What to say to someone who leaves the door open after coming in European languages.

In English, people might say “Were you born in a barn?” when someone leaves the door open. It’s a playful way of asking if they were raised without manners. Other similar phrases are “Do you want to let all the heat/cold out?” or “Do you want the bugs to come in?”

Remember, the way you say these things matters. Consider the person and the situation before using words that could be seen as confrontational.

The map from Efisha’s maps below tells you what to say in different languages if someone leaves the door open after coming in.

Click on image to enlarge.

People express the idea of closing doors differently around the world, and even within the same country, language, or culture. Here are some expressions from various places:

  • French: “Tu n’es pas né(e) dans une étable” (You weren’t born in a stable)
  • Spanish: “¿Se puede saber para qué sirve la puerta?” (May I know what the door is for?)
  • German: “Wohnen wir im Freien oder was?” (Do we live outside or what?)
  • Italian: “Siamo in chiesa o in stalla?” (Are we in a church or a stable?)
  • Portuguese: “Nasceu no campo?” (Were you born in the countryside?)
  • Russian: “Вы выросли в шинели?” (Did you grow up in a coat?) or “Вы дома ветер развеиваете?” (Do you let the wind blow through your house?)
  • South Korean: “집 안은 못 잡아요?” (Can’t you catch the inside of the house?)

In the United States, some might say variations like “You weren’t born in a barn, were you?” or “Were you raised in a barn?” Other regions might use phrases like “Do you live in a barn?” or “Were you born in a zoo?”

In parts of Canada, people might ask, “Were you raised in a treehouse?” instead of mentioning a barn. In Australia, the expression is “Were you born in a tent?” referencing the country’s history of camping.

In some regions of India, people might say “Makaan chor!” meaning “House thief!” This suggests that leaving the door open is like inviting someone to steal from the house. Overall, these expressions highlight the idea that leaving the door open is seen as uncivilized or lacking basic manners.

Here is another map with other informal expressions:


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