Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 20:12:41 EDT


Subject: Anodyne Expletive auf Deutsch

Ohio University Electronic Communication

Date: 08-May-1995 07:49pm EST

To: Remote Addressee ( _mx%"ads-l[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]" )

From: Stephanie Hysmith Dept: English

HYSMITH Tel No: 614-593-2743

Subject: Anodyne Expletive auf Deutsch

I hoped when I first ventured to respond to the list's discussions that

I would make a more dignified entrance than discussing assholes. Oh, well. I

liked, I think it was, Wayne Glowka's speculation about asel and esel. (My

brother-in-law reported it to me as "asel," but this was probably pronounced

[es[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]l]. I apologize for not verifying the pronunciation before I jumped in.)

This would make sense along with the sow's ear and mule's ear...a mule is close

to a donkey.

As far as Arschlochs go, the Germans do seem pretty open about bodily

parts and functions, but I learned when I lived there that they do not tend to

call each other assholes. Peter McGraw's comment about his German neighbors

calling people Arschloch seems to be a literal translation rather than an

imported expletive. I've seen the same thing with expressions such as "wash

the dishes." Second generation German speakers call it Geschirr waschen rather

than Geschirr abspulen.

Back to the esel thing, it reminded me of someone else's query about

baloney--I guess I'll just get everything out of my system--to me it sounds an

awful lot like blarney and, for my money, means the same thing.

Stephanie Hysmith

Ohio University

Received: 08-May-1995 08:12pm