Redewendung - Questions on group of words having a meaning not deducible from individual words.

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1
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2answers
29 views

What does 'put some dust on your face' mean?

The Rammstein song Fanatica has the line "let me put some dust on your face". I assume this is a literal translation of a German expression, but I can't figure out what it means.
3
votes
2answers
50 views

Best way of expressing “for all I know” in German

One English expression I particularly like is "for all I know". It has such a level of arbitrariness to it that is unlike any other German expression that is similar to it: For all I know, every ...
2
votes
4answers
96 views

How do you say “your heart skips a beat” in German?

Ben walked into the room and her heart skipped a beat. Ben betrat das Schlafzimmer und sie wurde überrascht. How do you say "your heart skips a beat" in German? Can I use "überraschen" in this ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What is "to put things into public storage'' in German?

John is moving out of his apartment and he doesn't want to drag around all this stuff while looking for a house to settle into. He goes to a public storage and rents a unit to put his stuff in. What's ...
3
votes
1answer
252 views

How do you say “to bail somebody out of jail” in German?

My friend is in jail for burglary and to get him out, you have to pay 5,000 dollars. How do you say to bail someone out in German? Can I say Jmdn aus dem Gefängnis herausbringen or does it have to be ...
9
votes
3answers
158 views

Why “schieben” guards “Wache”?

The expression "Wacheschieben" is well-known to native speakers. It's synonymous to "Wachestehen". I just realized that this word can be confusing to language learners. Ich habe vier Wochen ...
6
votes
3answers
99 views

Does “gemacht” also mean “something done too artificially”?

I remember someone using the word "gemacht" do describe something that was done too artificially. (In this case it was a dance move that was supposed to be spontaneous but looked too pre-planned.) I ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

Herkunft von “Ausnahmen bestätigen die Regel”

The idiom "Ausnahmen bestätigen die Regel" exists in English, too. The exception proves the rule. However, someone recently told me that this originally was based on the old meaning of "to ...
-1
votes
1answer
63 views

Wie sagt man “who walked over your grave?” auf Deutsch? [closed]

Gibt es im Deutschen den Ausdruck who walked over your grave?
1
vote
1answer
132 views

Wie sagt man “To have beef with someone” auf Deutsch?

Ich habe Probleme mit diesem Typ in der Kneipe. I have beef with this guy in the Bar. Wie sagt man " to have beef with somebody" auf Deutsch?
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Wie sagt man “Well-stated questions” and “formal answers” auf Deutsch?

Well I'm writing this short story about an Austrian mathemacian who came up with the mathematical notions of "well-stated questions" and "formal answers" and, to make it look more real, I would like ...
-1
votes
1answer
72 views

Alternative für den Ausdruck “Lighten up!” [closed]

Sam, Entspann dich! Das ist nur ein Hund! Sam, lighten up! It's just a dog! Gibt es eine Alternative für " Entspann Dich!" ?
4
votes
3answers
134 views

What is the origin of “den Bogen raus haben”?

Metaphorically, this phrase means something like "getting the hang of". But what is "Bogen" referring to, literally, in this case? (Come to think of it, I have no idea what "getting the hang of it" ...
0
votes
2answers
273 views

Wie sagt man “Not in a million years!” auf Deutsch?

Willst du meine Freundin sein? - Nicht in einer Million Jahren! Wie sagt man Not in a million years auf Deutsch?
1
vote
3answers
132 views

Wie sagt man “in the back of my mind ” auf Deutsch?

In the back of my mind I knew she wasn't right for me, but I loved her anyway. Im Hinterkopf wußte ich, dass sie nicht die Richtige für mich ist, jedoch habe ich sie sowieso geliebt. Ich ...
2
votes
4answers
143 views

Die Redewendung “Was hast du auf dem Herzen?”

Ich habe eine Frage zu dieser Redewendung. Bedeutet Was hast du auf dem Herzen? dasselbe wie Was möchtest du?
3
votes
1answer
94 views

“Am Boden” or “auf dem Boden”?

I read somewhere that am Boden was the older version of "on the floor". When did it change? Die Toten Hosen have a song that goes: Steh auf, wenn du am Boden bist. So I wonder if this saying is ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Can “to make someone crazy” be translated as “jemanden in (zum?) Wahnsinn bringen”

I was wondering if one can say "jemanden zum Wahnsinn bringen" for "to make someone crazy"? One can say Dieser Satz bringt mich durcheinander. which means "This sentence confuses me." and ...
5
votes
2answers
224 views

“Passen wie die Faust aufs Auge” bedeutet “total” oder “gar nicht zusammenpassen”?

In Wiktionary stehen die zwei höchstwidersprüchlichen Bedeutungen: Bedeutungen: [1] umgangssprachlich: ganz und gar nicht zusammenpassen [2] umgangssprachlich: wunderbar zusammenpassen ...
2
votes
3answers
75 views

“Wo hast du dich herumgetrieben?”

I would like to know if this expression's an offense Wo hast du dich herumgetrieben? Is it used to scold somebody?
4
votes
3answers
336 views

Does “paar” still mean “two items”? Words that have lost their original meaning

–Ich hätte gerne ein Paar Brötchen –Wie viele? That was (modulo trivialities) a conversation that surprised me. Of course –assuming the grammatical correctness of the sentences–, the baker ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

bei jemandem einen Stein im Brett haben

I have been undertaking a beginner's class in German. I have been picking up some idiomatic phrases as I go along and have comes across the following German construction: bei jemandem einen Stein ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

Buchstabieren = to spell?

In another question Carsten mentioned that buchstabieren has a somewhat narrower meaning than to spell. I wonder if people would care to elaborate on this? Also, does German have the Yiddish variant ...
1
vote
3answers
83 views

Was ist das Gegenteil davon einen Zonk zu erwischen?

Wenn man "den Zonk erwischt", ist dies Ausdruck dafür ein schlimmstmögliches Ergebnis erzielt zu haben. Was wäre das sprachliche Gegenteil des Zonks?
2
votes
1answer
175 views

Is there a rapid online access to “feste Nomen-Präposition bzw. -Verb Verbindungen”?

Is it me, or is it difficult to find online, in dictionaries and so on, all the information about a "feste Nomen-Präposition Verbindungen"? Suppose you are writing in German and, for sake of ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

saying sorry in German [duplicate]

I would like to say that I am very sorry for a situaton that is not my fault but is causing serious trouble to someone, and I would like it to sound firm but not too formal as the personal context is ...
8
votes
1answer
128 views

is “wie geschnitten Brot” grammatically correct?

I came across this idiom in a sentence similar to this one: das iPhone verkauft sich wie geschnitten Brot geschnitten Brot sounds wrong to me, shouldn't the adjective be declined? I searched ...
8
votes
6answers
391 views

What is the most fitting translation of “Try me!”?

Is there an equivalent for the English phrase "Try me!" in German? The only translations I could find/come up with are: Wetten? Wetten, dass? I can't help but feel like this is not the best ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Finance metaphors for relationships [closed]

I've recently read that there are quite a few metaphors describing relationships between humans that are taken from the financial sector. However, examples were very scarce. The best one being ...
5
votes
4answers
488 views

What is an equivalent of English “piece of cake”?

How do you say in German something that is easy to do. I have found "ein Klacks" in my dictionary, but I have a great doubt about the meaning of the word and how to use it.
6
votes
2answers
132 views

Über den Ursprung der zu „einen Vogel haben“ zugeordneten Geste

Anstelle folgender Aussagen: Du hast einen Vogel, bei dir piept es wohl, usw. macht man manchmal eine Geste. Ich erkenne nur folgende Zeichen. Zeigefinger zur Stirn, genau wo die Schläfe ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

“Willst du mich für dumm verkaufen?” Is saying this rude?

I just want to know how to show skepticism towards something that, in my opinion, is obviously false (or a joke). I think that with friends, I would say Na, du willst mich verarschen. ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

An idiom likely having a more figurative translation

There is a very nice German song whose name is, Ich lass mich auf den Sommer ein. I have found the following idiom with einlassen: sich auf etw (accusative) einlassen, which is rendered as to get ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Is “drin” in “Es ist noch mehr drin” an idiom?

In my dictionary, drin is an idiomatic component of both drin sein (to be into it), and das ist doch nicht drin (that's not on). But I'm not sure which of these meanings go into this newspapers ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

how to translate `extend`

I have extended a casual friendly greeting towards her. Specially how do you translate the word extend in this context? Also How do you translate this: I am stating it outright!
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Nach Hackfleischspieß Art?

Ich war gerade in der Mittagspause und stolperte bei einem Kleinimbiss über folgenden Ausdruck: Döner Kebab (nach Hackfleischspieß Art) Worüber ich mich nun wunderte ist, was dies für eine ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

“to make faces” = “Gesichter machen”?

In English we talk about "making faces," "making funny faces," etc. Is this expressed the same way in German? E.g.: Das Baby macht lustige Gesichter, wenn es ein großes Geschäft in die Windel ...
5
votes
2answers
143 views

Anything better than “weltweit” for “All over the world”?

I would like to say something like, "You have really lived all over the world!" ...like in response to someone saying they've been to many different countries. I did a Google search for this and ...
1
vote
2answers
272 views

How do you say “over the hump” in German?

Google translate gives "über den Berg", which seems wrong. It translated "hump" as "mountain," but "hump" is a small obstacle, not a large one. The context was a comment I left on a post, If you ...
3
votes
2answers
178 views

What is the children's song “Zehn kleine Zappelfinger” about?

Can anyone explain what the children's song "Zehn kleine Zappelfinger" is about? Zehn kleine Zappelfinger zappeln hin und her. Zehn kleine Zappelfinger finden´s gar nicht schwer. Zehn ...
4
votes
3answers
286 views

Translation of the idiom “no harm, no foul” in German

Do similar figure of speech exist in German or should one translate it literally?
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Is it “einige vor den Kopf stoßen” or “einigen vor den Kopf stoßen”?

The whole sentence is: Mit dem Glauben an einen hinsichtlich der Präzision und Allmächtigkeit abgeschwächten Laplace'schen Dämon scheint man immer wieder einige(n?) Leuten vor den Kopf zu stoßen ...
9
votes
4answers
292 views

Is there an idiomatic equivalent for “polyglot”?

Does the word polyglot, meaning "knowing or using several languages" translate directly into German, or is there an idiomatic equivalent? Google Translate just adds an extra "t" at the end, as German ...
9
votes
5answers
558 views

What is the meaning of “Das wärmste Jäckchen ist das Cognac-chen”?

I have heard this from my German friend. I know what it means in English but I don't understand the context in German. They said it's really hard to explain properly. Is it bad? I hope not.
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Wo kommt der Ausdruck “Roter Retter” her?

Wiederholt habe ich jetzt den Ausdruck "Roter Retter" gesehen, sowohl in einer Kurzgeschichte als auch in Nachrichten (beispielsweise hier). Während ich in politischen Nachrichten noch nachvollziehen ...
10
votes
2answers
408 views

Woher kommt die Redewendung “Das gleiche Problem in Grün”?

Die Redewendung "Dasselbe in Grün" oder "Das gleiche Problem in Grün" bedeutet, dass zwei Dinge oder zwei Probleme praktisch übereinstimmen. Auf der deutschen Wikipedia ist zu lesen, dass es ...
12
votes
1answer
130 views

Wer ist der “wahre Jacob”?

In einem Brief an Max Born, einen der Gründer der Quantenmechanik, schreibt 1926 Einstein (dem diese Theorie nicht gefiel, obwohl er auch einer deren Gründer war): Die Quantenmechanik ist sehr ...
9
votes
3answers
276 views

How to translate “being a”?

I'm aware German doesn't have a gerund like the English language does, so I was just wondering how you could translate "being a" as in "being a vegetarian may cause health problems"? Would "als" work ...
4
votes
2answers
144 views

What does it mean when it says “Volle Suppe”?

Is "Volle Suppe" a German idiom? And how would that translate into English?
11
votes
5answers
553 views

Why is 'Guten Tag' accusative?

Is it just an idiom, or is it a general rule? I'm wishing a good day to someone, so I guess there is some kind of metaphorical motion involved. Would it be similar if I wanted to say "vielen Spaß"?