14

I know that “Löcher in den Bauch fragen” means “to ask too many questions”, but I really can’t imagine the origin. Maybe because too many questions are annoying like a hole in the belly?

enter image description here

  • It sounds like a torturing method. Someone asks questions and if they don't get answers, they'll cutting your belly open.... I really hope this is not the true origin! – Iris Apr 28 '16 at 7:27
6

The usage of Loch to illustrate damage is known to be used in the context of letters or speech as early as in the 15th Century where the Grimms quote Johann Geiler von Keisersberg:

es sei kein Brief so gut, sie wölen ein Loch darein reden.

Bauch in this context refers to the part of a body different to extremities or head. So "asking holes in a body" means to cause damage by asking too many questions. This also is used in the related idiom

Jemand mit Fragen löchern

where the verb löchern in modern colloquial German is about to lose its meaning of making holes and mostly is used for pestering somebody with question.

Dass Wieprecht bei den Konzerten im Kühlhaus am Gleisdreieck die Musiker mit seinen Laien-Fragen löchert, gefällt vielen im Publikum ganz besonders.Der Tagesspiegel 25.04.2016

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.