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In conversation, one of my colleagues said:

He's thinking of making advances to the hospital director's daughter. If you ask me, he's got ideas above his station. He's not set up for life or anything!

I was wondering how I'd express the same idea in Russian. This expression means something like:

  • He's hoping for (/ He thinks he is qualified for) something unsuitable for someone of his social position.

I guess this is one of those expressions that do not translate easily into other languages. How is this idea commonly/idiomatically expressed in Russian?

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Слишком высоко замахнулся

slang - слишком губу раскатал

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    Also он хочет *прыгнуть выше [своей] головы*. – Yellow Sky Aug 19 '19 at 16:14
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I like more "Не по Сеньке шапка" (i.e. "Not a cap for Simon boy"; until 18th century Russian nobles wore a high cap).

But there are some more: со свиным рылом в калашный ряд, не по себе сук рубит etc.

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    Не его поля ягода – Elena Aug 18 '19 at 7:34
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If you ask me, he's got ideas above his station.

По-моему, он чересчур много о себе возомнил.

Something like that.

In colloquial language you might hear phrases like:

"берега потерял", "рамсы попутал"(not recommended).

Related proverbs:

Всяк сверчок - знай свой шесток.

По одежке протягивай ножки.

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Pertinent is this juicy saying:

"широко шагаешь -- штаны порвёшь"

This means: excessive are your ambitions, and this may not end well

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The examples you've been given are pretty bad to use in everyday speech. the "Слишком высоко замахнулся, slang - слишком губу раскатал" is belittling to the person you say this to/about and shows your dislike of that person. The others are used only in literature.

How i've heard it said, and would most likely say, is "она-девушка не его калибра" (she is a woman of not his calibre). it's as neutral as you can say that, in my head.

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It depends on the meaning attitude you wish to paint it, which attitudes you have to the person who try to do so.

I like that comment from Elena

Не его поля ягода

And in the situation, it needs some modifications, but it would be light and relatively positive expression towards the boi

Паренек решил подкатить к дочке директора, но ягодка не [с] его поля.

in a sense, yeah sure it maybe smart move on his side based his situation, but chances are slim and he is aiming well above his head

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One more option is "Он слишком высоко метит" as I think this situation is related to different social groups issue. "Она не чета ему" which means that she has a higher social status.

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