In English, you may have heard “You’ve made your bed, now lie on it!We use it whenever we want to tell someone who is complaining that they must accept or take responsibility for the unpleasant or unwanted consequences of something they have done.
In Italian, there is an idiomatic expression that means exactly the same thing, but with the focus on the bike instead of the bed!
Do you want a bike? Ride now!
You’ve made your bed, now lie on it!
(Literal meaning: You want a bike? Ride/pedal it now!)
Here are a few common scenarios where this expression can be used:
- You’ve been craving a promotion for years. When you finally get it, you’ll complain about all the extra work you’re given.
- You’ve always wanted a dog, but when you finally adopt one, it’s hard to accept all the responsibilities that come with owning a dog, like taking it for a walk twice a day and cleaning up after it.
You can replace the second sentence with Ride now! (Now is a synonym no) or then pedal (literally)Then ride/pedal it!”) More commonly, however, Italians will only say the first sentence because the second sentence is implicit.
Uh, the cat scratched the sofa again… – Uh, you want a bicycle…
Ugh, the cat is scratching the couch again… – You’re the one who wants the cat… Deal with it!
Heather Broster is a graduate with honors in linguistics from the University of Western Ontario. She is an aspiring polyglot, fluent in English and Italian, as well as varying degrees of fluency in Japanese, Welsh and French. Originally from Toronto, Heather has lived in several countries, notably Italy for six years. Her main research areas are language acquisition, education and bilingual teaching.
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