In Romanian, someone who loses his temper is “pulled out of his watermelon patch.” The phrase refers to the guard who watches over a watermelon patch and has to deal with many people looking to get their hands on some of the harvest for free. It’s no wonder then that this guard often has little time to “heave up his soul” (take a breather), and, eventually, as a result, loses his temper. Of course many people who see him walking around the patch as if he had no care in the world would say he’s “rubbing the mint” all the time — doing rather little. These people would then unwittingly refer to a custom brought onto Romanian lands from Greece, where ever since ancient times some people used to rub their dining tables with mint to refresh their rooms on hot summer days. In the 18th and 19th centuries, when Phanariote Greeks from Constantinople were appointed rulers in Wallachia and Moldova, wealthy families here borrowed the custom and began to ask their servants to rub their tables with mint — which sometimes took hours, as said servants became quite adept at avoiding more strenous tasks. And so the phrase came to be associated with indolence, wasting time, pretending to work . . .
And here’s one of the mugs I made with them:
43 Romanian Expressions, most of them quite funny Ringer Mug by Mira_2012
Check out other 43 romanian expressions funny Mugs at zazzle.com