Catch a phrase

24th September 2004 at 01:00
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:;


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today