Does 0815 simply mean something is very standard and common, or does it carry any connotations? Where can one use it, e.g. for description of processes, objects, persons? Can you give alternative slang words/idioms in German and especially English?
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The expression "08/15" is used in colloquial German to express that procedures or objects are on average or mediocre.
The use of "08/15" goes back to world war I when for the first time all German soldiers had a standard machine gun of the type MG 08/15. Not only was this gun on average technically but also the training on this gun was tedious.Source "Zwiebelfisch"
Even though possible I would not to recommend to use "08/15" on people as this may be considered to be an offense.
08/15 - "null-acht fünfzehn", sometimes sloppily pronounced "null-acht fuffzehn" - is a rather colloquial expression and means "nothing special, average, business as usual" like the English "run-of-the-mill."
You can use it with all kind of words, people, things, abstract concepts etc.
Other German words and expression meaning the same are
The idiom originates in the early 20th century's machine gun MG08 which most common version was the model 15.
There is a nice German Wikipedia article about the expression 08/15.