back to top

How Well Do You Know These Random, 16th Century Flemish Proverbs?

Who knows why geese go barefoot?

Posted on

On this week's episode of BuzzFeed's Another Round podcast, Heben quizzes Tracy about Flemish proverbs.

w.soundcloud.com

The quiz was inspired by this painting by Netherlandish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Public Domain / Via Wikimedia Commons

It has many names, including Netherlandish Proverbs, The Topsy Turvy World, and The Blue Cloak. The 16th century painting is filled with scenarios that represent various proverbs, such as "To bang one's head against a brick wall," which roughly translates to "To try to achieve the impossible."

  1. "To piss against the moon"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To brighten something
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To give something a new sheen
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To waste one's time on a futile endeavor
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be skeptical of Galileo's theories about the solar system
  2. "To bell the cat"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To tame something
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To carry out a dangerous or impractical plan
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To add unnecessary accoutrement to an already beautiful item
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To start an all-feline jingle bells band
  3. "Horse droppings are not figs"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Don't be fooled by appearances
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Keep it 100
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Never try to eat something without knowing it's origin
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Poop can only tell you so much about a creature
  4. "To see bears dancing"

    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be drunk
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be dizzy
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be starving
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be obsessed with Winnie The Pooh
  5. "To fall through the basket"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be lazy
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To fuck something up
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To forget about something
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To have your deception uncovered
  6. "A hoe without a handle"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be a slut who has lost control of a situation
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To not finish a task
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To make something harder on yourself than it needs to be
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be useless
  7. "Here he is with his lantern"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To finally have an opportunity to show a talent
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To make everything about yourself
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To shed light on a situation
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To arson
  8. "To tie a flaxen beard to the face of Christ"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be sacrilegious
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To hide deceit under a veneer of Christian piety
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To disguise oneself poorly
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To whitewash history and make the saviour and creator of humanity in the image of white people so they can make it easier to conquer and colonize the entire world
  9. "Who knows why geese go barefoot?"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Why do people pretend to be poor?
    Correct
    Incorrect
    There's a reason for everything though it may not be obvious
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Stop trying to be what you're not / Be true to yourself
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be lacking in innovation
  10. "To be able to tie even the devil to a pillow"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Obstinacy overcomes everything
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be very cunning
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be very tired
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be a great employee of Mattress Warehouse
  11. "The meat on the spit must be basted"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Spice your food (white people)
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Don't be dry or boring
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Some things require constant attention
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Use lotion
  12. "The fox and the stork dine together"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    You can find friends in unlikely places / opposites attract
    Correct
    Incorrect
    There's room for everyone on this planet
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Dating is hard
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Two deceivers always keep their own advantage in mind
  13. "To sit on hot coals"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To step into a heated situation
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be impatient
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To be brave
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To turn yourself in
  14. "To confess to the devil"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To reveal secrets to your enemy
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To join the dark side / give into evil impulses
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To have sex
    Correct
    Incorrect
    To enjoy punishment
  15. "They both crap through the same hole"

    Wikimedia Commons
    Correct
    Incorrect
    We're all gonna die
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Everyone poops
    Correct
    Incorrect
    They're in a human centipede
    Correct
    Incorrect
    They're attempting something physically impossible
    Correct
    Incorrect
    They're inseparable comrades

Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton cover everything from race, gender and pop culture to squirrels, mangoes, and bad jokes, all in one boozy podcast.

Contact Another Round at julia.furlan+anotherround@buzzfeed.com.

heben@buzzfeed.com

Contact Heben Nigatu at heben@buzzfeed.com.

Eleanor Kagan is the director of audio for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Eleanor Kagan at eleanor.kagan@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

 
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.