vytloukat klín klínem

English translation: rob Peter to pay Paul

13:17 Apr 10, 2008
Czech to English translations [Non-PRO]
Idioms / Maxims / Sayings / Idioms
Czech term or phrase: vytloukat klín klínem
Mostly in financial matters, but can be used even elsewhere.

Usually suggested translation:
"rob Peter to pay Paul"
But:
If you "drive out a wedge by another wedge",
you will end up with a wedge in
(and nobody else is involved).

If you "rob Peter to pay Paul"
Paul will end up with his money back,
Peter will end up robbed,
and you will end up with your debt paid (you might end up in prison, though).
petr
English translation:rob Peter to pay Paul
Explanation:
I think this is the closest we can get.

See this description:
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/rob Peter to pay Paul
=> to borrow money from someone in order to give to someone else the money that you already owe them.
"Then I'd take out another loan to pay my debts, robbing Peter to pay Paul."

You suggested you would end up with a wedge in. In this case it's the same. You would end up in a debt anyway, except for the fact that you don't owe the money to Paul anymore but to Peter. You're not actually robbing anyone - you're just borrowing money from one person to give it to another person.
(Which seems to be quite a favorite activity in the Czech Republic) :-)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 59 mins (2008-04-10 14:17:30 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

All dictionaries I've checked offer this version as the equivalent for the Czech saying.
Selected response from:

Prokop Vantuch
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:57
Grading comment
Thanks, now that I know that they don't intend to rob me, I feel much better about the phrase.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +2rob Peter to pay Paul
Prokop Vantuch
3 +1nail drives out nail
Igor Liba
4to shif a debt >
Maria Chmelarova
3dig a hole to fill a hole
vic voskuil
3scrape by
Pavel Blann


  

Answers


58 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
rob Peter to pay Paul


Explanation:
I think this is the closest we can get.

See this description:
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/rob Peter to pay Paul
=> to borrow money from someone in order to give to someone else the money that you already owe them.
"Then I'd take out another loan to pay my debts, robbing Peter to pay Paul."

You suggested you would end up with a wedge in. In this case it's the same. You would end up in a debt anyway, except for the fact that you don't owe the money to Paul anymore but to Peter. You're not actually robbing anyone - you're just borrowing money from one person to give it to another person.
(Which seems to be quite a favorite activity in the Czech Republic) :-)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 59 mins (2008-04-10 14:17:30 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

All dictionaries I've checked offer this version as the equivalent for the Czech saying.

Prokop Vantuch
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:57
Native speaker of: Native in CzechCzech
Grading comment
Thanks, now that I know that they don't intend to rob me, I feel much better about the phrase.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  petr jaeger
21 hrs
  -> thanks ;-)

agree  Marek Buchtel: hey, you can't take idioms literally :-)
1 day 6 hrs
  -> exactly ;-) thanks
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

42 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
to shif a debt >


Explanation:
you are still in debt ...


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 43 mins (2008-04-10 14:01:18 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

shift not shif

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2008-04-10 14:19:58 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

also > " úvěr druhým úvěrem"....." brát si další úvěry "

v politike ... " pravici pravicí "...

Maria Chmelarova
Local time: 19:57
Works in field
Native speaker of: Slovak
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
nail drives out nail


Explanation:
jeden tip


    Reference: http://pskovgo.narod.ru/idioms.htm
    Reference: http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla72/papers/117-Fedorov_trans-en.pd...
Igor Liba
Slovakia
Local time: 01:57
Native speaker of: Native in SlovakSlovak

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Pavel Blann: or: one fire drives out another
2 hrs
  -> dakujem
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
scrape by


Explanation:
or: scrape along

Pavel Blann
Czech Republic
Local time: 01:57
Native speaker of: Native in CzechCzech
PRO pts in category: 4
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
dig a hole to fill a hole


Explanation:
hardly ever if at all used in a purely financial context, but might be useful in other situations
(pretty neat soundbite for an opposition party in politics for instance)

vic voskuil
Netherlands
Local time: 01:57
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch
PRO pts in category: 4
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)



Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs (or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.

KudoZ™ translation help

The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.


See also:

Your current localization setting

English

Select a language

Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search