Guest-Related Idioms and Proverbs
Does your native language have any guest-related idioms or proverbs? What is the general sentiment they express and does it match how guests are perceived in your culture?
I've heard people say that Czechs are grumpy and I can see why someone would think that but when it comes to having visitors, we turn into different creatures altogether. We scrub and polish and cook and bake and stock up and greet cordially, entertain, feed, spoil, feed some more and beg them to stay longer. The expectations are quite high, although, naturally, no guest would ever admit that. They will tell you that they've already eaten and they'll just have coffee... "OK, a bit of that nice-looking cake... What? You've marinated some cheese? Well, I won't say no to that. Take some home? I don't know... well, if you insist..." You get the picture.
Why am I saying this? Our guest-related idioms and proverbs are horrible.
"Ryba a host třetí/druhý den smrdí."
A fish and a guest both stink the third/second day. (Staying the night is not appreciated.)
"Koho to sem čerti nesou?" Čerti = little devils, Lucifer's helpers who often appear in folk tales. Whom are the devils bringing? (Being bothered by the fact that someone just turned up, often a sarcastic remark said in front of the guest.)
We have a nice one, too:
"Host do domu, Bůh do domu." Guest in the house, God in the house.
But we also have:
"Host do domu, hůl do ruky." Guest in the house, grab a stick (to beat them with).
And then there's the idiom "nezvaný host" - uninvited guest, used figuratively, but I think that this one might be international.
One last thing, more nerdy than the rest of the post: You might have noticed that in Czech, "host" means "guest". How confusing is that! It's a specific case where, apart from being false friends, the two expressions have the opposite meaning. I'd write a post about this but I reckon it's quite rare. If anyone wants to comment on this, please do because I'm curious.