You know us already: I am an American expat from Portland, Oregon, and my wife is a German Gymnasium teacher with a penchant for crushing our two native languages into priceless diamonds of Denglish. Generally, Denglish takes the form of English and German words combined into a sort of deformed bastard child. (In my mind, it looks like a big, disgusting toad with red skin, devil horns and cloven hooves.)
But my favorite part of this linguistic phenomenon is the translation of German similes and metaphors directly into English. On a daily basis, my German wife fires off some of the weirdest expressions in the universe, and when she does, it is my sole responsibility in life to whip out my iPhone, hit the Notes app and write that shit down before she can stop me.
So the other night, my wife and I were sitting on the couch discussing the fact that the next day was Monday. And like most people who have to work for a living, we hate Mondays. (Well, I hate Mondays in particular — even more than Garfield, that fat lazy bitch.) I was feeling depressed because the last precious hours of Sunday evening were drawing to a close. I told my wife we would need to snuggle extra close in bed that night — because I’m a pussy and I have the emotional needs of a toddler — to which she agreed, nodding her head and assuring me:
“We will be like two maggots in a piece of pork belly.”*
*From the German expression, “Wie zwei Maden im Speck.” ‘Speck’ is often mistranslated as ‘bacon,’ but in Germany, it’s just a fat chunk of lard. And while my wife used this expression to mean we would cuddle up close — all warm and safe — it’s typical meaning is closer to “living in the lap of luxury.” Now, I don’t see why she couldn’t just use a non-revolting simile — like “a couple of dolphins swimming in gold” or something, but hey, welcome to Germany.