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23 votes

What's a short rhyme meaning, e.g. for Christmas, I only want an empty box?

A traditional local (SW German) answer to the "what do I get for Christmas?" question would be A Nixle em a Bixle in Hochdeutsch somewhat like ein Nichtslein in einem Büchslein ...
tofro's user avatar
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22 votes
Accepted

Odd use(s) of "bauen"

"Mist bauen" and "einen Unfall bauen" are youth slang (Jugendsprache) of the 1960s. Cool kids decided to use "bauen" in the sense of creating or causing something really ...
HalvarF's user avatar
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9 votes

Odd use(s) of "bauen"

The German "bauen" has retained a bit of a wider focus from it's Germanic origins than the English "to build". (Note this is a short summation of Grimm's entry on it and I left out ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 64k
8 votes

Concerning the word, "schwarzbraun;" Does this term, when applied to a person, literally mean "blackbrown", or connote "brunette"?

First of all, Schwarzbraun is simply a color with which no mood is associated: a very dark brown that can only be distinguished from black on closer inspection1. In relation to a person - as for ...
Olafant's user avatar
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8 votes
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How can I translate the English phrase "you need all the X you can get" into German

Instead of Er braucht jede Hilfe, die er bekommen kann we say: Er braucht [jetzt] jede erdenkliche Hilfe
Pollitzer's user avatar
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6 votes
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How do I translate "take them down with me" into German?

I am not sure if this idiom is used everywhere, but at least in Austria and (as per @planetmaker's comment) Northern Germany "mitnehmen" is used that way: Sie kriegen mich, aber zwei nehme ...
bakunin's user avatar
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5 votes

What is the force of gesehen haben muss : You [one has] gotta see, You ought to have seen, or you must already have seen?

The sentence just means The 27 most embarrassing photos you have to see. In German, it is common to use past perfect for this, implying you must have seen this in order to fulfill whatever implied ...
Jonathan Scholbach's user avatar
4 votes

How can I translate the English phrase "you need all the X you can get" into German

"Jede Hilfe, die er bekommen kann" is certainly an acceptable translation. I would understand it that way, and it would not sound odd to my ears at all. Other possibilities are to replace &...
wonderbear's user avatar
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4 votes
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How can I say "lying in a heap" in German?

There appears to be something lying in a heap. Yeah, no. You can't say auf einem Haufen for in a heap of single things. Only for a multiple things. For single things, it always means on a heap (of ...
Janka's user avatar
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4 votes
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How can I say "I'll show you [adjective]" in German?

Basically I will show you that which is crazy. is used in German. A: Ich denke, du bist verrückt! B: Verrückt? Ich zeig dir gleich mal, was verrückt ist! Notice the changes because it is spoken ...
EagleFliesBanana's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

What is the use of "dran" in the followng sentence. It seems superfluous to me

The relant verb phrase is spät dran sein — to be sort of late. In contrast spät sein just means to be late. The phrase ein bisschen spät dran sein is even more excusing. The meaning is something along ...
Janka's user avatar
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3 votes
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What is the force of gesehen haben muss : You [one has] gotta see, You ought to have seen, or you must already have seen?

Die 27 peinlichsten Fotos, die man gesehen haben muss. So you stumble about the Perfekt tense in that clause, yes? It's Perfekt because in German, tenses move the viewpoint. So those photos are a ...
Janka's user avatar
  • 59k
3 votes

Expression for someone with very broad and detailed knowledge

There is also the exppression "Hansdampf in allen Gassen."
Ingrid Schwaegermann's user avatar
3 votes

How to understand "Der Angst den Schrecken nehmen"?

This is actually a play on words on the standing expression "Angst und Schrecken verbreiten", which is a tautology aiming to amplify the notion. Der Angst den Schrecken nehmen basically ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 64k
2 votes

How do I translate "take them down with me" into German?

A related option, usually for non-lethal cases, is »mitreißen«. Wenn ich [ins Unglück] stürze, reiße ich jeden mit, den ich kriegen kann. (When I fall [into misfortune], I take whoever I can with me.)...
Pollitzer's user avatar
  • 16k
2 votes

What is the origin and meaning of the expression "Da wird der Hund in der Pfanne verrückt"?

This is an (idiomatic) nonsense-phrase expressing astonishment or puzzlement up to dumbfundedness. A similar phrase in English would be "Oh, my god!", "(This is driving me) Crazy!",...
bakunin's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

Bedeutung von "den letzten Nerv zu durchschneiden"

It's not an idiomatic expression with a clear meaning. It just means 'cut the last nerve' which obviously results in the whole organ or organism being unsavable after that point. It clearly refers to ...
HalvarF's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

How to understand "Der Angst den Schrecken nehmen"?

There seems to be a couple sources of confusion here. First, as I noted in the comments, there are (according to DWDS) two different words, "der Schreck" and "der Schrecken". There ...
RDBury's user avatar
  • 11.3k
1 vote

What's a short rhyme meaning, e.g. for Christmas, I only want an empty box?

The "nichtly" is the probably a "nicht" with a "ly" americanism, using the "nicht" as a negation in the sense of being practically absent (in the sense of ...
R. J. Mathar's user avatar
1 vote

What is the force of gesehen haben muss : You [one has] gotta see, You ought to have seen, or you must already have seen?

To me it seems there is a stronger appeal (Appell, Aufruf) in the sentence. "You SHOULD already have seen it. You're late! Now, quickly, click the link!".
EagleFliesBanana's user avatar
1 vote

How to say "a man needs..." referring to what people in general need?

Sorry, sirrah, but a man needs something to buy food with. the speaker is hardly an educated character. I would put that as 'tschuldigung der Herr, aber unsereins kriegt's Essen auch nicht ...
Janka's user avatar
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1 vote
Accepted

How to say "a man needs..." referring to what people in general need?

Sorry, sirrah, but a man needs something to buy food with. würde ich mit Tut mir leid, Mann, aber man braucht Geld, um Nahrung zu kaufen. "Something" ist m.E. unpassend und würde niemand ...
user unknown's user avatar
  • 23.2k
1 vote

What is the German idiom or expression for when someone is being hypocritical against their own teachings?

Did someone here already mention the term "Pharisaer?"
Ingrid Schwaegermann's user avatar

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