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I was watching a "Learn German" video and heard this line:

...das ist doch Schnee von gestern!

I think I understand it, but would like to make sure. I understand that literally means "Snow from yesterday." Does this mean "Old News" or "passe"?

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5  
-1 for lack of research ... letmegooglethatforyou.de/?q=schnee+von+gestern+english –  nem75 Jun 18 '12 at 18:43
    
+1, Today I learned. –  Gigili Jun 18 '12 at 21:02
    
@nem75: I see your point, but please have a look at Ban lmgtfy (let me google that for you) links. –  Hendrik Vogt Jun 19 '12 at 9:03
    
@HendrikVogt I'm 100% with Eric's comment on this issue. –  Hackworth Jun 20 '12 at 9:22
    
@Hackworth: I agree with most of what Eric writes. But a simple link to Google instead of lmgtfy would suffice in my opinion. –  Hendrik Vogt Jun 20 '12 at 9:55
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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

It does mean exactly what you suspect, old news.

It has a humorous, yet somewhat defensive connotation, like when someone calls you out on something unfavorable and you are trying to downplay the significance of the claim, without questioning its accuracy.

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Thank you for the confirmation. –  TecBrat Jun 18 '12 at 19:35
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"Schnee von gestern" is a swift way of saying that something is already "passé" and has no more importance to the topic being discussed/talked about. A synonym is

"Das ist längst kalter Kaffee!".

Classic applications of these are: news (public or private), new technology/scientific knowledge, fashion.

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1  
"That coffee's long cold" is now my new favorite phrase. Is the connotation for either of those phrases any different from "that's old news?" It seems more or less identical from these descriptions. –  NL7 Apr 4 at 16:50
    
Yeah, the meaning is really "that's old news". The reason for using the phrases discussed is that they hide the "bare truth" somehow, if the statement shouldn't sound snorty or too direct. –  Sam Apr 4 at 17:12
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