazione di Firecracker, mi sembra che "biting the hand that feeds you" (come Shambles ha detto) sia perfetto.
In AE, we say "don't shit where you eat," but that's a little different. That means don't mess things up for yourself, for example, if a fellow attorney from my office is trying to have an affair with the boss's beloved 18 year old daughter, I might warn him "don't shit where you eat!" [based on a true story].
De Mauro says this of 'sputare nel piatto in cui si mangia': avere un atteggiamento di disprezzo, di forte critica nei confronti dell’attività, della situazione e sim., dalla quale si traggono i mezzi per il proprio sostentamento .
Biting the hand that feeds you seems to fit quite well there.
Righ: I agree completely, Charles. To "foul your nest" or "s*** in your mess kit" is to do something self-destructive, which, to my mind, is a different concept.
questa espressione mi ritornerebbe utilissima in una canzone..potete confermarmi il senso?Si può dire ad uno che si sta auto distruggendo "you're s******ing on your own nest!"
what about : pissing where you mix the potions????
I've never heard that! Where did you get it?
A common British expression is "shitting on your own doorstep".
I understand... But I'm Italian and if you never heard it, chances are it doesn't exist! I got it in a web site of subtitles transcriptions. Actually when I read the phrase it puzzled me...(potions or poRtions?). On the other hand if you google it more entries come out.... I really don't know. What do you think, you that are an English speaker? I'm curious now! Thank you. Please correct my English. (I also used it yesterday, with a friend of mine from London, and he didn't correct me... weird...)
never heard of it either - here's what a search turned up - it's about a wizard, that's all.
(scroll down to 4th paragraph)
Separate names with a comma.