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Ночью все кошки серы

All cats are grey in the night (or in the dark) = When candles are out all cats are grey

- Хотите, чтобы я вспомнил вчерашнюю ночь?
- Ссориться со мной не надо, лейтенант. Нужный я вам человек. А насчёт вчерашнего - тёмненькое это... Ночью-то все кошки серы. Померещилось вам. В голову всё может прийти, ни одна душа не видела. (Ю. Бондарев. Берег)

"Do you want me to remember yesterday night?"
"There's no need to quarrel with me, lieutenant. You need me... So far as yesterday goes - that isn't clear... All cats are grey in the night. You thought you saw something. You can think anything although nobody saw anything."

* - А люди говорят, будто гитлеровцы к тебе захаживали, офицеры...
- Это для того, у кого глаза плохи, все кошки серы. Не всякий немец гитлеровец. (Б. Полевой. Глубокий тыл)

"People are saying you had Germans round to see you, officers..."
"All cats are grey to those who have poor sight. Not every German is a nazi."
Торговый Дом Фореста . Строительные материалы оптом и в розницу


The Conventional Designations and Signs:

1. Brackets in combination with different letter types in the Russian title units. For instance, Бабушка (Бабка, Старуха) (ещё) надвое сказала (гадала), where the words Бабушка надвое сказала are the saying in its basic form. The words (Бабка, Старуха) given in brackets, are the variants of the basic component Бабушка; the word (гадала) is the variant of the basic component сказала; the word (ещё) is an optional component of the saying.
2. Description (in English) of a proverb's/saying's meaning is given in italics, e.g.: Бабушка (Бабка, Старуха) (ещё) надвое сказала (гадала) Nobody knows whether it is so or not, whether it will happen or not.
3. = is put before an English monoequivalent e.g.: Аппетит приходит во время еды = Appetite (or The appetite) comes with (or in, while) eating.
4. ~ is put before an English analogue, e.g.: Близок (Близко) локоть, да не укусишь ~ There's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip; or before an English antonym, e.g.: Скоро сказка сказывается, да не скоро дело делается (Contrast: ~ No sooner said than done).
5. ^ is put before a descriptive translation, in which components of an English proverb/saying or an English set-phrase is used, e.g.: Воду (в ступе) толочь - вода (и) будет ^ Beating the air is just beating the air. (The translation is made by way of using the English set-phrase "to beat the air".)
6. :: is put before such a descriptive translation as does not convey the image of the Russian proverb/saying, e.g.: Чем дальше в лес, тем больше дров:: Complications begin to set in.
7. # is put before such a descriptive translation as conveys, partially or in full, the image of the Russian proverb/saying, e.g.: Чем дальше в лес, тем больше дров # The farther into the forest, the thicker the trees. The deeper into the wood you go, the more timber seems to grow.
8. * (the asterisk) is put before those illustrations of the Russian proverb/saying's use where it has undergone an occasional change and/or participates in a stylistic device, e.g.: * Во-первых, как вам известно, вопреки пословице, брань на вороту виснет… (Ю. Герман. Я отвечаю за всё)
Firstly, because mud has a way of sticking, as you probably know…
9. Ср. is a sign of reference informing the reader that the site also contain number of similar Russian proverb/sayings, e.g.: Бабушка надвое сказала Ср. Это еще вилами по воде писано.



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