Denglish 36: My Little German Finds Low Prices in Chinatown, Manhattan, New York City

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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13 thoughts

  1. 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:)


  2. 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.


  3. 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.


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