Déu li'n (o n'hi) do! (o Déu n'hi doret!)

Discussion in 'Català (Catalan)' started by Roi Marphille, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Catalonia, Catalan.

    We Catalans use above expression to emphasise a phrase. To express the importance or admiration of what is being said.

    -Cada matí quan em llevo em bec quatre gots de llet de cop.
    -Déu n'hi do!
    -Every morning when I wake up I drink four glasses of milk in a row.

    - el pobre ha tingut una vida que Déu n'hi doret!
    - that poor guy had had a bad live (with emphasis)

    We also use this expression meaning "a lot" or "quite a bit".
    - té un bon sou?
    - Déu n'hi do!
    - Does he has a good salary?
    - yes, you bet / yes, quite good.

    This expression is very useful and as a curiosity, I reckon that it has been adopted by some Castilian-speakers in Catalonia even when speaking in Castilian.

    For Catalan-speakers;
    do you know what does it mean and the origins of this expression? Is it used everywhere? I mean València area, Baleric Islands, Andorra, Nord-Catalonia..? or is it only a Central-Catalan thing?

    For other WR friends;
    I'm wondering if you have similar expressions in your languages. I'd like to know specially in Portuguese, French and Italian. I don't happen to remember anyone in Castilian but maybe some dialects have it..?

    Thanks to all!
  2. belén

    belén Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    We don't say it in Mallorca, actually, we say it when we want to imitate Catalan from Catalunya :D
  3. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Catalonia, Catalan.
    it's funny, I didn't know..:rolleyes:
    but, you understand the meaning right..?
  4. belén

    belén Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    Yeah, sure.
    We are pretty exposed to Catalan from Catalunya in the islands, unfortunately this is not the other way around...
  5. Samaruc Senior Member

    València (País Valencià)
    Valencià/Català, Castellano

    In València, we don't normally say this expression, but nowadays it is known by everybody here because of the influence of the Catalan Television (where it is frequently said).

    As Belén said, we also use this expression when we are joking and want to imitate the accent from Barcelona.
  6. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I don't think we have such an expression in Portuguese. What is its literal meaning?
  7. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Catalonia, Catalan.
    it's something like "God gave it" aprox. It's old Catalan. I'm not sure at 100% about the meaning.
    The translation in English would be something like: "wow"
  8. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    We do have the phrase Benza-te Deus! ("God bless you"), which seems similar. It's employed mostly by older generations.
  9. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Catalonia, Catalan.
    ..mmm...it seems it matches with it but my impression is that this one is similiar as "oh my God"..In Catalan we have "Valga'm Déu", it's an expression of surprise and astonishment.
    "Déu n'hi do" it'd be something like: "wow! look at that!"

    May you write down an "exemplo" for Benza-te Deus ?
  10. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    "Valha-me Deus!" :D
    (Surprise, shock, or distress.)

    You could replace the Catalan phrase with it in Example #1, above. In Examples #2 and #3, I don't think it would work. This is why I said our expression "seems similar".

    - Cada manhã quando me levanto bebo quatro copos de leite seguidos.
    - Benza-te Deus! (astonishment)
  11. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    God-related emphatics are common in English, but getting obsolete. "By God" is a big exclamation point, but "God knows" can be used in a way not far removed from your Catalan example.

    "I've done everything I can to get along with my boss."
    "God knows, you've tried."

    This is different from "God (only) knows," which is more like "who knows?" Or it can be an emphatic with regard to quantity.

    "I've been there god knows how many times." Not particularly stressed when spoken, and often uncapitalized, as are words like "god-awful" and "god-forsaken."

    "I finished all 200 pages last night."
    "Good God!" Also might be uncapitalized.

    These expressions have quaint old euphemisms abounding. cf Bob Dylan:

    "I'd give anything in this goshamighty world
    if you'd just let me follow you down."

    I think emphasis is the underlying theme here. One that used to be a serious expletive is "Goddamn," can now be used almost as filler, interchangeable with that "other" well-known all-purpose expletive.

    "I just won the no-limit tournament."
    "God damn, you're lucky!"
  12. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Catalonia, Catalan.
    hi foxfirebrand,
    your contribution is well worthy and I highly appreciate it. :thumbsup:

    "Good God" I didn't know that one! This is what I was looking for as it matches with one of the examples. However, it would not match with the other ones.

    I hope to find other contributions from other languages. Maybe Italian. Our Catalan expression seems to be quite unique, I just wonder if there is something alike in Italy...

    Thanks for quoting the Master Dylan

    Kind Regards

  13. 2046075 New Member

    Catalan, Spain
    I'm Catalan but I've been living in Naples for a year, I did not found anything like 'Déu n'hi do' in Italian. However I think that something exists in Romanian, is an expression like 'Domnul ne da' (I don't know the exact spelling) that means exactly 'Déu n'hi do'.
  14. David_1987 Member

    Lake George, NY, USA
    Spanish -- Guayaquil, Ecuador
    Everytime I read your examples I can't help replacing "Déu n'hi do" in my mind for "¡No veas!". I think it's quite a good correspondence in Spanish.

    - ¿Tiene un buen sueldo?
    - ¡No veas!
    The answer means the salary he earns is very likely to be quite a lot.

    - Este hombre ha tenido una vida que no veas. (Quite a life has this man had, would be the translation.. hard to tell whether that's postive or negative, just emphasizing about it)

    Does any native Catalan and Spanish speaker agree?
  15. ACQM

    ACQM Senior Member

    Manresa (Barcelona)
    Spain - Spanish
    I'm Catalan but my mother tongue is Spanish. I personally use "Déu n'hi do!" both speaking Catalan or Spanish, but if you want something similar in meaning in Spanish you may say: "¡Tela marina!/"¡Tela!"/"¡Telita!"
  16. The Ninja

    The Ninja New Member

    Castellano, català
    I was thinking just the same. Actually the expression ¡No veas! fits with every example he gave, and at least for me is the most common, I use it often.

    As ACQM said, there are also other expressions like ¡Tela marinera! (although I've never heard it as ¡Tela marina!), but they have another nuance, like an exclamation for something unpleasant, it's another kind of emphasis.
  17. RangerRichard New Member

    Yakutat, Alaska
    It's funny, in the negative sense I *might* say "Good God no."

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