Duh; bad, bed-spinning drunk

Alyandra

Senior Member
Belgium - French
Hi, I just got some precious help from people on this forum, and I'd like to ask another question.

It's still about the book that I'm translating into French (American English).

One, when do you use the interjection "Duh!", which sort of feeling does it express?

Two, I don't really understand the end of the following sentence :
"The room slowly rotated around her like a bad, bed-spinning drunk."
(context : she hears that one of her friend is dead. Also, in the book, she's dealing with a drinking problem). What do you understand, as native speakers?

Thanks a lot!
Aly

 
  • rsweet

    Senior Member
    English, North America
    Alyandra said:
    Hi, I just got some precious help from people on this forum, and I'd like to ask another question.

    It's still about the book that I'm translating into French (American English).

    One, when do you use the interjection "Duh!", which sort of feeling does it express?

    Two, I don't really understand the end of the following sentence :
    "The room slowly rotated around her like a bad, bed-spinning drunk."
    (context : she hears that one of her friend is dead. Also, in the book, she's dealing with a drinking problem). What do you understand, as native speakers?

    Thanks a lot!
    Aly


    "Duh!" is an expression usually used by kids (or grownups feeling playful) to state that something is so obvious, it's stupid not to have known it right away. It can also be used to refer to something that's really stupid.

    In the second sentence, "bed-spinning drunk" describes a certain kind of drunken experience in which you feel as if the bed is spinning.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    AE uses the expression 'a drunk' to mean a drinking binge, so to them the expression might sound better than it does to this recovering alcoholic's ears.

    I know the sensation referred to (quite well, actually) but the phrase reads as if you are implying that a drunken person is spinning the bed.
     

    heidita

    Banned
    Germany (German, English, Spanish)
    oh yes, maxioge
    Don't we all!!!!

    well there is a saying in Spain that if your bed is spinning, you should throw the anchor. which means put your foot out of the bed on the floor. Spinning feeling normally stops.

    anyway
    i agree with you
    the sentence doesn't read well.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    heidita said:
    oh yes, maxioge

    Please don't steal my "e"! :D


    heidita said:
    well there is a saying in Spain that if your bed is spinning, you should throw the anchor. which means put your foot out of the bed on the floor.

    Aha, but if you're that drunk, which floor should you put your foot on? :D
     

    Alyandra

    Senior Member
    Belgium - French
    Hey, thanks for helping,

    I also thought it was about the dizzy feeling you have when drinking too much, but it's that word, "drunk", which is a problem. I don't see what is the nuance the author wanted to add. And as I have to translate it...

    Thanks a lot for helping.
    Aly
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Alyandra said:
    One, when do you use the interjection "Duh!", which sort of feeling does it express?
    I’m not sure if I can ask about this here, so if not please move my post into a separate thread.

    A similar expletive to duh is d’oh which was originally invented by Matt Groening, the creator of world-wide known cartoon The Simpsons.
    This expletive is used very often by one person in particular—Homer Simpson. Every time he realizes he did something stupid or injures himself (which happens quite frequently) he uses this grunt, e.g.:

    Santa's Little Helper runs after George Bush...
    Homer: I guess you might say he's barking up the wrong Bush.
    Homer's Brain: There it is, Homer. The cleverest thing you will ever say and nobody heard it.
    Homer: D'oh!!!

    Sometimes when he do it he hits his forehead with his hand like here

    The grunt used by the Simpsons fans got so popular that it made it to win its own entry in online edition of OED ( It's in the dictionary, d'oh!).


    My question is, do you think d’oh can be used as an equivalent of duh in every situation (or the other way around depending on point of view ;))?


    Thanks in advance,
    Thomas
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    In answer to your last question, I'd say almost yes.

    OED on doh!
    Expressing frustration at the realization that things have turned out badly or not as planned, or that one has just said or done something foolish. Also (usu. mildly derogatory): implying that another person has said or done something foolish (cf. DUH int.).

    OED on duh!
    Expressing inarticulacy or incomprehension. Also (usu. mildly derogatory): implying that another person has said something foolish or extremely obvious.

    Simpson fans may be upset to know that these have been in use since 1945 and 1943 respectively.

    Note the overlap of meaning - highlighted in red.

    And in answer to your first question, as the topic of this thread includes
    when do you use the interjection "Duh!", which sort of feeling does it express?
    ... I think we're OK. Of course it's possible that the whole thread should be two threads - but it's too late to worry about that now.
     

    heidita

    Banned
    Germany (German, English, Spanish)
    maxiogee said:
    Please don't steal my "e"! :D




    Aha, but if you're that drunk, which floor should you put your foot on? :D

    Very nice, Max (now I'm stealing more than one letter!!!
    As we are more or less the same age, we do understand each other!!!
    Well, Spanish people do not specify, which floor exactly you have to put your foot down on. True. But you might choose just any floor available, as long as you can find one!!:)
     

    Alyandra

    Senior Member
    Belgium - French
    I want to thank you all for your help, now I understand better and it will be easier to proceed with my translation into French.

    Thanks a lot
    Aly
     
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