That's what Adam is talking about. Look at a few expressions in English: "I'm feeling down today." "I'm on cloud nine." "I'm high on life." "I'm down in the dumps." All of these grow out of a common conceptual metaphor in English (and, probably, universally among bipedal sentients, I'd say): UP IS HAPPY; DOWN IS SAD (Pardon the all caps, but that's the unfortunate convention) So that's one way of coming up with such expressions. For example, in Oasa, the expression "He is reading his feet" is an idiom meaning "He is unhappy." Another source of much inspiration is the Chinese chengyu, or four word phrase. These are idioms that almost always have four characters (so not necessarily four words -- in fact, in translation, usually many more) and are often abbreviations or allusions to famous pieces of literature. For example *sān rén chéng hǔ (Three men make a tiger)* * * Literally, this is nonsense, but it's an allusion to a story about a report of a tiger bothering a distant village. One person reporting it might be rumor, two might still be rumor, but if three people report it, it gets believed. In the original story, this was a parable about how people will believe an absurd thing if enough people repeat the lie. So now it's used in similar situations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_men_make_a_tiger You could have something similar, if develop a few short stories from your culture and then translate key phrases into your conlang. On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM, Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews < [log in to unmask]> wrote: > I meant sayings and slang expressions. > > Emerging poet > Pen Name Mellissa Green > Budding novelist > tweet me > > > > GreenNovelist > > blog > > > www.theworldofyemora.**wordpress.com<http://www.theworldofyemora.wordpress.com> > > > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Nikolay Ivankov" <[log in to unmask] > > > To: <[log in to unmask]> > Sent: Monday, October 15, 2012 8:16 AM > Subject: Re: Yemoran Expressions > > > > That's the question that make people like me come to the conlang list. >> Because Your question may actually be interpreted as "how do I create a >> language?". And since the whole list is functioning for such a long lime, >> with different people of different ages, nationalities and views still >> have >> plenty of stuff to discuss for so many years, this question could not be >> answered lightly. >> >> As a novice in that, I can recommend learning a new language. It's the >> easiest way to become on par with the terminology. Also, every new >> language >> you learn gives you new unexpected insights. For me learning Japanese was >> a >> mind-blowing experience, and though I have almost forgotten this languages >> within the years that passed since then, it has strongly influenced me >> and, >> finally, led me here. >> >> One could have also suggested reading some more theoretical works, but I'm >> afraid they are seldom available as audiobooks or even in a format that >> could be read by a voice-generator. I'm definitely not sure, but I had to >> take the books I needed from the library, for they are also quite >> expensive. I hope that this may be different with the language courses - >> in >> the end, in most more or less big cities it is always possible to just >> attend one. >> >> Once you get familiar with basic constructions and how they vary in >> different languages, you have much more space for imagination. And that's >> when you may start to fancy, how such and such phrase may sound in your >> conlang. Here, again, we all have much freedom. Language itself is a piece >> of art, just like a novel or a verse. Other people can give advises, share >> common patterns, but that's it. >> >> Sorry, if my e-mail was not helpful. That is as much as I can suggest. >> >> Best luck with Yermona! >> >> Kolya >> >> On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 8:13 AM, Nicole Valicia Thompson-Andrews < >> [log in to unmask]> wrote: >> >> How do I create Yemoran expressions? >>> Emerging poet >>> Pen Name Mellissa Green >>> Budding novelist >>> tweet me >>> >>> >>> >>> GreenNovelist >>> >>> blog >>> >>> >>> www.theworldofyemora.**wordpress.com<http://www.theworldofyemora.wordpress.com> >>> >>> -- Second Person, a chapbook of poetry by Patrick Dunn, is now available for order from Finishing Line Press<http://www.finishinglinepress.com/NewReleasesandForthcomingTitles.htm> and Amazon<http://www.amazon.com/Second-Person-Patrick-Dunn/dp/1599249065/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324342341&sr=8-2>.