Brits, does modern German sound camp to you? As in Stephen Fry's "mein Handy" camp?

Because I'm currently watching Horrible Histories, and the Second World War German characters no longer sound like they used to in the olden days, i.e. like Hitler. They sound like this:

As far back as 2000, The League of Gentlemen introduced Herrn Lipp:

Who, as fate would have it, was a choirmaster ("Oh come in my facefull!"):

So when did the switch happen? I am very pleased that we no longer sound like nazis to foreign ears, but the new accent confuses me.

(At least to American ears, Germans sound like Jeremy Irons or Alan Rickman. So that's nice.)
Because my f-list knows the answers to Important Questions:

a) What is the female equivalent of a "Lord Mayor"? Is she a "lady" or a "mayoress" or neither or both?

b) In your opinion: when did lube become an every-day product that can be bought in your friendly neighbourhood drugstore? I read "Life on Mars" slash occasionally, and whenever I encounter the casual mention of lube in the nightstand drawer, it strikes me as somewhat off. Wouldn't vaseline be more likely? I've honestly no idea - I can be dead wrong here. I just remember that when I was in my teens in the 1990s, it was "vaseline" that was associated with anal sex, because "lube" wasn't around all that much and could be only purchased in the rather more, ah, specialised shops. (When I was 17, I read about the use of Crisco as the product for anal fisting in a gay mag, and my then best friend and I bought some in a sex shop and used it to bake a cherry cake. We thought it was hilarious. But that's just by the bye.)
A question to the Americans: what's the difference between "living room" and "rec room/den"? (Bonus points if anyone can tell me how to translate the latter into German.)
The fun thing about not being a native speaker of English is that I often learn perfectly ordinary vocabulary in the wrong context, namely through porn. Earning, as I do, my living through writing technical texts for English-language publications, I often have to use terminology such as "erections" (buildings), "lubrication" (machines) and "kinks" (mechanical parts). It's impossible not to connote them with filth. As I'm sure you all understand.

What's more, sometimes I'm not aware that a word I learn through porn (or porn-related discussions) has a perfectly ordinary meaning. Would you believe that I've only just recently learned what a "manhole" is? I've always thought it was a silly euphemism that is used for fun and giggles on account of being so silly.

And you've simply got to check out this finely pierced cock.
I don't like epithets, as I'm sure I already mentioned a couple of times. But yesterday I came across one that made me laugh (and hit the back button, too, but laugh first of all): "his godfather's best friend". Apart from the fact that it was Harry's father and not Remus who was his godfather's best friend - how much more complicated can you get? His head of house's barmy superior? The red-haired headboy's younger brother? His aunt's meaty husband's dog-breeding sister?

I understand that one can use any of those epithets when actually talking about the interactions between the people mentioned in them, but not if they are used because the author wants to avoid using the name. Have no fear of names! Names aren't evil.
Can anyone help me with agricultural technology here? Rosina maybe?

How do you call the crop huddles you get after harvesting a field, when you bind the crops (wheat or whatever) together so that they form conic shapes? "Crop huddles" just doesn't sound quite right.
The discussions that evolved from my latest post on Harry Potter-influenced naming of children made me think of this site. It offers a list of the translations of HP names (both characters and objects) they use in various European languages. Some of them are funny. Did you know that Minerva is called "Minerva McSlurp" in Norwegian? And that "Moony" is "Luna"? (Quite an identity crisis coming up in OotP. Or maybe the Norwegian translator is giving us subtext.) The Finnish Padfoot is "Anturajalka", and I simply love the Czech versions of all female names, all of which come with the -ova suffix; Rita Holoubková, Madame Pomfreyová, paní Norrisová.... Snape is called Severus Piton (Italian), Perselus Piton (Hungarian) and Severus Kalkaros (Finnish.) Kalkaros? Kalkaroff? Subtext? I know that one of the meanings of "piton" in French is "large nose", but what does it mean in Italian? Or Hungarian, for that matter?

Can anyone tell me how you convince the Cat that it's time to vacate the chair and let the human sit on it with more than half a buttock?
I wrote a Dudley/Aunt Marge fic last night. Before you run off, screaming with disgust: It's only PG-13. No graphic action. After all, Dudley is only ten.

And that brings me to my question: How would a 10-years-old Dudley Dursley refer to his penis? I bet Petunia and Vernon are not very articulate on the subject of sex, and I've no idea how advanced sex ed classes are at a school Dudley is likely to go to. How much is he likely to know on the matter of sex? And how would he refer to breasts?

Yes, I'm taking the project seriously.

ETA: Just because it amuses me: I've just consulted my slang dictionary and found a plethora of slang expressions and euphemisms for 'penis' from throughout the ages: red-cap (Lupin's DADA lessons appear in an entirely different light), dribbling dart of love, lamp of life, flip-flap, marrow-bone-and-cleaver, nooney, lucy, tantrum (rather appropriate for Dudley), thingamabob, yum-yum, dork (adds a whole lot of new implications to 'mood: dorky'), husbandman of nature, gentle-tittler,...



September 2014



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