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Catch a phrase

In English, you can kill two birds with one stone, but in Farsi, you kill two birds with one bullet. While we say "It's raining cats and dogs", in Sweden they prefer "It's raining fishing rods on the hills". These are just two of the many curious idiomatic facts collected by staff at Hackney Museum for their latest exhibition, "Raining cats, dogs and fishing rods".

With a diverse community speaking 100 different languages on their doorstep, staff were able to collaborate with local people to unearth a global range of quirky phrases from Yoruba, Serbo-Croatian, Vietnamese, Polish, Creole, Abkhazian, Turkish, Japanese and Cockney rhyming slang. The phrases are displayed through animation, video, text, stories and a giant jigsaw. Visitors are invited to add their own phrases to the collection.

The exhibition runs until January 29, 2005. Tel: 020 8356 3500; email:;

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