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

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4
votes
1answer
67 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

'Blau machen' and other phrases for absenteeism

I was watching a video about various idioms that have 'machen' in them. This included the sentence 'Er macht blau', which would formally translate into English as something like 'To be absent from ...
5
votes
3answers
224 views

Literal meaning of: es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen

I recently came across the expression: Es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen There's still no master [that has] fallen from the sky I'm curious about the es ist part, which I ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Meaning of “die Kurve kriegen”

I played chess with the German speaker and he tells me that 'Irgendwie habe ich noch die Kurve gekriegt'. Generally I understand that somehow he took advantage of the game. So what's the meaning of ...
4
votes
3answers
513 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?
5
votes
4answers
153 views

Is there a German expression for “out of my budget”?

Can I simply say "es ist aus meinem Budget"?
15
votes
1answer
228 views

Woher kommt die „goldene Ananas“?

„Die Goldene Ananas ist als umgangssprachliche Redewendung ein fiktiver Preis, der für einen Wettbewerb mit eigentlich irrelevantem Ausgang vergeben wird“ … und sie hat sogar einen eigenen ...
8
votes
1answer
141 views

Was meint hier »ein toller Hecht«?

I'm reading the Harry Potter series in German to brush up on the language. I came across the following sentence: »Dieser Lockhart ist schon ein toller Hecht, nicht wahr?« So I guess it's ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

How do you say “to have a tire rotation” in German?

Tomorrow I am going to have my tires rotated because the tires in front are worn out Morgen werde ich die Reifen meines Autos umstecken lassen, da die Reifen von vorne abgenutzt sind. Does ...
4
votes
1answer
279 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
134 views

How do you say “to have an oil change” in German? [closed]

Every 3 months i have my car oil changed. Alle drei Monate lasse ich meinen Wagen Öl wechseln. In English, you can also say to have an oil change, where the word "change" is a gerund, and the ...
6
votes
2answers
151 views

Wann Drache und wann Drachen?

Wann nehme ich das Wort 'der Drache' und wann 'der Drachen'? Ist es egal oder gibt es einen feinen Unterschied?
0
votes
2answers
79 views

Was bedeutet “ins Blaue gehen”?

Aus dem Buch "Der Hobbit": "doch nicht der Gandalf, der es auf dem Gewissen hat, daß so viele brave Burschen und Mädchen einfach ins Blaue gingen, verrückte Abenteuer zu erleben." Was ...
7
votes
1answer
157 views

“Für einen Apfel und ein Ei.” – Woher genau kommt diese Kombination?

Für einen Apfel und ein Ei Ich weiss, dass das im Endeffekt billig oder günstig bedeutet. Ich habe mir das aber Ernährungstechnisch mal angeschaut und Apfel+Ei ist gar keine so schlechte ...
4
votes
6answers
128 views

Wasser siedet oder Wasser kocht?

In which cases do you use Wasser siedet and when Wasser kocht? It looks like they aint no synonyms.
11
votes
3answers
283 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
846 views

Various colloquial meanings of “Der Hammer”

My question is about the word 'Hammer' in colloquial and idiomatic usage. I have heard this word used in three ways in German: Das ist der Hammer (to indicate that something is cool or awesome) Das ...
6
votes
3answers
164 views

How do you translate “bless his (little) heart?”

I'm trying to figure out how to translate the idiomatic expression "Bless his (little) heart" into German. The general sense is: "He meant well, but, wow, was that ever dumb!" I don't think the ...
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 ...
5
votes
8answers
321 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
368 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.
2
votes
4answers
169 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
2answers
157 views

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

Is "Volle Suppe" a German idiom? And how would that translate into English?
7
votes
4answers
762 views

German alternatives to “Shit happens”?

As this metaphor caused some meta-discussion, I would like to know what it exactly means to the majority and what the german counterpart is: My understanding of this metaphor: It's basically ...
3
votes
1answer
320 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
109 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
120 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
296 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
171 views

How to say 'learn by ear' in German?

In English we say someone can learn by ear when speaking of music or language. Is there a German equivalent?
5
votes
2answers
284 views

An idiomatic German translation of the Bible

Is there a translation of at least the New Testament into German which uses modern vocabulary and idioms, similarly to the way The Message does in English?
-1
votes
1answer
74 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
165 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?
0
votes
2answers
304 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
1answer
114 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
79 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
165 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" ...
1
vote
3answers
148 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
168 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?
4
votes
3answers
381 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
186 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
71 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
355 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
77 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?
3
votes
1answer
82 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
139 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
645 views

Was ist das Gegenteil von “Nordlicht”?

Bewohner von Norddeutschland werden hin und wieder als "Nordlichter" bezeichnet. Gibt es analog bzw. als Umkehrung dazu eine Bezeichnung für die Süddeutschen?
1
vote
3answers
96 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
208 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

Was bedeutet “Über den Tellerrand sehen”?

Was bedeutet es, wenn man von jemanden sagt, dass er nicht über den Tellerrand sieht oder das er noch nicht einmal über den Tellerrand sehen kann ?
2
votes
2answers
347 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 ...