Who taught: Amber, Patty and Tami
Do you know what day is on Mar 17? It is St. Patrick’s Day which of course commemorates Saint Patrick who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. It is a huge day for Irish people. In many countries including the U.S., there are parades on St. Patrick’s Day. I was in San Francisco with Amber, Patty and Tami this year and we all went out to see the parade.
The parade started at 11 am. So, we decided to walk to the Civic Center to see people and preparations for festivals. Oh boy! As we got closer to the San Francisco City Hall, we saw so many homeless people. After buying some souvenirs, we decided to walk back up Market St to see the start of the parade.
On the way up, I stopped by a restroom (nature’s call). As soon as I came out, Tami and Amber told me a new expression that Amber just used.
Amber said, “I just saw a face that would stop a clock.”
My first impression was that she must see someone very handsome or beautiful. In Korea, if someone is amazingly beautiful like Jessy, people say that she would stop a clock. You know what I mean? It’s like you saw someone so beautiful and all of a sudden time stands still for a while because your focus were solely on her and the whole world started to run around you and her.
Very very surprisingly, the meaning of the expression, stop a clock, in the U.S. is the opposite. If you saw someone whose face would stop a clock, that means his or her face is so ugly. It was hard for me to find its etymology. But, my guess is that even a clock cannot function properly because of someone’s face is so ugly and it is shocked by that.
What do you think, my friends?
My non-native English speaking friends, this is a good lesson for you. Be careful! Do not try to literally translate expressions that you used to use in your own countries! That can cause a huge trouble. 🙂