Friday, May 7, 2010

Chapter 10, Page 17 Language hazard

Language is a dangerous thing.

Well, Dad certainly does have good lungs.

Yiddish is a very, ah, colorful language.


Dan (AKA said...

Well, it is something of a hybrid of Hebrew (Hebraic?) and German. German, as you've noted previously, has never exactly been what one might call a pretty language in the first place. And there is a Russian proverb which says something to the effect of "Enough to make a German puke" (and this despite the fact that Russian is often put right up there next to French as the greatest language to "swear or make love with").

Again, I needn't hesitate to point this out, because a sizable portion of my DNA is German. :D

Brigid said...

@Dan: I'm not sure which is the correct technical term, but I think Hebrew works fine and is easier to say. Ye hus, but our ancestors were an interesting lot.

Dang, I forgot to title this post.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Oh, boy: I remember - now - some of the words in that book. Which I hadn't, when I gave the okay for you to borrow it.

As some of my Norwegian forebears would have said, "I get so quick old, and so slow smart."

Brigid said...

@Dad: Yeah. It was... interesting.

Robert said...

Hee! I can so see Brigid blushing and going back to dad to comment on some of the words in that. =^-^=

Ah, innocence. Never lose it, lass. *ruffles Brigid's hair*

Brigid said...

@Robert: Thank you. I've certainly made an effort to maintain innocence without being completely naive. ^_^

Zach said...

Brian -- my (German) ancestors told me that was an old German saying!

"Too soon oldt, und too late shmart."


(I feel it too...)


Dan (AKA said...

@Zach: The only German phrase that I know (in the original German, anyway, without having to look it up or that isn't just a horrible pun that sounds like it might be Germanic, but really isn't) is "Leb schnell, lieb heftig, stirb young" ("Live fast, love hard, die young"). And I may not be spelling that right.

Zach said...

@Dan - my Grandfather was the last who actually knew German. The only phrase I learned was gesundheit. :)

Brigid said...

@Zach: You can add this to the list. Dummkopf. That word is used a lot with my family.

Dan (AKA said...

@Brigid: I think dummkopf is rather more a word than a phrase, isn't it? Although my understanding has long been that German speakers don't so much invent new words as they just string old words together, so I guess in a sense you could have both a phrase and a word... :D

@Zach: My dear old grandpa, a professional fire-fighter by trade who spent a large part of his working life on call at the town fire station, surrounded by other quasi-bachelor blue-collar types (men who, married or not, weren't exactly enjoying the company of the fairer sex while they were on duty, and whose manners, small doubt, weren't exactly Emily Post; we've all heard the old saw about someone "swearing like a sailor", after all), had a favorite joke about the meaning of gesundheit. Rather tasteless, actually, once I lost sufficient innocent to realize what the pun meant, but then grandpa was always a bit of a scamp... :P

Brigid said...

@Dan: True, true. I don't think I know any German phrases, per say. I can hum a few folk tunes, but that's about it.

One of my grandpas was a sailor. He managed to keep his mouth pretty clean around us kids, but he could be rather impish, too.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


I suspect it may be German and Scandinavian. There isn't much water separating the countries - and national borders are a comparatively recent development in Europe.

The basic idea is probably found in most cultures.

Thanks for sharing that, BTW.