Killing time?

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I had asked about how you refer to spending and wasting time elsewhere in AL, but I'd like to focus on another aspect of time: killing time.

    Sometimes it seems like a burden, or an irritating animal perhaps, as we can say in Dutch:
    - de tijd doden: to kill time (which seemed common in some European languages, as appeared from some of the answers in the previous thread)
    - de tijd verdrijven: to drive it away
    - tijd doorbrengen: pass (the) time -but that is quite common, I believe - or to spend time

    So what other expressions do you have for that concept?
     
  2. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Hi Thomas!

    In French as well we "kill time":
    "tuer le temps"
    or "pass it":
    "passer le temps
     
  3. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Mais donc pas chasser? (Ciao e grazie !) In fact, does tuer remind you of wild animals, or any other living thing ?
     
  4. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    In Greek:

    «Σκοτώνω [1] τον χρόνο [2] μου»
    /sko'tono ton 'xrono mu/
    lit. "to kill/killing the time of mine"

    [1]Byzantine and Modern Greek verb «σκοτώνω» (sko'tono)--> to kill, deriving from the Classical verb «σκοτόω/σκοτῶ» (skŏ'tŏō [uncontracted]/skŏ'tō [contracted])--> lit. to darken, blind, make dark, metaph. to kill. PIE base *skot-, dark, shade.
    [2]Masculine noun «χρόνος» ('xronos)--> time, year, deriving from the Classical masculine noun «χρόνος» ('xrŏnŏs)--> time, year, with obscure etymology (a couple of suggestions for it: 1/ From the PIE base *dher-, hold; 2/ from the PIE base *gre-/*ger-, to age, ripen)
     
  5. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I wonder how we get to this killing. Can anyone tell me/us what the underlying vision of time here is ?
     
  6. Tamar

    Tamar Senior Member

    Israel, Hebrew
    In Hebrew, like in French:

    להרוג זמן laharog zman = to kill time

    And also simply: להעביר את הזמן le-ha'avir et ha-zman = to pass the time

    To waste time would be לבזבז זמן le-vazbez zman
     
  7. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    So the killing turns up again and again. Could the 'beasty' character of time refer to Chronos devouring people (as opposed to Kairos), Apmoy? I suddenly think I have read about people being 'devoured' by time, but... I am not so sure...
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  8. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    You've read Aristotle, haven't you? ;)
    Aristotle (I think in his "Constitution of the Bottiaeans") suggests that Kronos=Chronos (Chronos devours people just like Kronos devoured his sons and daughters).
    But I think Aristotle (and Plato, and Plutarch and many ancient Greek philosophers) are prone to paretymological approach.
     
  9. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I had not, believe it or not, I just thought of a parellel as the metaphor seems to imply some resemblance between time and with a wild animal (or god ?). But I am not so sure I understand you well: "Kronos" (time) is not to be equated to "Chronos" (the god)? Sorry, if I am mistaken.

    But paretymology is so... very human, isn't it? I think even our metaphors (and language for that) are somehow so very human: we think of abstract things starting from concrete things, as Lakoff pointed out, and thus reduce complexity by referring to our physical perception, which to me seems the only analogy we could use. I mainly wondered about why we use something like 'time', and always worry about paretymology or folk etymology! ;-)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  10. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Same in Portuguese: matar o tempo, passar o tempo.
     
  11. kloie Senior Member

    houston tx
    american english from texas
    in estonian=aega surnuks lööma
    in german= die Zeit totschlagen
    in croatian=utucati vrijeme
    in persian=vaght gozarandan
     
  12. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Thank you, kloie :) But what are the literal translations? :) Do they all use the expression "to kill time"?
     
  13. kloie Senior Member

    houston tx
    american english from texas
    german
    die zeit=time
    totschlagen=to beat to death
    estonian
    aega=time
    surnuks=to the death
    lööma=to beat
    persian
    vaght=time
    gozarandan=to pass
    croatian
    vrijeme=time
    utucati=It's derived from tući, so it's sort of like 'beating time to death'.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  14. snoopymanatee

    snoopymanatee Senior Member

    Türkiye/Turkiye
    Türkçe/Turkish
    Hello,

    In Turkish also, we "kill time".

    Zaman öldürmek.
     
  15. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    So time like an animal and time like a tunnel, somehow?
     
  16. snoopymanatee

    snoopymanatee Senior Member

    Türkiye/Turkiye
    Türkçe/Turkish
    Like an animal or something alive.

    Dün iyi zaman öldürdük. --> We killed too much time yesterday.

    Dün kazara bir köpek öldürdük. --> We killed a dog accidentally yesterday.
     
  17. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    In Spanish it also uses ''kill', matar (el) tiempo.

    In Japanese you say 時間をつぶす jikan wo tsubusu /ʤikan o tsu'busu/ = to crush/to smash/to block/to shut down time.
     
  18. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Just one extra question: when you use those verbs, what kind of 'thing' must time be ? Some kind of a building?
     
  19. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    Time (jikan) is a noun, wo marks the accusative case. You can smash (つぶす) pretty much everything, things, people and time, a noun. But I don't know the historical reason why tsubusu is used for time and not 殺す korosu (to kill). nevertheless, some people indeed say jikan wo korosu in Japanese.
     
  20. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    But then blocking and shutting do seem to refer to houses as well, don't they ?
     
  21. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    Of course :) what happens is, that in Japanese there are verbs that can even have 13 different meanings. Tsubusu will change its meaning depending on context.

    For instance:

    事件は彼女の面目をつぶした. jiken wa kanojo no menboku wo tsubushita. The scandal brought her to shame. lit: as regard to the scandal/event her reputation was crushed.

    Tsubusu can also mean ''to put paid to'' when it comes to plans and wishes. And also ''to wash out'' talking about rain and storms.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  22. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I see... I did not realize those verbs could have that broad meanings. Thanks !
     
  23. terredepomme Senior Member

    Human Language
    What's important to ask here is if these expressions were simultaneously developped in different languages or originally an expression of a particular language(French or English) that spread to others.
    For example the Japanese word 時間 is a modern word so it couldn't predate the European equivalents of this expression.
    Although there is the expression 暇つぶし where 暇 is like "spare time."
    Also in Korean we say 시간때우기 or literally "filling up, making up for" time but we also use the English word 타임킬링(time killing).
    So it's highly likely that for non-European languages like Hebrew or Turkish to have adopted the expression from French or English.
    My theory is that most of these expressions are directly from the French one which we see from 1504( http://www.expressio.fr/expressions/tuer-le-temps.php ) or from the English one which is attested in 1728 ( http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=kill ), probably from French.
     
  24. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Interesting theory, and not implausible. It might be true indeed that even metaphors, or well, expressions, are copied.

    In fact all the questions I am asking very often have to do with metaphors, and seeing whether they are different - supposing they might betray aspects of a different worldview.
     
  25. Selyd Senior Member

    ucraniano
    In Ukrainian:
    губити, загубити, згубити час /huby'ty, zahuby'ty, zhuby'ty chas/ it is vain to expend
    струювати час /stru'yuvaty chas/ approximately to destroy
     
  26. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    I apologise for not responding earlier, I honestly, did not see your reply!
    «Κρόνος» ('kronos) is the god, or rather, the father of the ancient Greek gods who devoured his children (in Latin, Cronus).
    «Χρόνος» ('xronos or chronus) is time, who-according to Aristotle-like «Κρόνος» devours people.
     
  27. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    No problem, Apmoy. So there is no link between the two, they are quite different, aren't they? I simply thought the god symbolised time, the way Apollo can be said to stand for reason.
     
  28. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    Czech zabít čas (killing time)
     

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