chalk and cheese

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Encolpius, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Hello, if 2 people or things are like chalk and cheese, they are completely different from each other.
    What idiom, words does your mother tongue use?

    Hungarian: ég és föld (Heaven and Earth)
  2. Grop

    Grop Senior Member

    French: C'est le jour et la nuit (day and night).
  3. FabiArgentina

    FabiArgentina Senior Member

    Argentinian Spanish
    In Spanish also(day and night), el agua y el aceite (water and oil), blanco y negro (white and black), polos opuestos (opposite poles), and many others that I can't remeber just now... :)
  4. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    Finnish: ... eroavat toisistaan kuin yö ja päivä. (... differ from each other like day and night)
  5. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    German: Sie sind verschieden wie Tag und Nacht. (They are different like day and night.)
  6. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    USA Northeast
    In English "like oil and water"
  7. ilocas2 Senior Member


    nebe a dudy - sky and bagpipes

    (really, I'm not kidding)
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  8. Maroseika Moderator

    Лед и пламень (ice and fire) - a bit poetical, though.
    Also often we use citation from Pushkin:
    В одну телегу впрячь не можно коня и трепетную лань (One cannot harness to one cart a steed and a tender fallow deer).
  9. catlady60

    catlady60 Senior Member

    Nazareth, PA
    English-US (New York City)
    Also, they're like night and day, at least in AE.
  10. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    USA Northeast
    Hi Catlady. Yes, I was thinking about that one. But I thought "night and day" could be positive
  11. PABLO DE SOTO Senior Member

    Spain Spanish
    In Spanish, at least in my Spanish. I hope others can confirm if it's general in all the Spanish speaking world
    Se parecen como el huevo a la castaña.
    They are not alike. They are like egg and chestnut
  12. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Hmm, in Greek I do not think we have a metaphor describing two people completely different from each other. We just say they are «αταίριαστοι» (a'teriasti, masculine 1st person plural)-->discrepant, incongruous; e.g «αταίριαστο ζευγάρι» (a'teriasto zev'ɣari, neuter 1st person sing.: discrepant couple), «αταίριαστες φίλες» (a'teriastes 'files, feminine 1st person pl.: incongruous girl-friends). We do have an analogy (and an interesting one) for those who have an extremely close and compatible relationship: We say they are like «κώλος και βρακί» ('kolos ce vra'ci)-->a*s and breeches
  13. djmc Senior Member

    English - United Kingdom
    Like night and day is also used in English. The expression chalk and cheese is interesting because of the alliteration of the initial "ch" and also that in some very minor respects one could say that the two resemble each other: chalk a similar colour to white or goatsmilk cheese, both of a similar crumbly texture. A lot of English proverbial expressions do use alliteration or assonance "as right as rain" "as bright as a button" "smooth as silk".
  14. Messquito

    Messquito Senior Member

    台灣台北 Taipei, Taiwan
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    天壤之別 (the difference between the skies and the lands)=
  15. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    In Japanese:
    雲泥の差undei no sa (the difference between clouds and mud)
    提灯に釣鐘chouchin ni tsurigane (paper lanterns and a temple bell - they're no match)

    There are also similar expressions in Japanese:
    霄壌の差shoujou no sa (the difference between sky and land, shoujou means sky and land; sa means the difference or the gap)
    天と地の差ten to chi no sa (same as above)
  16. bazq Senior Member

    In Hebrew when two people are complete opposites of each other they are: שמים וארץ [shamayim va'arets] "sky and land/earth".
  17. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    An equivalent idiom also exists in Chinese: 雲泥之別.
  18. Messquito

    Messquito Senior Member

    台灣台北 Taipei, Taiwan
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    Or it could be: 判若雲泥
    判若=seems like

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