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Q: Language questions - ***contemporary** ( No Answer,   6 Comments )
Subject: Language questions - ***contemporary**
Category: Relationships and Society > Cultures
Asked by: archae0pteryx-ga
List Price: $3.99
Posted: 23 Jul 2005 10:57 PDT
Expires: 22 Aug 2005 10:57 PDT
Question ID: 546964
Let's forget the medieval for a moment (not for long, but for a
moment).  Can anyone give me translations for the following
expressions in the contemporary language specified?  All the
expressions are meant to serve as names.

Yiddish:  beautiful or gorgeous or shining angel or other epithet of
glorious beauty, feminine form

Yiddish:  warty toad or ugly beast or other epithet applying to an
unsightly creature, feminine form

Spanish or Catalan:  boot inspector, elided into a single nickname
suggesting a person of extremely short stature (intended to be
insulting), masculine form

A dictionary lookup isn't enough to assure that endings are correct
for the forms needed.

Thank you,

Clarification of Question by archae0pteryx-ga on 24 Jul 2005 11:20 PDT
I'll amend this to call for the Yiddish only and separate the Spanish
out into another question.  Will that help?  Really, I am not trying
to purify a Cytochrome C protein here.  Doesn't Yiddish have a phrase
for an ugly woman or an ugly creature of any kind?

(who is wondering if she has offended the God of Answers and ought to
offer a sacrifice)
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Language questions - ***contemporary**
From: pinkfreud-ga on 23 Jul 2005 11:16 PDT
You might try "Shayna" for the first.
Subject: Re: Language questions - ***contemporary**
From: pinkfreud-ga on 24 Jul 2005 11:27 PDT

You might be more likely to receive an answer if you'd give an
indication of what reference source you will accept. Eliminating
dictionaries, as you have done, leaves little in the way of reliable
Subject: Re: Language questions - ***contemporary**
From: tlspiegel-ga on 24 Jul 2005 12:03 PDT
A "mieseh punim" is an "ugly face."
Subject: Re: Language questions - ***contemporary**
From: archae0pteryx-ga on 24 Jul 2005 12:43 PDT
Hi, Pink,

Thanks for your comments.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to eliminate dictionaries.  I meant to say
that they're not enough.  You can't work from a dictionary alone and
be able to read and write in another language; you have to know
grammar, syntax, inflections, etc.  So it takes a little knowledge
beyond looking up a word to turn it into an expression that would
sound authentic to a person who knows the language.  I can do a
straight lookup myself, but I might make a very ignorant and foolish
application of it if I tried to assemble a multiword expression in
that language.  I can't even use an adjective all by itself without
knowing if it needs a gender or case ending, something that makes it
stand alone as a substantive noun, or whatever is prescribed by the
language in question.

That's why I more or less figured that my language questions (with the
exception of medieval Flemish!) would most likely be answered by
someone who is fluent in the language and would not have to do any
research.  I must confess that I am puzzled about why this doesn't
seem to be a good assumption.

Subject: Re: Language questions - ***contemporary**
From: guillermo-ga on 07 Feb 2006 13:58 PST
Hi archae0pteryx-ga,

I'm posting this comment here in reference to question ID 547254
( ), which you
directly addressed to me, but is now completely closed, admitting no
more comments. I thank you for trusting my command of Spanish
language, and apologize for not having answered in that moment. It
wasn't lack of interest, the truth is that I just failed seeing it,
and browsing Google Answers for something else, I've just discovered
it. You see, as people post questions, they enter in the top of a
list, so previous ones go down and eventually to other pages, and
there is risk of missing it, as it happened with this one. Sorry for

Now, in Argentina, a most common idiom for a very short person that
may be equivalent to "boot inspector" is "chichón del piso",
literally, "bump of the floor", and I can imagine in a story someone
getting the nickname "Chichón" after that. Also "Tarzán de maceta" =
"flowerpot Tarzan", which is pretty much and oxymoron -- the idea
behind is the supposedly tall and strong Tarzan in the scale of a
flowerpot "jungle" -- an ironic nickname Tarzán could result from it,
maybe Maceta too, but in all cases you would need the scene where the
idiom is used to have the nickname making sense. This also makes me
think of something like "cíclope bonsai" = "bonsai cyclops", but this
one is not an idiom, I've just made it up ;) Then, either Bonsai or
Cíclope -- ironically -- could result as an nickname.

Sorry that I can't help you with Catalan. Also, I'm not sure if the
idioms mentioned apply to Spanish speaking countries other than
Argentina. Now, if this is for a story and it is of any help, you may
want to know that many Argentines have emigrated to Spain and
particularly in Catalonia for the last 30 years, and I know for
certain that some of our idioms have pervaded their slang, but
couldn't account for these particular ones. In any case, any Spanish
speaking person from anywhere would understand them. I hope to have


Subject: Re: Language questions - ***contemporary**
From: guillermo-ga on 10 Feb 2006 11:21 PST
I remembered a few more:

inspector de zócalo = socle inspector
buzo de pecera = fish-bowl diver
leñador de bonsai = bonsai feller

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