Tag Archives: Umgangssprache

Full up

»Sara hat mir erzählt, dass sie das Gezeter ihrer Mutter leid ist…« – “Sara told me that she is tired of her mother’s nagging.” This sentence comes from the children’s book Das Cafe-geheimnis (it was originally written in Swedish and stars Lasse and Maja) and introduced me to both the word das Gezeter, which will be treated in a subsequent post, and the verb-adjective combination leid sein.

On Duden I found this entry for leid sein. It offers the definition “someone is/has grown tired of something” – » jemandes, einer Sache überdrüssig sein« – and this sample sentence »ich bin sein dummes Gequatsche leid.« – “I’m sick of your blathering.”  Clearly this is an important concept as there are a fair few synonyms given in this entry, and they range from the colloquial to the idiomatic to the rather formal:

genug haben –” to have enough”
müde sein
– “to be tired (of)”
satthaben – “”to have had a bellyful”
satt sein; (gehoben)  – “to be fed up” (satt sein is used to mean that you have had enough to eat)
überdrüssig sein; (umgangssprachlich)
– “to be tired of/weary of”
bis obenhin haben
– “to have had it up to here”
dick haben/kriegen 
– “to be fed up” (literally something like “to have or get [it] thickly)
die Nase voll haben
– “to be sick of something” (literally “to have a nose full”)
langen – “to be enough” (it can also mean “to reach” and in its transitive form “to pass, to hand”) 
reichen – “to be sufficient” (like langen, it can also mean “to reach” and “to hand”)
überhaben; (salopp) –”to be fed up with something” ( literally “to over-have”)
stinken  Mir stinkt es! – “to be fed up” (it can also mean “to stink”)
den Kanal/die Schnauze voll haben – “to have had enough” (literally “to have a canal or snout full “), with Kanal, it can also mean “to be sloshed” something that happens when one has “had enough” to drink and puts one in mind of the literal meaning of a canal overrunning its banks.

Many of these can be made even stronger by adding gründlich – “thoroughly” – as in etwas gründlich satthaben – “to be sick to death of something or someone” or “to be fed up to to the back teeth with something .” (One can also add the word die Faxen – “nonsense” or “shenanigans” – as in Ich habe die Faxen satt.) I don’t think I’d ever given much thought to the expression “to be fed up” before. On seeing the various translations, though, I was startled to see how many of them are related to the consumption of food: “a bellyful,” ” to be fed [up],” “back teeth” and even “to be sick of,” as something one is “sick of” can be something that one doesn’t want to eat again. Perhaps that might be that one is “fed up” with something then that thing is what one can no longer “stomach?!”

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Wash and share

To be a “true blue” something is to be a waschechter something in German.

DWDS had a few examples of this in use:

ein waschechter Macho – “a true Macho” – yes, you can be A Macho in German (dict.cc offers “himbo” as a translation and this does capture the pejorative sense of the word).

eine waschechte Kulturstadt – “a true culture city” – perhaps best understood as being derived from the European City of Culture designation.

waschechten Mozartfans – “true Mozart fans” – it would seem that almost anything can be combined with Fan, as in English.

ein waschechter Verlagskontrakt – “a genuine publishing contract.”

When we take waschechter apart we get wasch – “wash” and echter – “more real,” “truer,” “more typical.” The waschechter combination can also mean “colorfast,” from which likely comes the implication that afforded the figurative use: that the characteristic is one that won’t “fade” or “disappear” (our own phrase “true blue” has this origin, coming from a time period where most blue dyes were fugitive). Intriguingly, in researching this I came across two phrases using gewaschen – Er ist mit allen Wassern gewaschen meaning “He’s a smooth customer” – and mit allen Wassern gewaschen sein – “to know every trick in the book” or “shrewd.” Which leaves me wondering what it might mean if you had washed everything in, say, Sekt or Chanel Number 5.

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Frisch von der Leber weg sprechen

Manchmal ist es gefährlich eine Sprache zu kennen. Wie heute. Ich war in der Barmbek Dialog in Deutsch Gruppe. Eine Spanierin hat gesagt, dass sie Kellnerin ist. Sie arbeitet bei einem Restaurant in der Reeperbahn. Dieses Restaurant heißt Cojones. Nur ich hat gelacht. Natürlich, wollen die Leute zu wissen was witzig ist. «Ähm,» sage ich, «das Wort meint…ein Paar…Männer haben ein Paar.» Dann sage ich «auf Englisch, sagen wir balls oder bollocks.»  Noch ein Rätsel für fast alles. Dann eine Freundin von mir sage «Eier. Das männlich Geschlecht hat Eier.» Zwei or drei Mehere hat ein Aha-Erlebnis. Ich suche nächst das Bildwörterbuch das steht in unserem Zimmer. Wenn (und das ist die große Frage) man das Wort höflich sagt, man sagt “Hodensack.”

Ich habe ja diesen Ausdruck recherchiert und jetzt kenne ich ein paar (tut mir leid, Wortspiel beabsichtigt) neue Namen des Cojones außerdem “Eier,” nämlich:

“das Gehänge” – pendant
“die Glocken” – bells (ich muss vorsichtig sein, weil der Name eines Lieblingsapfel von mir auch Glocken ist)
“die Klöten” – purely slang
“der Sack” – pouchbag
“die Familienjuwelen” – family jewels as in English

Es war auch interessant, dass, wo wir sagen, blue balls, sagt man auf Deutsch beide “Bräutigamsschmerzen” – groom’s ache/pain – und “Kavaliersschmerzen” – gentleman’s ache/pain.

Und als ich nicht ein Gedicht widerstehen kann, ist hier ein Stuck auf Englisch für euch:

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.

Alexander Pope,  An Essay on Criticism, 1709

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