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The Bristol Cable

I Wish You Knew How To Say…


by Tessa Gleeson

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.


As an educational-support worker at UWE, I assist a Seema Iqbal with her Professional Bar-level Law studies. Since Seema is blind and away from Bangladesh for the first time, I have, when walking her to class, had the honour of introducing her to frost by handing her a frosted leaf; of describing the size of the moon as it appears in the sky by softly tracing on her hand.

Seema has gifted us the Bengali version of the phrase:

“All that glitters is not gold” meaning that not everything that appears valuable actually is.


Cakacaka karalē’i yē sōnā haẏa nā


Chock-Chock korlay, shona hoyna.


A teaching which appears as far back as Aesop (6th century BC) and was used by Shakespeare.

Good to know:

Bengali is the fifth most spoken language in the world.

You can read more about Seema’s determination to become a lawyer here.

You can share your own I Wish You Knew How To Say, together with an explanation, by emailing content@thebristolcable.org, or through Twitter use

@theBristolCable #IWYKHTS

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