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

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5
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2answers
768 views

What does “halt das Schicksal auf” mean?

What does it mean: Halt das Schicksal auf, gib mir was einst war mein.
5
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1answer
121 views

Was heißt “Ist mir zu warm?” auf Englisch?

Ist mir zu warm? Ich weiß alle der Wörter im Satz, aber ich verstehe die Bedeutung nicht. The reason I ask is because I’m unsure exactly how/why the dative case mir shows up. What could be done to/...
5
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2answers
376 views

Woher kommt die Redewendung „mit dem linken Bein aufstehen“?

Ich steige immer mit dem linken Bein aus dem Bett. Die Bedeutung ist hier, dass ich eine schlechte Laune habe, wenn ich aufstehe; aber meine Frage ist, warum mit dem linken Bein, warum nicht mit dem ...
5
votes
3answers
300 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" ...
5
votes
2answers
373 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
859 views

Wie kam es zu der Wendung “jemand hängen lassen”?

Eine sehr gebräuchliche Redewendung ist "jemand hängen lassen" (to let someone down) Unser Lieferant hat uns wieder einmal hängen lassen. Woher kommt dieser Ausdruck?
4
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3answers
613 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 doesn't ...
4
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4answers
494 views

What's the idiomatic equivalent of “at the top of one's lungs”, if there is one?

I'd like to translate the following sentence into German: She screamed at the top of her lungs. But I have a feeling that Google Translate's result, "Sie schrie an der Spitze der ihre Lungen" is ...
4
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3answers
137 views

Was versteht man unter einem “maßlosen Sinn”?

Ich habe bei dict.leo.org gerade (sinnfrei) nach den englischen Übersetzungen für Sinn gesucht und bin dabei auf etwas gestoßen, das ich erst nur komisch zu lesen fand. Und beim Sinnen über den Sinn ...
4
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4answers
2k views

Translation of “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going" is a popular proverb in English. According to Wikipedia: The phrase is a play on words involving idiomatic (Proverb) and distinct meanings of "go"...
4
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4answers
556 views

Das geht aber nicht!

In a situation where one person is smoking in a smoke free area and the other person is trying to point it, that other person is saying Das geht aber nicht! I'm wondering, what does this ...
4
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1answer
345 views

German word for “change the subject” or “swap the cars”

When my German grandma wanted everyone to stop talking (arguing really) and change the subject at the dinner table, she used a German word that sounded like oompsdaggon. She said it meant change the ...
4
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1answer
504 views

“Thank you for your consideration” am Ende eines Bewerbungsschreibens

So könnte das Ende eines englischen Bewerbungsschreibens aussehen: Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, John Doe Auf deutsch fällt mir nur ein Mit freundlichen Grüßen, ...
4
votes
2answers
286 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 ...
4
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2answers
720 views

“Leider, leider, sogt Beschneider”

I walked past a chess game in Munich, where someone had just played a very bad move. An old gentleman exclaimed: Leider, leider, sogt Beschneider. It's probable that I misheard a bit. I suppose ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Idiomatic equivalent for “I am afraid, I can't do that”

Is there an idiom which would convey I'm afraid I can't do that Literally translating, It would become Ich fürchte, ich kann das nicht tun Would that make sense?
4
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2answers
435 views

Does “frech wie Oskar sein” have a negative connotation to it?

Does the following sentence have negative connotation? If it does, is there an equivalent without the negative connotation? „Du bist ja frech wie Oskar!“ As I searched, none of the following ...
4
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1answer
139 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 ...
4
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2answers
182 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 ...
4
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1answer
7k views

Wie würde man “easy come, easy go” übersetzen?

Meine Kinder haben mich gestern nach der Bedeutung von "easy come, easy go" im Text der Bohemian Rhapsody von Queen gefragt. Dort heißt es: I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy Because I'm ...
4
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3answers
136 views

German equivalent of idiom “Be a catch”

How do you express in German that someone is being worth a try for dating, e.g. like in: I am taking Laura out tonight. She's such a catch, I hope she likes me. I am not asking for this ...
4
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3answers
651 views

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

The Eisbrecher 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.
4
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2answers
262 views

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

Is "Volle Suppe" a German idiom? And how would that translate into English?
4
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1answer
55 views

Die Arbeiten werden auf Nachweis ausgeführt

Die Arbeiten werden auf Nachweis ausgeführt Trying to translate a subcontractor quotation, I found this line, which appears to be some sort of generic term or condition but also a bit of an idiom ...
4
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1answer
408 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. ...
4
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1answer
84 views

Spricht man „mit spitzer Zunge“ oder „mit scharfer Zunge“ (oder beides)?

Wenn bspw. Satiriker kein Blatt vor den Mund nehmen und unverblümt schmähreden, ist ihre Zunge dann eher spitz, scharf oder beides? Adjektivisch scheint es auf jeden Fall sowohl scharfzüngig als ...
4
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1answer
371 views

Idiom: einen Türken bauen. Etymology?

What is the origin of the strange idiom "einen Türken bauen"? I have already checked wiktionary, and they present a few alternatives. All these alternatices are insufficient IMO, as they all smell ...
4
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4answers
556 views

Is there an idiomatic equivalent in German for “have other fish to fry”?

Is there an idiomatic equivalent in German for “have other fish to fry”? have other fish to fry: "To have more important things to do" As an anecdote I want to mention that in the two romance ...
3
votes
4answers
542 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 ...
3
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3answers
766 views

German phrase for “Someone has to get laid.”

If someone is participating, e.g., in a passive-aggressive, disproportionate, stuck-up, or micro-management behaviour because he didn’t get to copulate for some time, a typical expression to make that ...
3
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2answers
997 views

“Scheiße ist Bargeld”

I know the title is a bit rude, but that's exactly what my question is about. The title is what Google Translate recommends as the German equivalent of "shit is cash". I've often seen the expression "...
3
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2answers
140 views

Was ist ein „deutscher Stuhlkreis“?

In diesem Artikel wird ein deutscher Stuhlkreis erwähnt. Deutschland hat nach zwei militärisch und moralisch verlorenen Kriegen, nach Jahren des antiautoritären und antipatriarchalen Kampfes eine ...
3
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4answers
333 views

Was bedeutet „sich zu schaffen machen“?

In Lew Tolstois Anna Karenina heißt es: … der Tatar, der die Gläser wieder gefüllt hatte und sich um die beiden gerade dann zu schaffen machte, wenn seine Anwesenheit nicht mehr erwünscht war … ...
3
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2answers
539 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Meaning of a German idiomatic phrase in mathematics

Softball question here.... Does Dabei sollen G1 und G2 einen Winkel einschließen, der zum vollen Winkel 2π in einem irrationalen Verhältnis steht. mean the following? Thereby, (lines) G1 ...
3
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2answers
135 views

Meaning of “Die Fische kommen oft ungeschoren davon”

From the Hohlspiegel column of Der Spiegel, which is intended for funny errors from other sources: Aus der Bild: "Die richtig dicken Fische kommen leider oft ungeschoren davon." It seems to ...
3
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2answers
268 views

How to translate “I had a question”?

In English, "I had a question" could mean either "I got a question earlier, and still have it" or "I got a question back then, but it has since been answered" Could I use the German "ich hatte ...
3
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2answers
158 views

How to translate “Steel your heart”?

Title says it all — in a moment of despair if you want to inspire someone and say “Steel your heart” how would you do so in German? I stepped upon this in the sentence “Steel your heart and your ...
3
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1answer
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
121 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
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2answers
53 views

Eine Alternative zum Ausdruck «etwas auf die leichte Schulter nehmen»

Er nimmt die Gefahr auf die leichte Schulter. Kann man auch in diesem Zusammenhang den Ausdruck «etwas leicht nehmen» verwenden?
3
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2answers
228 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 ...
3
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2answers
303 views

Woher kommt “Freunde des schlechten Geschmacks”?

Gibt es irgendeine "Quelle" für die Wendung "(meine lieben) Freunde des schlechten Geschmacks"?r
3
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1answer
265 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
473 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?
2
votes
2answers
73 views

Is it used in positive or negative sense “jemandem den Kopf waschen”

I wonder if this idiom has a positive meaning, It seems to me somehow it means "to cause one's mind to be changed" regardless of caring he does a good thing or not.Could you please explain when do you ...
2
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3answers
97 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?
2
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1answer
138 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

Auf meinem oder deinem Einhorn?

Wollen wir heute mal zu einem veganen Restaurant? Auf meinem oder deinem Einhorn? Was bedeutet Auf meinem oder deinem Einhorn? Ich habe diese Redewendung bei Dict.cc nachgeschaut und es ...
2
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3answers
101 views

Übersetzung von “left to wonder what could have been”

He was left to wonder what could have been. Die Phrase "was left to wonder what could have been" ist sehr idiomatisch in der englischen Sprache. Wie kann man das ins Deutsche übersetzen? Wäre es ...