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  #21  
Old 08.04.2011, 12:12
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(jemandem) den Kopf waschen - to put sense into someone / give someone a piece of your mind

Are you looking for straight-up explanations, or for English proverbs that correspond to these?
Actually both will be helpful if not too much trouble, please.

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"Ich habe einen Frosch im Hals"; I think the same saying exists in English, but if there are not only English speakers in your class it still might be interesting for them...

So let's get on to the more interesting parts of anatomy:

Jemanden Zucker in den Arsch blasen - "to blow sugar into someones ass" - meaning: to suck up to someone.

Jemanden geht der Arsch auf Grundeis - "someones hitting anchor ice with his ass" - meaning: somebody is "shitting bricks"

Jemanden schein die Sonne aus dem Arsch - the sun is shining from someones... - meaning: somebody is very happy.

Jemanden mit dem Arsch ins Gesicht springen - to jump ass-ahead into somebody's face - meaning: threaten/attack somebody...


Your teacher is going to love me for this...
I'll likely skip 4 of them but thanks anyway - useful to know.



Besser einäugig als blind

Better one-eyed than blind.

Meaning: Better something than nothing.

Beiss nicht in die Hand, die dich füttert.

Do not bite into the hand which feeds you.

Meaning: Don't be ungrateful

Last edited by jrspet; 08.04.2011 at 13:15. Reason: Merging of successive posts
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  #22  
Old 08.04.2011, 13:38
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

Could somebody tell me the meaning of "Frau am Steuer-Ungeheuer" and does anything like that exist in English?

Great thread and super post btw.
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  #23  
Old 08.04.2011, 13:43
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

"female driver - feels uneasy"

But you have to spell ungeheuer as an adjective. The substantive Ungeheuer is a monster... and that's not the intention. The adjective is in most dictionaries translated as "monstrous" or "enormous" from the monster, but litterally means "nicht geheuer" - "don't trust it"... and that is the meaning in this context.
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Old 08.04.2011, 13:48
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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Could somebody tell me the meaning of "Frau am Steuer-Ungeheuer" and does anything like that exist in English?

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"female driver - feels uneasy"
Did someone call you that ??
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  #25  
Old 08.04.2011, 13:56
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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Did someone call you that ??
No since I am an excellent driver which anybody can see one of my colleagues and I were talking about German sayings that were depreciatory for women, e.g. Die Frau gehört an den Herd ( women belong in the kitchen) and she said that as another example.
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Old 08.04.2011, 13:57
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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"female driver - feels uneasy"

But you have to spell ungeheuer as an adjective. The substantive Ungeheuer is a monster... and that's not the intention. The adjective is in most dictionaries translated as "monstrous" or "enormous" from the monster, but litterally means "nicht geheuer" - "don't trust it"... and that is the meaning in this context.
Maybe it has a double meaning - a monster and not trustworthy
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Old 08.04.2011, 13:57
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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No since I am an excellent driver which anybody can see one of my colleagues and I were talking about German sayings that were depreciatory for women, e.g. Die Frau gehört an den Herd ( women belong in the kitchen) and she said that as another example.
That might deserve a separate and predictably interesting thread.
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  #28  
Old 08.04.2011, 14:28
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

"Hals- und Beinbruch!"
break a leg
wishing someone luck for eg. an exam/difficult task.

"durch Mark und Bein gehen"
like when you hear a penetrating sound, you feel through your whole body. Something goes through marrow and leg (maybe the meaning is not leg, but "Gebeine"/bones).

"Jemandem auf den Zahn fühlen."
to test someone/investigate/probe.

"Man reicht den kleinen Finger, und er nimmt die ganze Hand."
offering someone something (eg. help) and the persons takes advantage (of your generosity).
you offer someone a piece of bread and he takes the whole loaf..

Last edited by jj muge; 08.04.2011 at 14:38.
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  #29  
Old 08.04.2011, 14:34
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

Many thanks to all who responded. Many are similiar to English, and these are truly the icing on the cake of every language.
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  #30  
Old 08.04.2011, 14:37
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

Er ist ein Arsch mit Ohren - I don't like his face.

Looks like Arsch is in German by now more acceptable than ass in English... so much that even Haribo makes sweets for kids that look like an ass with ears:
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Old 08.04.2011, 14:40
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

One my old mum used to say;

Mach du deine eigene Hausaufgaben, du faulen Kerl!
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  #32  
Old 08.04.2011, 14:44
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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One my old mum used to say;

Mach du deine eigene Hausaufgaben, du faulenr Kerl!
She was right.
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  #33  
Old 08.04.2011, 14:45
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

A few more from the nether areas of human anatomy:

Eine braune Zunge haben: To have a brown tongue (from licking other people's behinds)

Schiss haben: to be frightened (lit.: to have sh1t)

Die Hosen voll haben: to be very frightened, to be sh1tless (lit.: to have full pants)

Sich in die Hosen machen: to cr@p one's pants out of fear

Jemandem ans Bein pinkeln: to do something somewhat nasty to somebody (lit.: to pee someone's leg)

Gegen den Wind pinkeln: to do something that may backfire (lit.: to pee against the wind)

Mit vollen Hosen ist leicht stinken: It's easy to be wise at hindsight (lit.: It's easy to stink with full pants)

A case of questionable reverse englineering: Schmetterlinge im Bauch haben: to be (freshly) in love. Actually it is an absolutely literal translation of "having butterflies in the belly," but with quite a change of the meaning. It seems to have appeared in German only a few years ago out of the blue, and I bet the guy who did that had no idea what it means in the original language.
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  #34  
Old 08.04.2011, 14:54
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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Er ist ein Arsch mit Ohren - I don't like his face.
There is an old saying in Swiss German, which goes, "If my face looked like your butt, I wouldn't take a dump even in a dark forest."
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Old 08.04.2011, 15:00
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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There is an old saying in Swiss German, which goes, "If my face looked like your butt, I wouldn't take a dump even in a dark forest."
Shirley the other way round?
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Old 08.04.2011, 15:14
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

"Luegner haben Kurze Beine" Lying won`t get you far ."Was Haenschen nicht Lehrnt ,Lehrnt Hans nimermehr" What Little hans won`t lerne ,big hans won`t neither .Now Treverus go to work and correct my German spelling

"Der Himmel Haengt voller Geigen " I have shity Day
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Old 08.04.2011, 15:22
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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"Luegner haben Kurze Beine" Lying won`t get you far ."Was Haenschen nicht Lehrnt ,Lehrnt Hans nimermehr" What Little hans won`t lerne ,big hans won`t neither .Now Treverus go to work and correct my German spelling

"Der Himmel Haengt voller Geigen " I have shity Day
Did you actually mispell more than half of the words on purpose? That's not very nice in a language learning thread... you know that verbs and adjectives don't start with a capital letter?
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Old 12.04.2011, 13:57
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

Auge um Auge, Zahn um Zahn

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
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Old 12.04.2011, 14:06
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

Oooh ooh - remembered another one!

Pi mal Daumen - very roughly estimated, off the top of your head.
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Old 12.04.2011, 15:03
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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Oooh ooh - remembered another one!

Pi mal Daumen - very roughly estimated, off the top of your head.
The more frequent version is "Handgelenk mal pi" (wrist joint multiplied by pi).

My dad (often quoted here lately, by the way), who was an ETH scientist, said, "Quatsch Quadrat Viertel hoch unedlich plus zwei" (a quarter of rubbish squared to an infinite power plus two) to define something very unclear.
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