douche bag

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by gibernau, Apr 16, 2007.

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  1. gibernau Member

    Bolgna/Mantova
    Italian
    Hi folks, today I was translating a short text from English to italian, and while trasnlating I've had a doubt concerning a pair of sentences. The first is:

    The punk hears this and says, "I may be an :warn:asshole but at least I'm not a :warn:douche bag"

    which I have translated thsi way:


    Il punk lo sente e dice, "Posso anche essere uno :warn:stronzo ma almeno non sono un :warn:pezzo di merda"

    Do you have any suggestions about this translation? Thanks!
     
  2. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
     
  3. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    I think of a :warn: douchebag as a type of jerk, not a "retard." In essence, :warn:asshole and :warn:douchebag are synonyms, which makes the comment rather curious. ;)

    Elisabetta
     
  4. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    In that case gibernau's translation is better than mine.
     
  5. gibernau Member

    Bolgna/Mantova
    Italian
    Well, the problem is that all this sentence comes from a little story whose characters are a punk, a republican, a rabbi and a bartender, in the bartender's bar. So it's quite complex and these terms, referred to these people, might get particular meanings...In a few words: the punk says the rabbi is a :warn:douche bag, so the republican tells the bartender to kick off the punk who is, in the republican's words, an :warn:asshole. So the punk replies to the republican that he "may be an :warn:asshole but at least [he's] not a :warn:douche bag". i don't know if the contestualisation may help you in the translation...thanks!
     
  6. Margot O'Sleep New Member

    Italy
    Hi all

    In a comedy tv show about politics I heard this two words referring to the elections and voters:

    "Douchebag" and "Douche Vote".

    The following is an example of phrase: "Jason Jones uses polling data to break down the lack of douchebag support for Romney".

    Is it a kind of american slang? What does it mean?

    Thanks!

     
  7. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    From wikipedia:
    The "douche vote" would be the "voting block" consisting of "douchebags."

    See above for possible translations to Italian. :)


    Elisabetta
     
  8. Margot O'Sleep New Member

    Italy
    Thanks!

    I am just wondering if it has something to do in particular with the republicans (US politics) and politics in general. My sentence - even if in a comic way - is referred to a Republican candidate...in gibernau's example there is a Republican too...
     
  9. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    Whether there is a correlation between being a Republican and being a douchebag is a matter of opinion. ;) As a matter of grammar, they are not equivalent or related words.

    Elisabetta
     
  10. Darkarix New Member

    Asshole and douche bag are two differents insults. I would translate the first with :warn:coglione:warn: and the second with :warn:stronzo:warn: also if I feel that maybe :warn:douche bag:warn: has a stronger meaning than the italian translation.
    However, as far as I know, a douche bag is a tool (a squirt I think) that women use to clean their vagina.
     
  11. PaulJanus Member

    Italy
    Italian
    Hi all, how would you translate "douchebag" with a single word in Italian?
    I thought "guastafeste" but I'm not 100% convinced.

    The M-W online says:

    Main Entry: douche bag
    Function: noun
    Date: circa 1963

    slang : an unattractive or offensive person
     
  12. SpookyT Senior Member

    Milano, Italy
    Italian
    Ciao!

    I can't think of a translation that fits right now, but I don't think guastafeste is your word. Douchebag sounds more like... lo sfigato della scuola, quello che viene considerato insulso e "palloso" e preso in giro dai compagni.

    I may have gotten the meaning wrong though... Natives?

    Take a look at this thread in the English Only forum in the meantime ;)
     
  13. pescara Senior Member

    Connecticut
    English-USA
    This is a fairly vulgar term. I would say it is more like a vulgar form of "stronzo" than any of the other translations suggested, but wait for other opinions.

    Ciao.
     
  14. PaulJanus Member

    Italy
    Italian
    How about "gino"? (an uncool person who thinks he's cool, slang from the '80s)
     
  15. terribilino Member

    Canadian English
  16. TimLA

    TimLA Member Emeritus

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    I'm with Pescara, most of the times I've heard it, I've found it synonymous with ":warn:asshole", but slightly softer.
    So pick something fairly strong.
     
  17. armour65 Senior Member

    New York City
    United States English
    Honestly, I would go with "stronzo" or "cretino." If you were to ask most Americans to describe a douchebag, they would simply say an "idiot." It's one of those slang terms that is absolutely "sgarbato" and has many different specific meanings to different people.

    It's like the word "tool" to describe somebody in English. If you ask 10 people what a "tool" is you'll get at least 8 different definitions!
     
  18. terribilino Member

    Canadian English
    Yep.
     
  19. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australia
    Australian English
    Maybe the definition of the modern-day incarnation of the word is slightly different to what is was in my day (and Tim's and Pescara's) but someone who was a 'douche bag' back then was someone who was considered disgusting/revolting (pretty much the feeling most people have when they think of the literal bag).

    Here's the Urban dictionary definition.
     
  20. PaulJanus Member

    Italy
    Italian
    I don't know, in Italian "idiota", "stronzo" and "cretino" IMO are wide-range, catchall terms, you can yell them to somebody who cuts you in with the car.

    Maybe "sborone" would be more specific?
     
  21. armour65 Senior Member

    New York City
    United States English
    Honestly, that's really the point I'm trying to make. Douchebag is not a very specific type of person. It's just a word that is used in a variety of situations, much like "cretino", "stronzo" and "idiota." Some examples:

    *You know that kid Chuck? He's a total douchebag! (why? well, maybe he cut you off driving, maybe he tried to hit on your girlfriend, or maybe he cheated off you on a test)

    * That fraternity is known for having a lot of douchebag members. (here it's more of an adjective but same concept: what makes them douchebags? Perhaps they get drunk all the time, are losers, and have no common sense).
     
  22. PaulJanus Member

    Italy
    Italian
    So you don't think it's something look-related but more to the behaviour?
     
  23. armour65 Senior Member

    New York City
    United States English
    Probably both. Again I could show you a picture of what I think a "douchebag" might look like but in the end, if he/she is the nicest person in the world, I would re-think calling that person a douchebag because personality has much to do with it, if not more.
     
  24. cindahl New Member

    English (American)
    'Douchebag' is one of those dandy little gems of English slang that, at least to American ears, refers to a specific combination of character traits. Though it can be replaced by the more general (and less effective) 'asshole', its association with the feminine hygiene product lends it a more sexual connotation.

    The term 'douchebag' incorporates arrogance, narcissism, foolishness and some amount of fundamental failure in the attempt of its bearer to be desirable to women. Thus, in terms of masculine virility, a 'douchebag' is presumed to be as fulfilling and desirable to a woman (at least in the opinions of the males that would apply the term) as the hygiene product. It should be noted that the term is generally applied by males to males, especially to those who succeed in courtship. For this reason, male college students who participate in fraternities are quite often considered ‘douchebags’ by members of various subcultures opposed to the ‘Greek’ lifestyle.

    All of the above has led me first to the expression "fare il gallo", then to its variant "fare il galletto" and finally, extracting the noun and applying the diminutive, simply "gallettino". It may not be slang, but I think it might convey the right idea.
    Ciao!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  25. matteo86 Member

    Firenze
    USA, English
    Credo che cindhal abbia preso il centro (o molto vicino, almeno). Except for a couple things. I don't think the term douchebag describes an individual who is more successful in courtship than other males. In fact, I'd say there's a great argument that the reason members are fraternities are often referred to as douche bags is not because they're more successful in courtship than others (which, in itself is whole other argument), but simply because they are wont to display those other characteristics of douche bags that endear them to us so. I also think that while the term is used solely to describe males, it's not used only by males as well. I have heard many a lady use the term douche bag to refer to males, too. (Also, your definition is a bit confusing because it seems to say that one characteristic of a douchebag is that he has some amount of fundamental failure in his attempt to be desirable to women, and yet he is more successful in courtship than others?) I'd say that neither is really essential to the meaning of the term douchebag.

    I'd say the characteristics of a douchebag comprise part of the first list of characteristics provided by cindahl - arrogance, narcissism, and foolishness (not to mention general assholeishness). Thus, when you're a douchebag, you're most likely an asshole, but when you're an asshole, you're not necessarily a douchebag.
     

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