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I am referring to the straw man as defined by Wikipedia

The part I’m having trouble with is the word(s) straw man as used in this context.

Does a direct translation mean the same in German? Is there another word(s) that mean what I am trying to convey?

*This post was edited due to the confusion over the use of strawman over the correct straw man. Apparently meaning very different things in English and implying completely different meanings when translated to German.*

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    Is "strawman" really the appropriate term in English? Looking at Oxford and M-W Dictionaries, I could find two definitions. One which goes along with the German "Strohmann" and one which corresponds to the German "Strohmann Argument". However, the explanation you give in the body of your question is not covered by that term. I would call it hermit or recluse. In that case, "Einsiedler" as suggested in an answer, is the right word to go with. – Em1 Oct 19 '15 at 10:43
  • If I understand the question correctly, it’s not asking for a German translation of hermit (i.e. Einsiedler, Eremit, Klausner, Aussteiger, Eigenbrötler), but for a figurative phrase that means ‘becoming a hermit’. JFTR: I’ve never encountered strawman in this context either, but as described it actually makes sense. In German, more common metaphors for that concept are Maske(rade) and Fassade which can be fallenlassen instead of being burned, maybe also Attrappe, Trugbild, Schein-Ich and Identität. – Crissov Oct 19 '15 at 11:10
  • Please edit the title of your posting, to clarify that you're looking for a translation of the expression "burn your strawman" rather than of just the word "strawman". – Mico Oct 19 '15 at 11:25
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    @Em1: Bitte "Strohmannargument", nicht "Strohmann Argument". Aber darum geht es offensichtlich nicht. – user unknown Oct 19 '15 at 14:41
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    I've never heard the phrase "burn your strawman" in English and, as @Em1 says, it seems to be at odds with the usual definition of "strawman". Since "burn your strawman" has fewer than 1500 Google hits, I'd suggest using a more widely understood phrase, whether speaking English or German. Without a lot of context, I'd assume that "burn your strawman" means "quit using your strawman argument". – David Richerby Oct 19 '15 at 16:11
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If you have a look in a dictionary, you will see that we have the literal translation of it, a Strohmann, which can be used as someone who acts for somebody else; for details see Wikipedia.

However you cannot use einen Strohmann verbrennen, at least not differently than in the literal sense of igniting a straw puppet. You could use sein (bürgerliches, spießiges, langweiliges) Leben aufgeben, ein Aussteiger sein oder (aus der Gesellschaft) aussteigen which implies your “off the grid” meaning (see Wikipedia).

I don’t know any phrase that is as figurative as to burn your straw man.

To reflect your edit and clarification:

If you follow this link to Wikipedia you will see the literal translation to Strohmann Argument (you can also go to the English aritcle and click on "Deutsch in the left column).

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    Aussteigen is a good term. – chirlu Oct 19 '15 at 6:42
  • "die Platte machen"/"schieben" are also used for living off the street/off the land. – Daniel Budick Oct 19 '15 at 9:01
  • I'm very sorry, I put the words together to form a word that really should have been two. I've caused much confusion... Here is the wikipedia article on the topic at hand. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man – Ryan Oct 24 '15 at 1:04
  • added a paragraph about the translation to German – Alexander Oct 24 '15 at 1:18
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The word you are looking for is "Einsiedler". An "Einsielder" is someone who breaks all ties with the past ("alle Zelte abbrechen") and lives alone in harmony with the nature.

Another term to describe that you are disconnecting from society is "aussteigen" (like @chirlu mentioned). But this term has multiple meanings and could also imply that you just break up with your old life (resign from your job, sell your household...), travel to a different part of the world (e.g. someplace where it's always warm) and start anew (e.g. search a new job, start a resturant...).

  • I'm very sorry, I put the words together to form a word that really should have been two. I've caused much confusion... Here is the wikipedia article on the topic at hand. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man – Ryan Oct 24 '15 at 1:04

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