Thursday, August 20, 2009
I've been reading I'm Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears, a collection of idioms and their origins by Jag Bhalla (published by National Geographic). It struck me that this is a useful little thing for writers.
Bhalla's premise is that "languages make visible what's important to their users."
The same goes for our characters. What expressions reveal your characters' hearts? You might refer to this book for inspiration--both for ways you can customize language and for characters who might spring into your head because of the chewy idioms you encounter.
And speaking of chewy, the Russian expression for gossip is to "have itchy teeth." To "sweat seven shirts," to Italians, means "to work hard." The Spanish or Chilean way to say the same thing is "to peel the garlic."
Check the book out on Amazon or Indie Bound.