During our time in Manhattan in the winter of 2010, The Wife and I made a habit of strolling through Chinatown each day. After a great deal of German nagging, I finally caved and purchased a pair of gloves and a scarf to warm my freezing body. My wife was impressed by the low cost of these items:
THE WIFE: “They sell it for an apple and an egg!”
(In English, apparently, this means selling something “really cheap” or for “very little money.” My wife explains it thusly: “In German we say: ‘Sie verkaufen das ja fuer nen Appel und nen Ei,’ which means you can get it cheap as hell!”
Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”
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I had a good laugh with this one :-) I am Belgian and I can tell you: the same expression also exists in Dutch.
I wonder if there’s a German equivalent for something that costs a lot (e.g., it cost an arm and a leg).
There is actually. We would say ” … das hat mich mein Haus und Hof gekostet!” (it cost me my house and farm) :)
Ha ha, I can only imagine your face when she said that. I guess there is no phrase in English like that than just getting something cheap.
I love her direct translations!!! I do the same from English to German sometimes to the roars of laughter from my friends. I do it now, on purpose, just for fun, even when I know the right idiom:)
Very funny! Incidentally, I AM a German wife, and I used exactly the same phrase only a few days ago. You sure you’re not married to me?
Just stumbled across your blog and love it. Might tell my South African other half about it, although, come to think of it, he give’s me enough grief about my Denglish as it is. Apparently I get funnier when I visit the family in Germany which happens a couple of times a year (we live in England).
Looking forward to more from your wife.
In Afrikaans, we have exactly the same saying.
I think I love your wife. She sounds adorable. And by extension, I love your blog.
What a nice thing to say! Thank you for stopping by!
Are you of Dutch descent or German?
I’m of German and Polish descent, but Afrikaans is mostly derived from Dutch, with some German and Flemish influences too.
Haha…very interesting phrase. What we say in Luganda when something is really cheap (directly translated) is ‘it costs mere laughter’. So we get comedy shows in which non native-speakers of the language upon being told the cost of an item (laughter, as they understand it) laugh out loud for a few seconds then stretch their arm forward to be given the said item. It amuses me every time.
We must integrate this into our “Denglish” expressions. :) Thank you for sharing!
What other phrases directly translate into something awesome? :)