My other half, the master of two-phrase Mandarin, has found the importance of speaking with hands and legs in face of his mother-in-law who is the queen bee of all-but-English land. That has miraculously made him the most beloved son-in-law (maybe not for too long) since the lesser you converse with one another, the lower conflict risks you encounter. As language evolves itself from stone-age babbling to today’s English, German, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Malay, etc, it certainly hasn’t stopped us from engaging our body parts to interact with one another. If this wasn’t enough, the Germans have also incorporated that in the language and here’re some examples:
- Sie hat ihn übers Ohr gehauen: literally she hat hit his ears and means that she has cheated him.
- um Haares Breite: the same width as a strand of hair and means a close shave.
- Es wäre mir um ein Haar passiert: same as a close shave.
- das ging beinahe ins Auge: that went nearly into the eyes. It also means that was a close shave.
- zwei linke Haende (und an jedem Finger einen Daumen) : two left hands and on every finger, a thumb. Used to describe someone with butter fingers.
- von den Socken sein: totally shocked. Another phrase would be, ich bin völlig baff!
- du hast die Hornchen und ich habe den heiligen Schein.: you have the horns but I have the holy halo. I believe this is rather straightforward to describe that someone is the devil and you’re the angel.