He who was once bitten by a snake will be frightened at the sight of a noose/coiled rope

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by JUSTCAN'TLETGO, May 31, 2011.

  1. JUSTCAN'TLETGO Member

    English(US)/Chinese-bilingual
    Hi, guys.
    I am trying to find an Italian equivalent to a Chinese proverb.

    Literally it means "He who was once bitten by a snake will have a fear of a noose/coiled rope (for drawing water from a well) for ten years".
    In China, "ten" is a very special number, considered to be important and auspicious. Here, however, it is used to emphasize "for a very LONG time" .

    In Japanese, a similar expression is "He who was once chased by a tiger will be frightened at the sight of a painting of a tiger".

    I believe we have some similar expressions in English, like "A burnt child dreads the fire" or "Once bitten twice shy".


    I am wondering if there is an Italian proverb or idiomatic expression with the same idea.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  2. Ste88

    Ste88 Senior Member

    Liguria
    Italian - Italy
    "Chi si è scottato con l'acqua calda, ha paura anche di quella fredda."

    Personally, I've never heard it, but I've found it on Wikiquote :)
     
  3. JUSTCAN'TLETGO Member

    English(US)/Chinese-bilingual
    Thank you.
    I try to put it together and suppose that it means: He who is scalded by hot water will be afraid of coldness, too.
    Sorry but I don't see the logic in this expression.
     
  4. Lamy Member

    Pesaro, Italy
    Italy - Italian
    It means: He who was scalded by hot water will be afraid of cold water, too.
    Not as effective as the chinese version but it has some logic :)
     
  5. Matrap

    Matrap Senior Member

    Abruzzo, Italy
    Italiano
    Another one: chi è stato morso da un serpente ha paura anche di una lucertola.

    "He who was (once) bitten by a snake will be afraid of a lizard too". :)
     
  6. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Italian
    Ciao Just.

    L'espressione "Chi si è scottato con l'acqua calda, ha paura anche di quella fredda." (MrGalla) è la più comune e non so dire quante volte l'ho usata io stesso.

    GS
     
  7. Ste88

    Ste88 Senior Member

    Liguria
    Italian - Italy
    JUSTCANLETGO, it means something like "if you got burnt by hot water, you now are afraid of cold water too" :)
     
  8. JUSTCAN'TLETGO Member

    English(US)/Chinese-bilingual
    Oh! Yes, I see.
    I know the similarity of "chi è stato morso da un serpente ha paura anche di una lucertola" lies in that both are dangerous animal.
    As for the first one, if "quella fredda" means "the cold water", I got it. When one can't tell if the water is hot or cold, he will surely be afraid.
    Thank you.
     
  9. Ste88

    Ste88 Senior Member

    Liguria
    Italian - Italy
    Umm, the meaning is not exactly like that...
    The "serpente/lucertola" thing is that, if you got bitten by a snake, you're now so afraid that you're frightened of just every reptile you meet, even a small and harmless one like a lizard.
    As for "acqua calda/fredda" it's not that you can't tell the temperature, it means that if you got burnt by hot water, you're now afraid of water in general, doesn't matter if it is hot or cold.
     
  10. JUSTCAN'TLETGO Member

    English(US)/Chinese-bilingual
    Well, I see.
    The one about "water", that's what I meant, water in general. I mistook "cold water" for "coldness".
    As for snake and lizard, although most lizards are avirulent poikilotherm, I did see quite a few groups of big lizards. Seemed rather frightening to me anyway.
     

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