Denglish 84: My Normally Frugal German Wife Chooses Fashion Over Sustenance

The Wife and I lived together for a year in the United States, from the summer of 2011 until the summer of 2012, when we got married and moved to Germany. For her birthday in the States, my wife received — among other things — a gift certificate to Fred Meyer; a major supermarket chain founded in Portland, Oregon, which sells everything from food and beverages to clothing and furniture.

The gift certificate was a generous present from my parents, and one which I thought best utilized to lower our fixed expenses. So, one evening, I suggested my wife use the money to cover the cost of our next trip to Fred Meyer for groceries. She gave it some thought and said…

THE WIFE: “I could use my gift certificate for groceries, but I also need a new purse.”

Click here to learn more about the term “Denglish.”

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24 thoughts

  1. I always think its funny to say “gift” here in Germany. “Here is your gift.” People look at you strangely…and why shouldn’t they, you just offered them poison.


    1. Actually, the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language notes both words come from the same root word meaning “poison”. How the English meaning evolved I don’t recall or know, but a gift often come with the poison of social obligation…! Ha!


  2. Now you lost me – looked purse up – Geldbeutel, Täschchen – where was her mis-usage? What was wrong in wanting a new purse? Since you posted this under Denglish I am searching for some language slip … Ok, I give up. I don’t get it.


  3. I’m the frugal one at home. Food over fashion every day of the week, baby!! Although I do enjoy fashion just not the stupid big labels that make you a walking advertisement. My German hubby tends to think that more expensive means better/tastier. He even feels bad about haggling and prefers to pay the original price. Weird.


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