stick out like a sore thumb

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by beauxyeux, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. beauxyeux Senior Member

    italian italy
    I know this expression means that something is to be easily noticed as different; I was looking for a nice translation into Italian.

    This is the sentence; it speaks about a grown-up student who decides to follow a full degree course with lots of much younger students.

    In Worcester I stuck out like a sore thumb.

    Thanks for your idea.
  2. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    HERE are some funny ones:

    svettavo come un watusso in una tribù di pigmei
    come un baobab tra i bonsai
    spicca/risalta/dà nell'occhio come un fungo in un prato di margherite
    spicca/risalta/dà nell'occhio come una giraffa in un campo di fagioli
    come un pinguino all'equatore

    sono un pesce fuor d'acqua
    ci sto come i cavoli a merenda

  3. beauxyeux Senior Member

    italian italy
    Bellissima quella della giraffa, ma dove li hai trovati? Svelaci il tuo segreto!
    Io, andando a senso avevo messo: un gigante tra i pigmei... Però anche se rende l'idea, credo che in questo caso il più adatto sia il nitido e diretto "sono un pesce fuor d'acqua"

    Grazie mille Tim...(sempre l'insonnia?)
  4. GavinW Senior Member

    British English
    Shame! I felt that, of Tim's very helpful list, the "fish out of water" idiom was the least accurate translation. My understanding of this phrase (pesce/fish), which I don't believe differs between Italian and English, is that it refers to the way someone feels, ie the fact one feels out of place somewhere. Whereas sticking out like a sore thumb refers principally, primarily, especially etc to how one is perceived by others in a place (ie as being different from most of the others in that place).

    You may have been influenced by the sheer immediacy (frequency? idiomaticity?) of the phrase itself, rather than its exact meaning in context...

    Just my thoughts...
  5. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    Sempre l'insonnia...vero :D

    Puoi cliccare sulla "HERE" nel mio post, anche:

    - ProZ - è una fonte fantastica....

    I agree Gavin, "fish out of water" is not exactly the same..."out of place" is better.
  6. beauxyeux Senior Member

    italian italy
    I think you are surely right when you say that "sore thumb" refers to perception by others... But what I fetl here is that the author (who's speaking about himself) tries to explain his feelings through the others' eyes. In reality this is the way he feels being together with so many younger students.

    So he felt like as everyone noticed him, but maybe this was not true, it is just a way to explain his own feeling.

    Anyway, you're making me thinking of it....Even if the deeper sense is the same, the figurative description is different. I could put something like this:

    A Worcester, saltavo agli occhi come un gigante tra i pigmei.

    What do you think?
  7. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    Probably better. I agree with Gavin.
  8. beauxyeux Senior Member

    italian italy
    Ok, thanks!
  9. GavinW Senior Member

    British English
    Well, the giant among pygmies is OK I guess, as long as it doesn't appear to be saying that I am somehow better than or superior to the others. It's important to say that "I" look out of place. Maybe the penguin on the equator is better....
  10. beauxyeux Senior Member

    italian italy
    Are you a magician? That one was my own doubt and the reason why I shifted to "un pesce fuor d'acqua". So now you're giving me a confirmation that there could be a little misunderstanding.

    hmmm....Un pinguino all'equatore?

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