Hühnerk... (Hühnerkacke)

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by angea, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. angea Senior Member

    Hi German people, I really need your help.
    Some time ago I read a book, called "Alfons Zitterbacke". I read it
    in translation, because I didn't know any German. It was about a
    schoolboy who was constantly getting into mischief.
    At the beginning, Alfons spoke about his name. He said how he did not
    like his name, and how he liked his family name - Zitterbacke - even
    less. He said that everyone teased him because of his family name,
    and even teachers smiled. And he would have liked another family
    name. I found a German passage of this text.
    "Am schlimmsten sind die Kinder in meiner Strasse. Die rufen mir immer
    hinterher: „Zitterbacke – Huehnerk…“ (das was sie rufen, kann ich
    eigentlich gar nicht aussprechen. Aber weh tut´s, wenn man das hoert.
    " I translated it so: And the worst, the children on my street. They
    call me "Zitterbacke – Huehnerk…" (what they really call me, I can't
    tell, but it hurts). I decided that Hueh was "chicken". So, I started
    thinking, what a bad name could they give him, which included chicken?
    I thought about chicken poop and looked it up in a dictionary. Nothing
    which started with "nerk". I thought about chicken butt, and looked it
    up - the same. But, maybe I was on the wrong track, because it's a
    children book, can you mention poop and behinds in a children book?
    I now need your help to determine what these children called him.
    Please, answer in English, I don't speak German.
  2. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    Since he does not like the word he stops saying Kacke after the K.

    "Hühnerkacke" it would be written out, so "chicken poop" is correct.

    Huhn=chicken (singular)
    Hühner=chicken (plural)
  3. exgerman Senior Member

    English but my first language was German
    And notice that -acke in both words makes a nice two-syllable rhyme, just the thing to chant if you want to annoy another kid.
  4. angea Senior Member

    Thank you, people. I would have never guessed without you. At least,
    I was on the right track. But I would have never proceeded from
    Huehner to Hühner.
  5. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    There are rare cases where ae, oe and ue occur. But in the wast majority of cases, those are just graphical variants for ä, ö, and ü. These digraphs are normally used where ä, ö, and ü are not available on keyboard/typesetting system.
  6. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Hi, I understand now: you read it in translation. The translator used the ""ue" conversion because "ü" is not available in English.

    By the way. When I read the headline I immediately remembered Zitterbacke. It was a wellknown children book in the GDR, and there exists a movie, too.
  7. angea Senior Member

    I liked that book. :) It was very funny. Alfons is priceless.

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