Hi, there. Hoje eu falo sobre dois idioms muito diferentes, mas que significam a mesma coisa… e que são usados quando as aparências enganam. Não perca!
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So, today I was reminded of this really interesting expression, devil in disguise. If you can understand the words I just said then you know what the expression means. We use this expression to talk about something – it can be a situation, or an object, or a car, a house, whatever – or someone, who appears at first to be helpful or well-meaning but turns out to be the opposite.
So, let’s say you just moved into a new neighbourhood, ok. The reason you just moved is, you’ve been saving money for years and you decided to invest in your own flat. So, you bought this property and you’re really happy because now you’re a homeowner.
Your next-door neighbour comes around very quickly and introduces himself, and gives you lots of helpful tips on the neighbourhood. “So nice!”, you think, right. You invite him in for some coffee, a chat, etc. It’s always great to be friendly with neighbours.
The next morning, the doorbell rings and it’s a police officer. Yeah, a police officer came by for an official inspection. You JUST moved in, you thought everything was in order, and you have no idea why the police would show up at your door all of a sudden wanting to do an inspection! Weird.
Well, it’s not like you can turn him down so you let him in. He then explains to you that someone called the Police anonymously about you! What? You just moved in, but it doesn’t matter. Someone called the police and said you were in possession of illegal substances. As in, drugs. You’re freaked out when you hear that but there isn’t much to do other than let the policeman have a look around.
What if the previous residents left drugs stashed away in the flat and the officer finds them and thinks they belong to you? Damn, you’re weak in the knees now thinking about the possibility when the police officer comes back and tells you he’s finished looking and didn’t see anything, and he leaves.
And then you realise that only a couple of people have your new address, and these are people you really trust. You have known them all your life. Who else could have given your address to the police? Your real state agent? No, they’ll be profiting from you for a few months – they would not want to get you in any kind of trouble! You can only think of one person: you neighbour!
Could he be a devil in disguise? Could he be a person that comes across as really nice and helpful, but in time reveals himself to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
I’m going to leave the ending to this little story up in the air ’cause this is beginning to sound like the plot of a mystery novel or something. I think many of you will have had this experience – having your first impression of something or someone change drastically when you realise that person or situation is actually causing you some kind of harm.
So, that’s when people will say “This thing is a devil in disguise” or “That teacher was a wolf in sheep’s clothing”, for example. These are not nice expressions, of course. I mean, it’s totally OK to say them in any situation but we only use them when talking about something unpleasant.
So, can you think of any unfortunate experiences you’ve had that you can describe using one of these expressions? Let me know, and talk to you soon.
well-meaning = bem intencionado, com boas intenções
homeowner = proprietário, dono da casa
you just moved in = você acabou de se mudar
show up = aparecer, chegar
you’re freaked out = você está assustado/apavorado
stashed away = escondido
you’re weak in the knees = tremendo ou com as pernas bambas sem saber o que fazer ou sem ação
real state agent = corretor/a de imóveis
comes across as = parecer ser, dar ou passar a impressão
it’s not like you can turn him down = não tem como você mandá-lo embora ou dizer não
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