In conversation, I said jokingly:

His insistence on only ordering espresso is, well, how should I put it? It's enough to give even the most one-track coffee aficionado a run for their money...

Here I wanted to hyperbolically express the idea of:

The way he single-mindedly orders espresso drinks every time, he may well be evenly matched with even the most avid of coffee drinkers, if not put them to shame.

The following came to mind as its German equivalent, but I think it's closer to "put X to shame".

Mit seiner hartnäckigen Angewohnheit, ausschließlich Espresso zu bestellen, stellt er selbst die borniertesten Kaffeeliebhaber in den Schatten.

How is this idea commonly/idiomatically expressed in German?

  • 1
    Your example with in den Schatten stellen is correct. I wonder if you used the English phrase give a run for their money idiomatically though. My dictionary says it means jemandem/einander nichts schenken in the meaning of a fierce competition. Die beiden Favoriten schenkten einander nichts.
    – Janka
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 22:00
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    Another typical phrase which comes to mind is einander nichts geben, which strictly speaking means the same as einander nichts schenken, but it's used on competitions on silly things.
    – Janka
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 22:04
  • @Janka Yes, this is a less-known usage example of "give X a run for their money”. The meanings found in dictionary entries might centre round competition contexts, just as you said, though. Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 22:17
  • @Janka I just happened to find a similar post : french.stackexchange.com/questions/33856/… My usage is close to the car example mentioned there: "The speed of my car is not to be sneezed at, compared to that of yours" === "His extreme fondness for espresso is not to be sneezed at, compared to that shown by even the most avid of coffee drinkers" Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 22:39
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    "Give someone a run for their money" could be closely mirrored with "jmd auf seine Kosten kommen lassen" to include the reference to money. In that sense I'm not sure your second rewording is identical in meaning, and neither is the German translation. I'd venture to say that you said "Es ist genug um selbst den borniertesten Kaffee-Liebhaber auf seine Kosten kommen zu lassen". Whether that was your intent is up for debate...
    – miw
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


If you mean doing something better than others that are already good at it, "jemanden alt aussehen lassen" is an informal way of saying this.

  • Hi. How about the colloquial "ausstechen"? Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 7:23
  • "Ausstechen" has a connotation of competition and often implies competing when competition is inappropriate.
    – NXP5Z
    Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 17:07

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