portare nottole ad Atene

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Italian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Verb[edit]

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.
    Synonyms: portare vasi a Samo (literally carry jars to Samos)