This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Saturday 1 June 2024, 11.30am to 12.30pm
  • Location: In-person only
    St Saviourgate York (Map)
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Join wordsmith Adam Sharp as he journeys around the world in idioms, proverbs and general nonsense. Learn unusual insults from France (You are a potato with the face of a guinea pig), how to hurry someone up in the USA (You're going as slow as molasses in January) and what they call a shark in Vietnam (fat fish).

Drawing on his book, The Wheel is Spinning but the Hamster is Dead, Adam will present fascinating, ridiculous and hilarious translations from every corner of the globe.

Here's a taster:

Let's get this show on the road

Let's saddle the chickens (German)
On with the butter (Icelandic)
Forward with the goat (Dutch)

There will be an optional interactive element to this event, so please put your best wordsmith hats on and prepare to get creative!

Please note: Due to the nature of many of the international phrases, there will be some swearing in this talk.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too. 

About the speaker

Adam Sharp is an English writer, originally from Manchester but currently living in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He's also lived in London, Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland, the Channel Islands, the Canary Islands, Mexico, and Nashville (he's not very good at staying still). Adam has had over 30 jobs (he's not a very loyal employee either). Some of the things he's been paid to do are as follows: catching footballs, teaching sport in kindergartens, changing nappies, washing dishes, reviewing music, serving sandwiches in casinos, juggling bottles, and walking on stilts.


University of York

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible