Archive for October 17th, 2010

October 17, 2010

Swearing, part 1

The art or science of swearing,

If making compliments in another language is difficult swearing is – well – darn difficult.  You have to walk the fine line between saying something that is actually considered swearing – and not something little old British ladies like to say such as “oh dear”,  “bloody hell” or “what a pain in the neck” – and not being so gross and outrageous that you offend everybody around you.

One thing to keep in mind is that – American prudishness aside – most swearing has a sexual connotation,  the so-called f-word is absolutely everywhere.  The s-word held so dearly in German swearing  is used but not quite as frequently.

From they way these last two sentences are written you can tell that the less offensive description, namely f-word is used frequently, especially when kids are around.  Everybody knows what the f-word is – it requires no further explanation and is unambiguous.

October 17, 2010

On The Tip Of My Tongue

It's right on the tip of my tongue

This is the idiom you use if you almost remember something but not quite, like the title of that movie you just told everybody was so great, or the name of Aunt Emma’s dog, or of cousin Janet’s second son.  You know you will remember the required information as soon as you don’t need to know it anymore.  And, invariably, you do, preferably you wake up around 2:30 in the morning thinking “Shawshank Redemption”, “Fifi”, or “Jayden”.

In German the idea is similar something “is lying on my tongue” implying it is there but just won’t come out.