couch potato

ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
I love this kind of metaphors, and I did not have a clue that we had a very specific Dutch equivalent. How about you in your language ?


Dutch: zetelzwam (armchair fungus), though I have been considering launching words such as 'bankaardappel' for the Dutch and 'sofapatat' for the Flemish, both fairly literal translations but using variants that are more familiar in either of the regions)
 
  • Hi TK (and happy new year)

    In Greek:

    1/ «Καναπεδάτος» [kanape'ðatos] (masc.), «καναπεδάτη» [kanape'ðati] (fem.), «καναπεδάτο» [kanape'ðato] (neut.) --> couch-idler, sofa-spud < compound; Fr. canapé (a reloan: Hellenistic Gr. «κωνώπιον» kōnṓpiŏn (neut.) --> couch with mosquito-curtains > Lat. cōnōpēum > Old Fr. conopé > Fr. canapé > Gr. καναπές) + productive suffix for adj. in Byzantine and Modern Gr. «-ατος, -ατη, -ατο(ν)» [-atos] (masc.), [-ati] (fem.), [-ato(n)] (neut.) denoting attribute or quality. E.g. coq au vin = «κόκκορας κρασάτος» ['kokoras kra'satos] (both masc.) : lit. rooster winey.

    2/ «Μούχλας» ['muxlas] (masc. & fem.) --> mouldy < Mod. Gr. fem. noun «μούχλα» ['muxla] --> mould < Βyz. Gr. fem. noun «ἀμούχλα» amoúxla < Classical fem. noun «ὀμίχλᾱ» ŏmíkʰlā & «ὀμίχλη» ŏmíkʰlē, Attic «ὁμίχλη» hŏmíkʰlē --> fog metaph. mould (PIE *h₃migʰ-lh₂-, fog cf Skt. मेघ (megha), cloud; Lith./Ltv. migla, mist, fog, haze; OCS мъгла > BCS магла/magla, Bul. мъгла, Rus./Ukr. мгла).

    With potato we describe something totally different:

    A/ «Πετάω πατάτες» [pe'ta.o pa'tates] --> to cast potatoes : to talk nonsensically, foolishly.
    B/ «Κλάνω πατάτες» ['klano patates] --> to fart potatoes (slang) : to become extremely frightened.
     
    Last edited:

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks, both of you.

    In the meantime i have read Apmoy's answer again, and I am not sure anymore whether 1 and 2 are (kind of) equivalents of the couchpotato. I suppose you mean, Apmoy, that those people are called couchy and mouldy, without "being potatoes" at the same time... ;-)
     
    Thanks, both of you.

    In the meantime i have read Apmoy's answer again, and I am not sure anymore whether 1 and 2 are (kind of) equivalents of the couchpotato. I suppose you mean, Apmoy, that those people are called couchy and mouldy, without "being potatoes" at the same time... ;-)
    Yes, that is correct :tick:
    Both are equivalents of couchpotato.
     

    DreamerX

    Member
    English
    It’s interesting that the expression “couch potato” is spelled as one word in this thread. Is that British/Australian/New Zealand usage (assuming this expression is even used)? I don’t recall ever seeing it as a compound word in North America, either in the US or in Canada.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    It is Belgian-Dutch usage, I am afraid: we spell all compounds as one word, and so I applied that principle to English here. We can ask the moderator to correct it, if you think it better !
     

    djmc

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    I always thought that a lounge lizard was someone who rather than doing real work spent his time inside playing snooker or cards, dancing or otherwise living a dissipated life. A couch potato on the other hand is someone who rather than engaging in active sports, spends his time watching then on the television while drinking beer and eating junk food which would make him fat and thus more potato like.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The lounge in the American phrase "lounge lizard" refers to the bar of a hotel or a nightclub. It's not the British English "lounge" - a living room in a person's house.
    A lounge lizard is a sleazy person who hangs out in a night club, not a couch potato at all. :)
     

    ilocas2

    Banned
    Czech
    In Czech there is word gaučing/gaučink, from gauč (couch) + English suffix -ing as a parodic word to sports like jogging, surfing etc.

    The meaning of gaučing/gaučink is obvious.
     

    dollyayesha

    New Member
    India- Hindi
    Sofa spud- English, country origin unknown

    जिंदा लाश (Zinda laash)- Hindi-India, which means someone who is alive but behaves lifeless.
     

    Welsh_Sion

    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    'Spud' is a regular informal/colloquial expression for a potato in English. A lot of people with the surname 'Murphy' tend to attract the nickname of 'Spud' for their first name, on the assumption that they are Irish (Murphy is a common Anglo-Irish surname) and the main food of the traditional poor Irish was the potato. Again, 'potato eater' is an offensive way of referring to an Irishperson. (Similarly, 'Nobby' Clarke and 'Dusty' Rhodes and so on.) You can then appreciate how offensive this later became when it was associated with the Great Hunger/Great (Potato) Famine of 1848 in that country.

    'Murphies' is still used though probably dated as being a slang term for potatoes in English.
     
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