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Gier probably means it is somehow messy, here is an example for ships that are tumbling around: http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/gieren_schwanken On first read the "nothing left", @tofro mentions, made sense to me, like it describes some wasteland. But the whole "gier and gar" seems to be related to Fieberhauch, not to the floor. But never heard that ...


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I guess (also from the "bissig und bös" question) the poem you're translating is Yvan Goll's "Der Panama-Kanal". "gier und gar" actually is not an idiom in German, and a literal translation along the lines of greed and cooked doesn't make any sense - not even to a native speaker. gar has a meaning in some southern German dialects and Austrian German of ...


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I never heard of it before and your post is the only hit in an online search... Maybe you mean "ganz und gar". That just means "completely", "totally", ... "without leftovers".


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Bissig relates to the verb "beissen" - So it's actually biting. "Böss" should be "böse" - so "bad", or "evil" (your "naughty" is not wrong, though) The whole thing, provided it relates to animals, as you said, thus is best translated to biting and bad In relation to humans, the translation would probably be a bit different, like snappy and evil ...


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Whatever the intended difference is, it is not a semantic one. You've already named two different alternative motives for varying the form: variation (exact repetitions are dispreferred because they might be mistaken for accidental duplication) and rhythm ("Im Herbste zechten wir als Weise" alternates stressed and unstressed syllables, while "Im Herbst ...



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