Se correr o bicho pega, se ficar o bicho come, se juntar o bicho foge.

English translation: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Portuguese term or phrase:Se correr o bicho pega, se ficar o bicho come, se juntar o bicho foge.
English translation:Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Entered by: José Serodio

17:43 Jan 20, 2005
Portuguese to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Philosophy
Portuguese term or phrase: Se correr o bicho pega, se ficar o bicho come, se juntar o bicho foge.
Aceitam-se sugestões para tradução deste adágio popular que, em geral, só é conhecido pela metade: "Se ficar, o bicho pega; se correr, o bicho come; se juntar, o bicho foge". Não sei a razão, mas omite-se sempre a última parte.
Pois bem, se ficar estagnado, o bicho pega. Se correr desnorteado, sem alvo a alcançar, sem a clarificação do objectivo, o bicho come.
José Serodio
Portugal
Local time: 20:11
caught between the devil and the deep blue sea
Explanation:
just another suggestion - it has the same meaning, i.e., a no-win situation, whatever you do you your still in trouble

or perhaps

"Damned if you do, damned if you don't"

HTH

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Note added at 5 hrs 30 mins (2005-01-20 23:14:13 GMT)
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The meaning is to be between two evils or alternatives, so that one is in a hazardous or precarious positions. Probably of nautical origin, the devil being a seam in the hull of a ship that run along the water line. (Brewer\'s Phrase and Fable) Therefore to be in a such a place was to be in a tricky position.
Selected response from:

Paula Vaz-Carreiro
Local time: 20:11
Grading comment
« Damned if you do, damned if you don't »

é o que me parece melhor transmitir a essência da 'raiva' ("damned") e da poesia do "pegar do bicho", do "correr" e do "comer" do cidadão. A resposta foi útil não pela primeira frase sugerida, mas sim pela frasezinha de adenda: « Damned if you do, damned if you don't » que, esta sim corresponde à essência da coisa.

Em Portugal existem ditados semelhantes, por exemplo:
«Tanto faz correr como saltar»
«Culpado por ter cão e culpado por não ter»
(etc)

Muito obrigado a todos pelo tempo generoso que dedicaram.

4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +5Caught between a rock and a hard place
KevinWall
5 +3caught between the devil and the deep blue sea
Paula Vaz-Carreiro
4 +2many hands make light work
Michael Green
5you can run but you can't hide
Jane Lamb-Ruiz (X)
4the work in group solves every king of problem
Clauwolf


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +5
Caught between a rock and a hard place


Explanation:
I think this phrase is better than Jane's. It has more of a natural feel to it.

"You can run but you can't hide" reminds me of George W. Bush's election campaign rhetoric.....which is highly undesirable, in my opinion.

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Note added at 14 mins (2005-01-20 17:58:40 GMT)
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Another phrase, though much more coarse, is: \"up shit creek without a paddle\"

KevinWall

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Magda Marques
1 hr

agree  Eduardo Queiroz
2 hrs

agree  Deborah do Carmo: Agree has more of a natural feel to it - and today of all days let's avoid Bushisms!
4 hrs

agree  Cristina Santos
5 hrs

agree  Bloomfield: to be caught between a rock and a hard wall, or to be up the creek without a paddle
1 day 23 hrs

neutral  Jane Lamb-Ruiz (X): George Bush does not own the English language..more natural feel? I wonder what that means?
3 days 4 hrs
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29 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
the work in group solves every king of problem


Explanation:
:) E a última parte é a principal

Clauwolf
Local time: 16:11
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
Grading comment
Tem pouco a ver, afasta-se muito do sentido da frase,
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)
The asker has declined this answer
Comment: Tem pouco a ver, afasta-se muito do sentido da frase,

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
caught between the devil and the deep blue sea


Explanation:
just another suggestion - it has the same meaning, i.e., a no-win situation, whatever you do you your still in trouble

or perhaps

"Damned if you do, damned if you don't"

HTH

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 hrs 30 mins (2005-01-20 23:14:13 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The meaning is to be between two evils or alternatives, so that one is in a hazardous or precarious positions. Probably of nautical origin, the devil being a seam in the hull of a ship that run along the water line. (Brewer\'s Phrase and Fable) Therefore to be in a such a place was to be in a tricky position.

Paula Vaz-Carreiro
Local time: 20:11
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
« Damned if you do, damned if you don't »

é o que me parece melhor transmitir a essência da 'raiva' ("damned") e da poesia do "pegar do bicho", do "correr" e do "comer" do cidadão. A resposta foi útil não pela primeira frase sugerida, mas sim pela frasezinha de adenda: « Damned if you do, damned if you don't » que, esta sim corresponde à essência da coisa.

Em Portugal existem ditados semelhantes, por exemplo:
«Tanto faz correr como saltar»
«Culpado por ter cão e culpado por não ter»
(etc)

Muito obrigado a todos pelo tempo generoso que dedicaram.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Jane Lamb-Ruiz (X): devil and deep blue = no wiggle room..do you know the origin? Do you know what devil means here? Yes, I knew it. I was wondering if you did. A fastnet sailor told me when I was about 20 years old..have kept it int he back of my mind all these years..:)
51 mins
  -> see above

agree  Deborah do Carmo: I understand the phrase as you do Paula, maybe Jane can expand further - I'm curious
2 hrs
  -> Thanks Debbie (hope you're fine)

agree  Paul Kozelka
3 hrs
  -> Thanks Paul

agree  Bloomfield: Interesting. Thank you for the explanation.
1 day 21 hrs
  -> Not at all. Thanks for your agree, however, I only left it up for reference because this isn't the right meaning for the whole of the sentence of this Q
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
you can run but you can't hide


Explanation:
I guess that's the basic idea....nué?

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Note added at 26 mins (2005-01-20 18:10:02 GMT)
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something is gonna get you! No matter what you do...the idea of FLIGHT and STAYING is important....



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Note added at 28 mins (2005-01-20 18:12:42 GMT)
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e se esperar muito tempo, o bicho sobe em outro bonde....como diziam outrora....



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Note added at 36 mins (2005-01-20 18:20:45 GMT)
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falando da omissão: acho que é pelo siguinte: as duas primeiras circumstâncias colocam o perigo numa certa relação ao sujeito...de todas maneiras o bicho vai acabar com o sujeito..aqui ou alí...más se o sujeito fizer uma aliança, ele e o parceiro podem acabar com o bicho...

então: the bugeyman\'ll get you one way or the other, you can run but you can\'t hide unless you get a friend....

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Note added at 2 hrs 49 mins (2005-01-20 20:33:41 GMT)
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ALTERNATIVE: Damned if you do and damned if you don\'t...

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Note added at 20 hrs 39 mins (2005-01-21 14:23:05 GMT)
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There is NO WAY to translate this finding any kind of equivalent...

Jane Lamb-Ruiz (X)
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 7
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
many hands make light work


Explanation:
or
two can live as cheaply as one

I am sure there is a better one out there, but the basic jist is that one can do better by joining forces

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Note added at 4 days (2005-01-25 14:22:19 GMT)
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I forgot to mention at the time that I, like many others, only saw the real meaning after Clauwolf made her contribution (Thanks!)

Michael Green
Brazil
Local time: 16:11
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
Tem pouco a ver, afasta-se muito do sentido da frase,

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ana Rita Santiago: I must confess that I had never known the whole saying, just the dire straits part. For the whole thing, this is the correct idea.
14 hrs
  -> Thanks!

agree  rhandler: This was also my understanding: the only way out is working together against the common enemy.
1 day 2 hrs
  -> Thanks!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)
The asker has declined this answer
Comment: Tem pouco a ver, afasta-se muito do sentido da frase,



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