There is an expression in (British) English along the lines of

I have to go and see a man about a dog.

It is the thing you might say, for example, when leaving a gathering of friends at the pub and you want to forestall any enquiry about what you will be doing, or why you have to leave. It is different from saying, "Mind your own business!" specifically because it can be used pre-emptively. It is also much more friendly.

Is there a similar idiomatic approach in German? ... and in addition, how does one tell someone to mind their own business!

N.B. Thanks to @RDBury in the comments below for the link to the Wikipedia explanation!

  • Certainly not idiomatic: Ich muss mal nach den Hühnern schauen! (especially if everyone knows that you don't keep any). Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 6:41
  • Wikipedia.
    – RDBury
    Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 11:21
  • 1
    Kümmere dich um deinen eigenen Kram is an informal way of saying "Mind your own business." Kram on it's own is a very usefully vague word meaning "stuff", "things", "affairs", etc.
    – RDBury
    Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 11:36
  • 1
    You're welcome and thanks for the acknowledgment. It's nice to know the comments were helpful.
    – RDBury
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 11:24

1 Answer 1


Ich muss noch etwas erledigen!

is a common statement in this case.

  • 1
    mind their own business! - part is missing
    – mic
    Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 7:21
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    @mic: I don't think so - the fact that you are so unspecific already implies you do not want to volunteer more information. Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 8:28
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    In Britain, "Execuse me, there's something else I have to do" would definitely not forestall the question "What [do you have to do so urgently]?" . In contrast, seeing a man about a dog is a complete (albeit false) explanation for one's departure that forestalls further enquiry. How do people respond to "Ich muss noch etwas erledigen"? Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 11:55
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    @user02814: Usually there is no question »What?« on »Ich muss noch etwas erledigen«, otherwise I wouldn't have made an answer out of it.
    – Pollitzer
    Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 13:23
  • 4
    I'd say often there'll be no question asked, but certainly there might be a “das kann doch bis morgen warten!” or “was hast du denn um diese Zeit wichtiges zu erledigen?” Commented Oct 30, 2020 at 17:42

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