A sandwich short of a picnic

Idioms and euphemistic expressions used to indicate that someone is lacking in intelligence, or is as crazy as a box of weasels.

Key to abbreviations: @m = used when speaking about men, @f used when speaking about women.

Language Idiom
Belarusian Розум за розум зайшоў (Rozum za rozum zajshoŭ)
Bulgarian Хлопа му дъската! ( Hlopa mu dãskata!) @m
Хлопа и дъската! (Hlopa i dãskata!) @f
- His/her board (plank) clutters!
Изкукуригал е!(Izkukurigal e!) @m
Изкукуригала е!(Iskukurigala e!) @f
- He/she has crowed out! He/she's gone cuckoo!
Той не е с всичкия си!(Toj ne e s vsichkija si!) @m
Тя не е с всичкия си!(Tja ne e s vsichkija si!) @f
- He/she isn't with his/her all...
Chinese (Cantonese) 牛皮燈籠 點不明 (nghàuhpèih dānglùhng dím bātmìhng)
- as unclear as a leather lantern
Croatian Vrane su mu popile mozak - Crows have drunk his brain
Fali mu daska u glavi - He lacks a plank in his head
On je otišao na kvasinu - He has soured = He's losing his mental abilities
Czech Šplouchá mu na maják - It's splashing on his lighthouse
Má v hlavě o jedno kolečko navíc - He has a wheel extra in his head
Danish At have rotter på loftet - to have rats in the attic
Dutch Hij/Zij heeft ze niet alle vijf op een rij
- He/She doesn't have all five [senses] in a row

Er zit een schroefje bij hem los
- He has a loose screw; His screws are loose

Hij is van lotje getikt - He's been tapped off Lotje

Hij ziet ze vliegen - He sees them fly
English a sandwich short of a picnic
a few beers short of a six-pack
one brick short of a load
not playing with a full deck [of cards]
to have bats in the belfrey
to have kangeroo loose in the top paddock
as crazy as a sack full of ferrets
out to lunch
as nutty as a fruit cake
as mad as a hatter
the lift doesn't go to the top floor
the lights are on, but nobody's home
to have a screw loose
not the sharpest knife in the drawer
not hitting on all six cylinders
not the sharpest tack in the box
a few fish short of a hatstand
a few penguins short of a lawnmower
Estonian Kruvid logisevad - The screws are loose
Tuled põlevad, aga kedagi pole kodus - The lights are on, but no-one's home
Katus sõidab./Katus sõitis ära - The roof is riding./The roof rode away
Mõistus läks kodust ära - "The mind went away from home"
Puupea - wooden head
Läks lolliks/hulluks - went stupid/mad
Finnish Hänellä ei ole kaikki kotona - He doesn't have everything at home
French avoir une araigneé au plafond - to have a spider on the ceiling

ne pas avoir toute sa tête - to not have all his head

Il n'a pas inventé l'eau chaude / le fil à couper le beurre / la poudre
- He didn't invent hot water / the wire for cutting butter / powder

Ce n'est pas une lumière - It's not a light

Il est "brave" / "gentil" - He's brave / gentle
- with a very ironic intonation on the brave/gentil

Le franc/euro ne tombe pas vite chez lui
- The Franc/Euro doesn't fall very quickly for him

Il comprend vite, mais il faut lui expliquer longtemps
- He understands quickly, but you have to spend along time explaining things to him

Elle est (un peu) blonde @f
- She's (a bit) blonde - used in France

Il lui manque une case
- he's lacking a square/compartment
German Hast du 'nen Vogel?! - Have you gotta bird [in your head]?!

Tickst du noch richtig? Are you still ticking on time?

Hast du noch alle Tassen im Schrank?
Do you still have all cups in the cupboard?

Hast Du 'nen Schuß?

Nicht auf jedem Speicher brennt (ein) Licht
There's not a light on in every attic
Greek Τοὔστριψε ἡ βίδα (Toústripse i vída)
Hebrew he fell on his head - (hu nafal barosh) הוא נפל בראש

(hu khay beseret) הוא חי בסרט
he lives in a movie - his whole life are like a movie

he's missing a screw - (khaser lo boreg) חסר לו בורג
Hungarian Nincs ki mind a négy kereke - he hasn't got all four wheels out
Indonesian otak udang - shrimp brained
Irish (Gaelic) Tá sé chomh mear le míol Márta - He's as lively as an animal in March
Italian Avere le rotelle fuori posto
to have one's wheels out of place = to be nutty, to be a loony

Mancare una rotell
to be lacking a wheel = to be nutty, to be a loony

Non avere tutti i venerdì
to be lacking some Fridays = to be nutty, to be a loony

Essere svitato
to be unscrewed = to be nutty, to be a loony, to have a screw loose

Essersi bevuto il cervello
to have drunk up one's own brain = to be crazy

Essere di legno/ di coccio
to be made of wood / of earthenware = to be unable to understand
(also: stubborn, not willing to understand).
Often in pronouncing this expression the speaker raps on a hard surface,
to remark the idea of 'hardness' with the noise.

Essere duro di comprendonio
to have hard brains = to be slow in understanding
Latvian Putniņs bēniņos - to have birds in the attic
Izkūkot prātu - to call ones mind out
Aizvēries šīberis - the damper is closed
Aizbraucis jumts - the roof has left
Caurs jumts - the roof is full of holes
Visi nav mājās - nobody's home
Lithuanian Jam stogas važiuoja
Polish Brak mu piątej klepki - He's missing the fifth stave
Brak jej piątej klepki - She's missing the fifth stave
Ma nierówno pod sufitem - He's got a jerky surface under the ceiling
Portuguese Cabeça d'alho chocho - rotten garlic head
Tem um parafuso a menos - He's missing a screw
Tem macaquinhos no sotão - (He) has little monkeys in the attic
É poucochinho - He's little (opposite of much)
Ele está com o parafuso solto - He's got a loose screw
Ele é um cabeça de vento - He's got wind in his head
Punjabi ਓਦ ਦਮਘ ਖ੍ਰਾਬ ਹੋਯ (oda damagh khrāb hoya) - his brain's not working
Russian У него крыша поехала (U nego kryša poexala) - His roof has gone
Сошёл с ума (soshol s uma) - walk off the mind
Serbian Фали му даска у глави (Fali mu daska u glavi)
- He's missing a plank in his head

Фали му шраф у глави (Fali mu šraf u glavi)
- He's missing a screw in his head

Ударен мокром чарапом (Udaren mokrom čarapom)
- Hit with a wet sock

Луд ко струја (Lud ko struja) - Crazy as electricity

Скренуо с колосека (Skrenuo s koloseka) - He's gone off his rails
Slovenian Eno kolesce mu manjka - He's missing a wheel
Nima vseh kolesc v glavi - He doesn't have all wheels in his head
Spanish Más loco que una cabra / un plumero - Crazier than a goat / feather duster
Le falta un tornillo - He's missing a screw
Swedish Att ha tomtar på loftet - To have brownies in the attic
Flängd i roten - Flurry in the root
Han har otur när han tänker - He is unlucky when he thinks
Hear these phrases
Hon är inte den vassaste kniven i lådan - She is not the sharpest knife in the box
Tagalog Cira-ulo - Broken head
Turkish Kafadan kontak - The contacts in his brain are cut
Keçileri kaçırmıs, - His goats fled
Kafayı yemiş - He has eaten his own brain
Tırlatmış - He purred
Ukrainian Немає клепки (Namaje klepky) - a screw is missing
Не всі вдома (Ne vsi vdoma) - not everyone is at home
З'їхав з глузду (Zyihav z hluzdu) - rode off the mind

books   Books of idioms, proverbs and sayings in many languages

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More idioms

It's all Greek to me | It's raining cats and dogs | As easy as falling off a log | A sandwich short of a picnic | It's small world | When pigs fly | Out of sight, out of mind | Crystal-clear | Practice makes perfect

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