Margaret Kollmer

Rookie - 9 Points (South Africa)

Foreign Phrases Made Better - Poem by Margaret Kollmer

Originally, started by a New York magazine, here’s some fun with well known foreign words and phrases. By changing just a single letter you arrive at a totally different, and amusing, definition of a new phrase.

Non compos mantis (Daft insect)
Harlez-vous Francais? – Can you drive a French motorcycle?
Que sera serf – Life is feudal
Le Roi est mor! Jive le Roi! – The King is Dead! No Kidding!
Pro bozo publico – Support your local clown.
Manage a Trois – Of course you can!
Rigor morris – The cat is dead.
Visa la France – Don’t leave your hotel without it.
Quip pro Quo – A fast retort.
Mazel ton – Tons of luck.
Carne Diem – Seize the meat.
Nom de glume – Sad Sack
Je ne sail quoi – I sold my boat.
Cost fan tutte – These fans are all expensive
Cogito, ergo, dum – I think you are not so bright.
Et tu Frute – Queer Eye for a Straight Guy
Posh Mortem – Death styles of the rich and famous.
Veni, Vipi, Vici – I came, I’m a very important person, I conquered.
Veni, Vidi, Visa – I came, I saw, I shopped.
And my own little attempt:
Veni, Vidi, daVinci – I came, I saw I caught a code.

So inspired, I continued thus:

Mulatis mutandis – Silent knight.
Ex cathetra – Don’t move, the nurse is coming.
Altar ego – Your cassock is stained
Bono Fido – But he had it last time!
Mal de men – Ha ha …..oh pardon me!
In flagrante depicto – Oh David!
Nob de guerre – Oh pardon me again.
Per diet – Nil per mouth
Savoir-fairy – Another queer eye for a straight guy.
Ultra virus – Hard drive wiped out.


Comments about Foreign Phrases Made Better by Margaret Kollmer

  • Brian Jani (5/5/2014 9:55:00 AM)


    This is a truly amazing poem its original (Report) Reply

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  • (4/16/2008 7:49:00 AM)


    Your originality is great. Thanks for the many laughs. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Poem Edited: Friday, April 18, 2008


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