This column promotes niche and lesser-known phrases that you’ll want to adopt. It celebrates the diversity of voices in Bristol by documenting a range of expressions found around the city; from sayings in minority languages to lesser-known local slang.
Back-story: Relaxing in Eastville Park and in need of a lighter, I met two Czech’s and a Slovak. The three men work as butchers at a slaughterhouse in Keynsham which “processes” 2,800 pigs every working day. They related to me this vintage jewel, which I have since used to effect laughter from a lively Czech girl named Betsy.
Slovak: Netlačte na pílu / Czech: Netlač na pilu
Pronunciation: Niet latch na pilu!
English: Don’t push on the saw.
Meaning: Don’t get ahead of yourself! / Co-operate!
Origin: Refers to the unproductive haste of one person pushing a two-man saw, designed to be pulled by each in turn.
Useful Application: At any time when someone is applying too much pressure. To someone coming on too strong, in a bar for example. Can be said as a warning or in mocking good humour, to combat someone assuming power or authority without justification.
You can share your own I Wish You Knew How To Say, together with an explanation, by emailing email@example.com, or through Twitter use @theBristolCable #IWYKHTS