I try not to annoy people, you know, I want to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am. I’m working hard on it but I think I’m light years away from my goal. Considering how many different ways there are to say one is annoyed I get the feeling that it’s pretty commonplace. Once you get annoyed, getting mad isn’t far away.
Annoyed in English
Okay, I do get annoyed sometimes. At myself mostly, but not only. I try to keep it to myself though. My mother once told me to beware what you say because once the words are out you can never take them back. Very wise so I watch what I say.
There are many, many different ways to express annoyance. These are some I would use if needed.
– Oh, for heaven’s sake!
– (similar to the one above) Oh, for pity’s sake!
– For crying out loud…
– Give me a break!
– A royal pain in the butt! (the word ‘royal’ emphasizes wherever your pain is: butt or neck)
– That gets on my nerves.
Annoyed in Swiss German
As you know, I’ve been here awhile so, yes, sometimes I get annoyed. I also have heard what others say when they get annoyed. Luckily they aren’t annoyed at me, or at least I hope not…
Here’s the Swiss German annoyance expression and their direct English translation.
– Das geht mir tierisch ouf ‘nerve! (That goes me on my nerves, animal-like!) ‘animal-like’ is used for emphasis, similar to ‘royal’ above.
– Das geht mir ouf dr Wecker! (That goes me on the alarm clock!) Well, yes, I guess alarm clocks are somewhat annoying.
– Das isch zum haarölbisle! (That is to pee hair oil!) As in English, there are many ways to say urinate in Swiss German. ‘Bisle’ is an exceptionally mild way to put it, similar to pee or tinkle in English. As far as I know this is physically impossible so it’s quite good at expressing a hopeless annoyance.
Getting Mad in English
Thanks to my mom I have a very narrow vocabulary to express being mad. I would more than likely just say something like: Oh, I am soooo mad! Here are a few expressions that I have heard in English. Depending on which word you choose to use, your expression gets more and more angry.
– I’m mad as Heck! Heck is a euphemism for hell.
– I think I’m going to have a kitten! A cow could also be used instead of kitten. The first time I heard that expression was from my roommate at the university. I thought: Wow – a cow!
– That pees me off! This is a milder version of a word for urination.
Getting Mad in Swiss German
As I’ve mentioned before, for most, swearing in a foreign language somehow isn’t as bad as swearing in your mother tongue. These are some things I’ve heard people say in Swiss German when things went wrong and they were mad.
– Himustärne! (Heaven stars!) and yes, this really is a swear word. I guess it depends on the way you say it.
– Gopf! Not really translatable because it is an extremely watered-down version and euphuism for
– Gopfverdeli, goppeletti and gopfertoria! These are euphuisms themselves and nicer ways to say
– Gopfertami! (Goddamn me!) Which is certainly not something I would say!
Surprised in Both Languages
So, not as to end this post with being mad, I thought I would add surprised to my expressions.
– Wow! Something I say a lot.
– OMG this is an abbreviation that means ‘Oh my God!’ and is pronounced with just the letters: oh-em-gee! This is something I write occasionally but seldom say. I guess either I’m not surprised a lot or just at a loss of words when something surprising happens.
– Potz! This particular expression has no translation as far as I know. I’ll just translate it to ‘Wow’ for a lack of anything better. To add even more surprise you might say ‘Potz Blitz’ which means wow, lightening! What I often hear is ‘Potz tuuzig’ which means ‘a thousand wows’. An aunt and uncle of Ben’s taught their budgerigar to speak. They took their bird with them when they went places in their car. One of Seppi’s favorite things to say was ‘Potz tuusig, dr Seppi tuet auto fahre!’ (Wowsy, Seppi is riding in a car!)
– Heiterefahne! This is an expression that my sister-in-law uses quite often. I understood it immediately but still couldn’t figure it out for a long time. From context and intonation it was obvious what was meant: Wow! It translates into ‘bright flag!’ But I misunderstood it completely. This is the way I understood it: heit (have) dihr (you, polite form) e (a) fahne (flag). If someone ‘has a flag’ it means you can smell alcohol on their breath. So that was my dilemma, the context and intonation didn’t match the words at all. Also, why in the world would you ask someone you didn’t really know well (polite form) if they could smell alcohol on their breath?
Oh well, live and learn.