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  #41  
Old 12.04.2011, 16:16
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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The more frequent version is "Handgelenk mal pi" (wrist joint multiplied by pi).
I never heard that one before while "Pi mal Daumen" is perfectly normal in Germany.

So time for a google fight: http://www.googlefight.com/index.php...lenk+mal+pi%22
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  #42  
Old 17.07.2011, 17:14
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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

this is a good one, I never thought Germans could be so "creative"
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  #43  
Old 17.07.2011, 20:21
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

(Genügend) Vitamin B haben = to have (enough) vitamine B, the B standing for Beziehungen; so in English it would rather be viatmine C, C standing for connections. Example: "Geld allein genügt nicht. Dazu braucht's auch Vitamin B" = "Money isn't enough, you need the right connections too."

Ein Arschkriecher, lit. a butt-crawler = an arse-licker.

Jemanden auf den Arm nehmen, lit. to take someone on one's arm = to pull someone's leg.


And now a little collection of phrases that just mean something like, "being as much use as a one-legged guy at an ass-kicking contest."

Er ist nicht ganz hundert, lit. he's not quite 100 (read: percent) = he's not all there.

Sie hat nicht alle Tassen im Schrank, lit. she doesn't have all cups in the cupboard = she's not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Er hat sie nicht alle, lit. he doesn't have them all (actually just a short version of the above).

Er ist nicht ganz gebacken / nicht ganz durchgebacken, lit. he's not entirely baked (through) = he's a beer short of a sixpack.

Sie sieht toll aus, ist aber nicht ganz die Hellste, lit. she looks great but isn't quite the brightest one = Body by God, Mind by Mattel.

Er ist etwas unterbelichtet, lit. he is somewhat under-exposed (in the photographic sense) = he's as bright as Alaska in December.

Sie ist geistig etwas minderbemittelt, lit. she is a bit needy on the mental side.

Er hat einen harten Abzug, lit. he has a hard trigger = he is slow on the uptake; he's as quick as a tortoise on Prozac.

Sie hat eine lange / feuchte Zündschnur, lit. she has a long / wet fuse = she's a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

Er ist etwas schwach / spärlich möbliert in der Mansarde, lit. he's somewhat underfurnished in the attic = he's got a leak in his think-tank.

Sie ist als Kind zu heiss gebadet worden, lit. as a baby she got bathed too hot = she's always been a few cards short of a deck.

Ein IQ-Punkt weniger, und er wäre ein Bäumchen geworden / er würde mit Hühnern kacken / die Photosynthese fängt an, lit. One IQ-point less and he would have become a little tree / he would be crapping with the chickens / the photosynthesis begins = it can't get any dumber, or, a bit closer: If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week.

Hast du einen Knoten in der Leitung?, lit. Have you got a knot in the cable / cord = Hello! (Knock on skull.) Anybody ho-ome?!?

Wenn er denkt, hört man die hölzernen Zahnräder klicken = When he's thinking, you can hear the wooden cogwheels clicking.

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I never heard that one before while "Pi mal Daumen" is perfectly normal in Germany.

So time for a google fight: http://www.googlefight.com/index.php...lenk+mal+pi%22
Sorry I'm so late. Looks like you are right; googling shows my version is mainly Swiss.
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  #44  
Old 17.07.2011, 21:39
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

A couple that I hear from my wife occasionaly (she's German):

Von hinten durch die Brust ins Auge = from behind through the chest in to the eye = to do something in a very round about indirect or complicated fashion

Er/sie kann mich mal gern haben = kiss my arse

Er/sie kann mich am Abend besuchen = kiss my arse

schlitzohren = thief (from the practice of notching the ear/s of a caught thief)

Er/sie hat ein sprung in der Schädel = he/she has a cracked skull = he/she is not playing with a full deck

Das macht kein schlanken fuss = this won't make a slim foot = it won't turn out well (although I have heard different interpretations of this one, my wife tells me it comes from the belief that slim feet on a woman were attractive and not having them wouldn't be hence not making a slim foot might be similar to the English expression of making a pig's ear out a silk purse)
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  #45  
Old 17.07.2011, 22:01
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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A couple that I hear from my wife occasionaly (she's German):

Von hinten durch die Brust ins Auge = from behind through the chest in to the eye = to do something in a very round about indirect or complicated fashion

Er/sie kann mich mal gern haben = kiss my arse

Er/sie kann mich am Abend besuchen = kiss my arse

schlitzohren = thief (from the practice of notching the ear/s of a caught thief)

Er/sie hat ein sprung in der Schädel = he/she has a cracked skull = he/she is not playing with a full deck

Das macht kein schlanken fuss = this won't make a slim foot = it won't turn out well (although I have heard different interpretations of this one, my wife tells me it comes from the belief that slim feet on a woman were attractive and not having them wouldn't be hence not making a slim foot might be similar to the English expression of making a pig's ear out a silk purse)
But, Louis Wu: I think you would have even more difficulty making a pig's ear out of a silk purse than you would making a silk purse out of a pigs ear.
Just a Brit being pedantic here
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  #46  
Old 17.07.2011, 23:03
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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But, Louis Wu: I think you would have even more difficulty making a pig's ear out of a silk purse than you would making a silk purse out of a pigs ear.
Just a Brit being pedantic here
But have you never heard the expression "to make a real pig's ear of something"?
I'm also a Brit and I did already know what the correct expression is :-)
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Old 19.07.2011, 01:00
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

Here are a couple more expressions to add to the list.

Jemanden über den Kopf wachsen

Meaning: To be too much for someone
E.g: Die Arbeit wuchs mir über den Kopf
Translation: The work was too much for me

Etwas könnte leicht ins Auge gehen

Meaning: Something could go wrong easily
E.g: Der ganze Projekt könnte leicht ins Auge gehen.
Translation: The whole project could easily fail.
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  #48  
Old 19.07.2011, 11:04
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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schlitzohren = thief (from the practice of notching the ear/s of a caught thief)
I would have thought a schlitzohr was more of a sly dog, in the Del Boy (of "Only Fools and Horses") sense.
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  #49  
Old 19.07.2011, 11:10
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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Etwas könnte leicht ins Auge gehen

Meaning: Something could go wrong easily
E.g: Der ganze Projekt könnte leicht ins Auge gehen.
Translation: The whole project could easily fail.
The difference between Das kann schiefgehen and Das kann ins Auge gehen is that the latter (lit: "this can go into the [i.e. the speaker's own] eye") implies that "it" (whatever "it" is) may not merely go wrong (schiefgehen), but is likely to backfire.

If it didn't in the end, you may say with hindsight that "Das hätte ins Auge gehen können", i.e. "That was a close shave."
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Old 19.07.2011, 11:13
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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But have you never heard the expression "to make a real pig's ear of something"?
I'm also a Brit and I did already know what the correct expression is :-)
What the hell are you doing with that-there avatar then?
Just trying to confuse little old ladies?
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Old 19.07.2011, 11:34
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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What the hell are you doing with that-there avatar then?
Just trying to confuse little old ladies?

Long story mate, right at the beginning when I joined EF I was looking for a handle and the name caught my eye. Since it sounds a little Oriental I opted for a bloke-with-a-moustache avatar picture. Over the years there have been many different renditions of the avatar picture but the Fu Man Chu picture is one of my favourites.

In case you're wondering who Louis Wu might be then Google is your friend :-)
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  #52  
Old 20.07.2011, 00:20
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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Er/sie kann mich mal gern haben = kiss my arse >> correct

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Er/sie kann mich am Abend besuchen = kiss my arse
>> not correct, as this means that the other person CAN visit him/her in the evening for further consultation


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Schlitzohren = thief (from the practice of notching the ear/s of a caught thief)
>> not correct, as a "Schlitzohr" is NOT a thief but a shrewd businessman with rather doubtful methods


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Er/sie hat ein sprung in der Schädel = he/she has a cracked skull = he/she is not playing with a full deck
>> Er/sie hat EINEN (Akkusativ) Sprung IM (in dem = Dativ) Schädel (DER Schädel = male)


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Das macht kein schlanken fuss
>> Das macht KEINEN (Akkusativ) schlanken Fuss
= this won't make a slim foot = it won't turn out well (although I have heard different interpretations of this one, my wife tells me it comes from the belief that slim feet on a woman were attractive and not having them wouldn't be hence not making a slim foot might be similar to the English expression of making a pig's ear out a silk purse)


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.....
I am sure that your wife knows these things absolutely, but is not aware that German grammar can be challenging and tricky to "newcomers" But please respect that nationality-adjectives in German are in small letter at the beginning but that all Nouns start with a Capital letter.

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Old 20.07.2011, 00:23
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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Here are a couple more expressions to add to the list.

Meaning: To be too much for someone
E.g: Die Arbeit wuchs mir über den Kopf
Translation: The work was too much for me
l.
Jemanden über den Kopf wachsen >>> jemandeM as it is Dativ/WEMfall
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Old 20.07.2011, 00:23
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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Jemanden über den Kopf wachsen
Meaning: To be too much for someone
E.g: Die Arbeit wuchs mir über den Kopf
Translation: The work was too much for me
jemandem - Dativ.
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Old 20.07.2011, 00:29
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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Jemanden über den Kopf wachsen >>> jemandeM as it is Dativ/WEMfall
Oops, of course - thanks for noticing. I used the dative in the example, no idea why I used the accusative above.
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Old 20.07.2011, 00:39
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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
I am sorry, but adjectives start with small letters, so that it is
"Lügen (not the liars but the lies) haben kurze Beine"
and "nimmer" has TWO Ms and lernen=learning, so that it is
"Was Hänschen nicht lernt (lehren = teach / lernen = learn), lernt Hans nimmermehr"
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Old 20.07.2011, 00:45
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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A) sich an der eigene Nase fassen to introspect, consider that the problem may be with oneself

B) sich die Ohren spitzen to pay attention
here again a bit of grammar
A) an der eigenen Nase (= Dativ) fassen
B) non-reflective = Die Ohren spitzen (forget the 'sich'
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Old 20.07.2011, 02:07
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

Wolli, of course, "Er/sie kann mich am Abend besuchen" can be taken literally, as you do, but it also is a euphemism for "Er/sie kann mich am Arsch lecken" = he/she can kiss my arse. It's similar to "Das ist alles Scheibenkäse / Scheibenhonig" (=This is all sliced cheese / uncombed honey) instead of "Das ist alles Scheisse" (=cr6p). Same with Swiss German "Gopferteckel" instead of "Gopfertami," to name just one of many examples.
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Old 20.07.2011, 02:18
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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Wolli, of course, "Er/sie kann mich am Abend besuchen" can be taken literally, as you do, but it also is a euphemism for "Er/sie kann mich am Arsch lecken" = he/she can kiss my arse. It's similar to "Das ist alles Scheibenkäse / Scheibenhonig" (=This is all sliced cheese / uncombed honey) instead of "Das ist alles Scheisse" (=cr6p). Same with Swiss German "Gopferteckel" instead of "Gopfertami," to name just one of many examples.
well well , a business partner of us is Mr Scheiben.... ---- Scheibenberger really, but I only can remember his name by ...kleister ! He actually is a great chap, and so, nothing bad about it really. And there in my view is absolutely no difference between Gopfeteckel or Gopfetami etc, just a slight difference in expression
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Old 20.07.2011, 06:59
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Re: Deutsche Redewendungen (sayings) to EN

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>> not correct, as this means that the other person CAN visit him/her in the evening for further consultation
The other person sure can. Also, if I invite someone to meet me at The Black Eagle (inn) ["Er kann mich mal im Schwarzen Adler treffen."], that person may well reserve a table, but I'm not likely to actually meet him/her there. In short: I can think of very few instances where "Er/Sie kann mich mal [optional description of activity]" would not be a euphemism for "kiss my ar$e".

BTW "Er antwortete mit dem Götz-Zitat" [he replied by citing from [JW Goethe's] play Götz von Berlichingen] or "er gebrauchte den Schwäbischen Gruss" both also mean "He told him to kiss his ar$e", although all print editions of Götz von Berlichingen that I have seen have the citation simply as
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„Mich ergeben! Auf Gnad und Ungnad! Mit wem redet Ihr! Bin ich ein Räuber! Sag deinem Hauptmann: Vor Ihro Kaiserliche Majestät hab ich, wie immer, schuldigen Respekt. Er aber, sag's ihm, er kann mich --- --- ---!“

Last edited by tom tulpe; 20.07.2011 at 07:09. Reason: This is a Swiss forum. No "ß" allowed!
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