portare nottole ad Atene

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Alternative forms[edit]


Literally “carry noctules/owls to Athens”, calque of Ancient Greek proverb γλαῦκ' εἰς Ἀθήνας (glaûk' eis Athḗnas). Compare English bring owls to Athens.


portare nottole ad Atene

  1. (idiomatic) To bring owls to Athens, to carry coals to Newcastle; to undertake a pointless, redundant, unnecessary, superfluous, or highly uneconomical venture.
    Synonym: portare vasi a Samo (literally carry jars to Samos)