Does this mean we are paying for the meal? Or does it meal the meal is physically on us? Or perhaps both?
:-) Typically that we are paying. But I guess, if the meal was spilled over us or something, we could say that too.
it seems odd that an English colloquialism of "on us" would translate directly into Hebrew using the preposition for on. Is that maybe because this phrase is just lifted straight from English, rather than folks in Israel saying something more explicit like "the meal is our treat" or "we'll pay for the meal" or "we're buying" or "we're paying" or "the bill is ours", etc. ad infinitum
It's probably lifted from English. But it came to mean even more in Hebrew. If I am taking responsibility for getting something done, I can say that it is עלי.
There is something similar in Greek as well, we say «Το πήρε πάνω του», "He took it on him". This means that he takes responsibility for getting something done, or for having done something. It might also mean something different and a bit negative, that he is thinking (too) high of himself, the "it" in this case usually being a good result or a compliment.
Nope, even Classical Arabic uses it. English didn't even exist yet when Islamic texts were taken down. I'd say it's the other way around: it's "odd" that this is an expression in English in the first place. Us Semites, we use the preposition "on" to indicate responsibility very frequently. Because we generally tend to use preposition where English would use verbs on multiple occasions (compare "have" and "yesh"). This makes more sense as an idiomatic usage in Semitic languages than it does in English.
It turned out to be unexpectedly the same preposition used in the same way in Arabic .
For those surprised by the usage, there are similar phrases in the Torah. In the story of Rivka, Yaakov and the stolen blessing she says עלי קללתך בני "you curse is on me" I take responsibility for what you're doing.
אני צריך כוס קפה! Despite being quite familiar with the Hebrew word ארוחה, I translated it "The lion is on us!" האריה עלינו! Well, at least the meaning of this Hebrew sentence turned out more positive than the one with that ילד אומלל in the previous lessons: האריה אוכל את הילד! זה חבל מאוד!
The meal's on us was marked as a typo saying I missed a space. Being it was a typo and not wrong, I'm not sure how to report it so I posted it here.