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92 votes

How can I say I can't guarantee information I'm about to give is correct?

I would suggest don't quote me on this as the phrase you seek. The literal meaning of course, is to ask that responsibility for a statement not be ascribed to the person making it, such as an insider ...
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  • 42.6k
90 votes

Why Third 'Reich'? Why is 'reich' not translated when 'third' is? What is the English synonym of reich?

Although English historians have defined Reich as being a strictly German concept of sovereign rule, in the German language itself it means "Empire". In English, we speak of the Holy Roman Empire; in ...
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  • 1,014
54 votes
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How can I say I can't guarantee information I'm about to give is correct?

"Don't hold me to that!" to hold Vocabulary.com keep in a certain state, position, or activity maintain (a theory, thoughts, or feelings) And your suggestion is nice too: 'Don't pin me ...
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  • 30.1k
46 votes

Why Third 'Reich'? Why is 'reich' not translated when 'third' is? What is the English synonym of reich?

To complement R Mac's answer, Reich entered the English lexicon in this use in the 18th and 19th centuries, so by the time the Third Reich rose in the 1930s, the word would have needed no translation. ...
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41 votes
Accepted

What does "a shnip" mean?

It is Yiddish, and means an insignificant person: Green’s Dictionary of Slang schnip n. [Yid.] an insignificant person. Green's Dictionary of Slang
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  • 11.7k
31 votes

Is 'I f*cked the dog' an actual idiom and are there alternatives

If you want an idiom that's still mildly vulgar, but still gets used in daily speech: "We are just sitting here with our thumbs in our asses, (waiting for something to do)"
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  • 709
29 votes
Accepted

Is 'I f*cked the dog' an actual idiom and are there alternatives

"Fuck the dog" (or its milder variant, "screw the pooch") comes from an old joke. There are various versions, but a drunk man ends up shooting the wife and screwing the pooch (instead of the other ...
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  • 146k
25 votes

Is there a term for "symbolic photo" (German "Symbolfoto")?

The German language is fond of gluing nouns together to form new nouns that are distinct from the whole of their parts. English does have "symbol"(/symbolic) and "photo," and often ...
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  • 5,601
24 votes
Accepted

English term corresponding to German “Ausgangssperre”

In English, Curfew refers to a time imposed by the authorities where you can’t be on the streets after a certain time at night. You can travel all you want during the day but you can’t be outside at ...
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  • 68.7k
23 votes

Describe that someone’s explanation matches your knowledge level

I'd suggest variations on Pitch, such as the phrases Pitched it well or pitched it just right/at the right level (tr) to aim or fix (something) at a particular level, position, style, etc: if ...
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  • 11.6k
22 votes
Accepted

Why is it "Rhine", but "Rhenish"?

Sometimes, there are phonological rules that tell you what the sound change should be under a modifications. But here it just seems to be a historical/cultural choice, not uncommon in English, to ...
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  • 68.7k
19 votes

Is 'I f*cked the dog' an actual idiom and are there alternatives

If you wanted to capture the spirit of the German, you could say We're just sitting here playing with ourselves while upper management is deciding which approach to take. or I'm not doing much of ...
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  • 18.6k
19 votes
Accepted

Translation of a German word: "Gutmensch"

Moralist reproduces the good denotation of gutmensch with a similar dark connotation: noun 1.0 A person who teaches or promotes morality. 1.1 A person given to moralizing. ODO Almost ...
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  • 30.4k
19 votes

Why Third 'Reich'? Why is 'reich' not translated when 'third' is? What is the English synonym of reich?

Interestingly, the "First Reich" is the Holy Roman Empire. So the concept of the "Reich" as understood by speakers of German transcended language and cultural shifts over a very long period of time, ...
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  • 3,224
19 votes

What does "a shnip" mean?

As Lambie's answer points out, Jonathon Green's Dictionary of Slang identifies schnip as Yiddish slang, dating to the 1960s. A Google Books search turns up a couple of earlier instances. From Peter ...
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  • 150k
17 votes

Is 'I f*cked the dog' an actual idiom and are there alternatives

The commonest expression I can think of to express boredom is "to twiddle one's thumbs". "Screwing the pooch", while an idiom, has an entirely different meaning: to spectacularly mess up, usually in ...
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  • 956
15 votes

How can I say I can't guarantee information I'm about to give is correct?

The identical expression exists in English, but it deals with specificity or the ease of categorization rather than truth or accuracy: Unfortunately, this guess can't be nailed down without lots of ...
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  • 27.5k
14 votes
Accepted

Why didn't "spiel" get spelled with an "sh"?

As others have mentioned, spiel may actually be derived from German Spiel rather than, or in addition to, Yiddish shpil. In German, syllable-initial /ʃ/ (the "sh" sound) is written with the trigraph &...
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  • 73.3k
14 votes

How can I say I can't guarantee information I'm about to give is correct?

Take this with a grain of salt (With) a grain of salt", (or "a pinch of salt") is an idiom of the English language, which means to view something with scepticism or not to interpret something ...
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13 votes

Translation of a German word: "Gutmensch"

prig prig n. A person who demonstrates an exaggerated conformity or propriety, especially in an irritatingly arrogant or smug manner. Google definition. also someone who thinks that ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Describe that someone’s explanation matches your knowledge level

You could use the word meet (in the sense of connection or joining), as in "You met me at my level."
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  • 572
12 votes

Why Third 'Reich'? Why is 'reich' not translated when 'third' is? What is the English synonym of reich?

The use of the German word "Reich" clearly conveys that one is referring to Germany (or at least to a German-speaking country). If one were to replace "Reich" by "Empire" (or a similar English-...
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  • 11.9k
10 votes
Accepted

Is there an English variant of "Zeitgeist" other than "spirit of the times"?

The thesaurus answer gives some terms, but what's more interesting to me is the antonym old-fashioned. Based on that, I'd go with antonyms of old-fashioned which bring up such terms as contemporary, ...
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  • 4,035
10 votes

Is 'I f*cked the dog' an actual idiom and are there alternatives

I don't know how commonplace it is, but the phrase jerking around is what I would use in this situation: "Quit jerking around and do something productive!"
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10 votes

Is there one word for fat gotten from stress eating (Kummerspeck)?

German tends to create new words by combining existing words. English doesn't tend to do this as much so leaving a space between the words "comfort eating" would strike me as fairly close.
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10 votes

English term corresponding to German “Ausgangssperre”

I'd suggest lockdown it has certain prison-ey connotations, but definitely has the negative slightly ambiguous 'you must obey' style vibe.
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9 votes

Translation of a German word: "Gutmensch"

A brief look at online discussions in English about German and Germans seems to reveal that the word is somewhat politicized and means someone who is a naive moralizer. One post suggested consulting ...
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  • 43.8k
9 votes

Describe that someone’s explanation matches your knowledge level

I would say it was "right at my level." You have "high level" explanations; "overviews" - like a picture of a building. You have "detailed" level, where you have the pipes and walls, such as a ...
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  • 541

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