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I found a beautiful German antique apothecary glass jar that has a rhyme on it, written in what appears to be an old form of German. Can anyone translate it for me:

Do ho ich muk'n sechs Pfoff'n mol'n, mog sie olle d'r Teif'l hol'n.

There are hand-painted pictures of an oldish looking fellow with a large nose and wearing glasses, a strange long narrow hat and robe, carrying some sort of cane and holding a piece of paper in front of a snake wrapped around an apple tree. I would really appreciate any help you can give me with this.

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Any chance that you'll show us pictures? –  Carsten Schultz Dec 30 '13 at 13:19
    
If you do share the photograph, I'd suggest imgur.com You don't need an account and it's easy to take the link and share the picture –  thekeyofgb Dec 30 '13 at 14:00

2 Answers 2

Unfortunately we can not see an original of the inscription so there is some guessing involved.

We likely have a dialect transcription (the 'k' presumably is a sharp 'ß') which in proper German reads as:

Da habe ich sechs Pfaffen malen müssen, möge sie alle der Teufel holen.

An English translation would then be:

So I had to draw six shavelings - shall the devil take them all.

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Könnte hinkommen. Mein Versuch war ziemlich ähnlich. –  PMF Dec 30 '13 at 13:06
    
Good catch, the ß. –  Carsten Schultz Dec 30 '13 at 13:18

It's not easy to even understand that in the first place. The second part of the sentence seems to be "... mag sie alle der Teufel holen", which would translate to "and devil shall/may take them with him". The snake is a symbol for the devil.

For the first part, I'm at a loss. Pfoff'n could be "Pfeiffen" (Smoking Pipes), but also "Pfaffen" (derogative for a priest).

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