Figs after Easter !

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Vijgen na Pasen is our expression for referring to things that come late (are done with much delay, etc.). Do you have any such short expressions?

    I know of longer ones: 't Is te laat de put gevuld, als 't kalf verdronken is (Too late filling the pit when the calf has got drowned already). In English: "closing the stable door after the horse has bolted".

    So: any expressions for things coming late, preferably short, but also longer ?
  2. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Czech (not for things but for persons coming late):

    přijíti s křížkem (dim. of kříž) po funusu = to come with a cross after the funeral;

    Přišel s křížkem po funusu. = He came (has come) with a cross after the funeral.
  3. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Great? (I understand your point but it's things dne by people, so quite OK !)
  4. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    The phrase is commonly used when someone is coming with a solution of a problem that is already solved (by someone else, or is not a problem anymore).
  5. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    In Polish it would be Musztarda po obiedzie. Mustard after dinner.
  6. terredepomme Senior Member

    Human Language
    소 잃고 외양간 고치다.
    Fix the cowhouse after having lost the cow.
    But this could be a modern expression influenced by its similar English equivalent.
  7. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Oh yes, mosterd na de maaltijd is something we use as well.
  8. Maroseika Moderator


    Old sayings:
    После драки кулаками махать (to swing one's fists after the fight) - when somebody is advancing his arguments after the argue has already completed.
    Дорого яичко к Христову дню (an egg is dear on the Easter day) - slow help is no help.
    Дорога ложка к обеду (a spoon is dear for a dinner).

    Modern sayings:
    Поезд ушел (the train has gone).
    Поздно пить "Боржоми", когда почки в унитазе (too late for drinking [mineral water] when your kidney is in the toilet bowl) - meaning no way to change alcohol to water on the last stage of alcoholism, but generally used in the sense just "too late".
  9. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek we use the set expression «κατόπιν εορτής» (ka'topin eor'tis) lit. too late for a feast.
    It was used by Plato in his dialogue Gorgias, already as an ancient proverb:

    (Section 447a)

    We use that too:
    "Now it's too late «έφυγε το τρένο» ('efiʝe to 'treno)--> "the train left/has left"
    And another one:
    "It's too late, «πέταξε το πουλάκι» ('petakse to pu'laci)--> "the little bird flew/has flown away"
  10. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Ah, this is great: some cultural-historic background! Thanks a lot, both of you ! (I can't find any 'having left' expressions - only 'De vogel is gaan vliegen', 'the bird has flown' [away], meaning someone has escaped, not his being late).
  11. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    In Turkish there is the old saying:

    Geçti Bor'un pazarı, sür eşeğini Niğde'ye. --> 'The bazaar in Bor has left, ride your donkey to Niğde.'

    Niğde is a city, and Bor is a region of Niğde. The expression suggests that, the guy is too late for the local bazaar, and now he has to go all the way to the city centre.
  12. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I don't precisely know what a bazaar is: a travelling market?
  13. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    Yes, you can say that. Though not necessarily. They are usually stands that are set up on the streets, and at night every vendor packs their stuff and goes home. Some of those bazaars/markets are there everyday, while some others come in town periodically, like every Saturday; once a month; on religious holidays etc. Usually the less frequent the bazaar is, the more valuable the goods are. So people try not to miss it when the bazaar is present.
  14. catlady60

    catlady60 Senior Member

    Nazareth, PA
    English-US (New York City)
    American English has this saying: closing the barn door after the horse gets out.
  15. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Dutch cultural bakcground?

    Hungarian: eső után köpönyeg [eső rain után after köpönyeg raincoat]

    Interesting so far every nations has had its own expression.....I wonder what Slavic languages use...
  16. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Common Serbian expression is linked to the Kosovo myth:

    Kasno Marko na Kosovo stiže.

    The myth has it that the greatest hero, Prince Marko, arrived to the Battle of Kosovo 1389 when it was over.
  17. Beninjam Senior Member

    British English
    The saying is largely ZN (southern Dutch). Catholicism was very much the dominant religion in the Southern Netherlands and Belgium.
    It has to do with the observance of Lent. Figs were allowed as part of the Lenten diet. Lent of course comes to an end at Easter.
    see this:
    found at

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