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Du Hund! You animal!

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by Swir, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Swir

    Swir Junior Member

    São Paulo
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Hello everyone...

    I'm curious about the German word "Hund" when used in its depreciative sense... I wonder if it has both the same meaning and the same strength as the English word "animal".
    I mean, if I'm in Germany, and I want to call someone "you animal!", is it the same if I yell to him/her: "Du Hund!"?

    I ask because these sort of words, even if they apparentelly mean the same, sometimes they have a particularity of stress, and sometimes even a very different connotation...
     
  2. perpend

    perpend Senior Member

    American English
    Can you describe the situation a little where you would say "You animal!" in English. In other words, can you provide some context?
     
  3. Kajjo

    Kajjo Senior Member

    Deutschland (Hamburg)
    German/Germany
    Hm, unfortunately I have never heard the English word "animal" used in a deprecative sense. What basic meaning is suggested -- is it low-life or lack of civilised behaviour or dirty, scruffy appearance or stupidness or violent behaviouror whatever else?

    "Du Hund!" is not very common in contemporary, colloquial German. For my ears, it sounds somewhat out-dated and is mostly used with a bit of humor. I hear it mostly with a negative connotation of "that was a trick of you".
     
  4. azizz New Member

    Berlin
    German
    Hi!

    I think it has the same meaning.
     
  5. Swir

    Swir Junior Member

    São Paulo
    Brazilian Portuguese
    I'm thinking in the sense of low-life; but I'm actually thinking in a more general sense of the word, so that it could cover the meaning of low-life as well as coward or stupid idiot... Can "Hund" mean it?

    I hear more often "Schweinehund", but sometimes I see "Hund" too be used in a depreciative tone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  6. Demiurg

    Demiurg Senior Member

    Germany
    German

    Only stupid idiot is possible: (Du) blöder Hund / (Du) dämlicher Hund.
     
  7. Kajjo

    Kajjo Senior Member

    Deutschland (Hamburg)
    German/Germany
    No, I would not understand "Du Hund!" as low-life insult. I believe there is no more genreal sense of "Du Hund!" in German. There are just special situations to use it and most are nowadays quite friendly, even if it is an insult.

    The Schweinehund has two main idiomatic usages: Either as emphasis of "Du Hund!" as "Du Schweinehund!" with the same implications. Secondly, the innerer Schweinehund is the own mind/soul whioch has to be overcome by yourself to do things you do not like to do. This is no insult, just an idiomatic phrase.

    As Demigurg pointed out already, you can use "Blöder Hund!" to say something like "stupid asshole" in a more acceptable, though nonetheless insulting, manner.
     
  8. Resa Reader Senior Member

  9. Swir

    Swir Junior Member

    São Paulo
    Brazilian Portuguese
    I see, I see...
    Well, maybe, if "blöder Hund" means "stupid idiot", then "Hund" could mean only "idiot"... This might seem a simple-minded reasoning, but I'm thinking of it now as a matter of emphasis, of stress... If "Hund", when applied to human beings, is depreciative, but not so harsh, it might work just like "idiot". What do you think?

    Thank you all for your answers, I'm learning a lot!
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  10. Kajjo

    Kajjo Senior Member

    Deutschland (Hamburg)
    German/Germany
    No, sorry, "Hund" alone does not mean idiot at all. Alone it's more along the line of bastard or rogue.

    I believe in most insults adding or taking away parts will change the meaning drastically. It is a wrong approach of separating the words to give partial meanings. This is just not the way it works.
     
  11. Swir

    Swir Junior Member

    São Paulo
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Well, I wasn't thinking in making a general rule out of it... I just thought it could be the case in this case.

    You mean rogue in the sense of knauserig or Strolch?
    Bastard is not so clear to me because, as it is used in a quite metaphorical way, it serves only as a harsh insulting adjective, without a more especific meaning. (That's at least how it sounds to me)
     
  12. Swir

    Swir Junior Member

    São Paulo
    Brazilian Portuguese
    I was thinking: in English, you can say use "animal" to mean that a person is inferior. Can German "Hund" be used with that connotation? (You call someone a Hund, you mean he/she is inferior)
     
  13. Kajjo

    Kajjo Senior Member

    Deutschland (Hamburg)
    German/Germany
    There are phrases with "Hund" with an inferior connotation, but the title phrase "Du Hund!" does not imply being inferior.
     
  14. Swir

    Swir Junior Member

    São Paulo
    Brazilian Portuguese
    !
    I'm becoming more and more curious... It seemed so simple at first...
    What would you think if someone called you "Du Hund!", without any apparent reason? If I was in Germany and heard that, I would probably assume the person is trying to insult me by means of saying that I am somehow inferior. Now, I would have no idea what could it possibly mean...
    :confused:
     
  15. Resa Reader Senior Member

    The likelihood that someone called you "Du Hund!" - is less than 1%. You simply will never ever hear anybody say that to you.

    By the way, "Du Hund!" as an insult is not really common.
     
  16. Liam Lew's Senior Member

    Hi Swir, I you were in Germany and you would hear that just assess the body language and the pitch and you will get situational meaning of the expression "Du Hund". If somebody calls me I'm arguing with would call me "Du Hund", I would feel myself offended. But if one of my friends would call me "Du Hund" because of a trifle, I wouldn't feel myself offended. If you can differentiate irony of seriousness and joke of seriousness, there will be no problem for you in understanding the meaning of this expression. But as Resa Reader wrote already the expression is not really common and the likelihood really low.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  17. Kajjo

    Kajjo Senior Member

    Deutschland (Hamburg)
    German/Germany
    "Du Hund!" is not a common insult as I pointed out in the beginning. It is old-fashioned and reserved to special circumstances.

    "Du Hund!" ist not a strong insult, but mostly used in a somewhat friendly manner.

    If someone would call me "Du Hund!" without any apparent reason, I would just wonder what's wrong with him. Maybe I would say "Wuff!" and continue my way.
     
  18. Swir

    Swir Junior Member

    São Paulo
    Brazilian Portuguese
    I see, I see... I must have heard somewhere "blödlicher Hund" or "dämlicher Hund" - as Demiur noticed - but only "Hund" sticked in my mind... I understand that people wouldn't normally use this word (alone).

    (In the end, it probably means the same as if I said, in the USA, "you dog!"...)

    Thank you all.
     

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