Kill time

ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
I had asked about how you refer to spending and wasting time elsewhere in AL, but I'd like to focus on another aspect of time: killing time.

Sometimes it seems like a burden, or an irritating animal perhaps, as we can say in Dutch:
- de tijd doden: to kill time (which seemed common in some European languages, as appeared from some of the answers in the previous thread)
- de tijd verdrijven: to drive it away
- tijd doorbrengen: pass (the) time -but that is quite common, I believe - or to spend time

So what other expressions do you have for that concept?
 
  • DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Hi Thomas!

    In French as well we "kill time":
    "tuer le temps"
    or "pass it":
    "passer le temps
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    In Greek:

    «Σκοτώνω [1] τον χρόνο [2] μου»
    /sko'tono ton 'xrono mu/
    lit. "to kill/killing the time of mine"

    [1]Byzantine and Modern Greek verb «σκοτώνω» (sko'tono)--> to kill, deriving from the Classical verb «σκοτόω/σκοτῶ» (skŏ'tŏō [uncontracted]/skŏ'tō [contracted])--> lit. to darken, blind, make dark, metaph. to kill. PIE base *skot-, dark, shade.
    [2]Masculine noun «χρόνος» ('xronos)--> time, year, deriving from the Classical masculine noun «χρόνος» ('xrŏnŏs)--> time, year, with obscure etymology (a couple of suggestions for it: 1/ From the PIE base *dher-, hold; 2/ from the PIE base *gre-/*ger-, to age, ripen)
     

    Tamar

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    In Hebrew, like in French:

    להרוג זמן laharog zman = to kill time

    And also simply: להעביר את הזמן le-ha'avir et ha-zman = to pass the time

    To waste time would be לבזבז זמן le-vazbez zman
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    So the killing turns up again and again. Could the 'beasty' character of time refer to Chronos devouring people (as opposed to Kairos), Apmoy? I suddenly think I have read about people being 'devoured' by time, but... I am not so sure...
     
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    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    You've read Aristotle, haven't you? ;)
    Aristotle (I think in his "Constitution of the Bottiaeans") suggests that Kronos=Chronos (Chronos devours people just like Kronos devoured his sons and daughters).
    But I think Aristotle (and Plato, and Plutarch and many ancient Greek philosophers) are prone to paretymological approach.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I had not, believe it or not, I just thought of a parellel as the metaphor seems to imply some resemblance between time and with a wild animal (or god ?). But I am not so sure I understand you well: "Kronos" (time) is not to be equated to "Chronos" (the god)? Sorry, if I am mistaken.

    But paretymology is so... very human, isn't it? I think even our metaphors (and language for that) are somehow so very human: we think of abstract things starting from concrete things, as Lakoff pointed out, and thus reduce complexity by referring to our physical perception, which to me seems the only analogy we could use. I mainly wondered about why we use something like 'time', and always worry about paretymology or folk etymology! ;-)
     
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    kloie

    Senior Member
    English
    german
    die zeit=time
    totschlagen=to beat to death
    estonian
    aega=time
    surnuks=to the death
    lööma=to beat
    persian
    vaght=time
    gozarandan=to pass
    croatian
    vrijeme=time
    utucati=It's derived from tući, so it's sort of like 'beating time to death'.
     
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    涼宮

    Senior Member
    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    In Spanish it also uses ''kill', matar (el) tiempo.

    In Japanese you say 時間をつぶす jikan wo tsubusu /ʤikan o tsu'busu/ = to crush/to smash/to block/to shut down time.
     

    涼宮

    Senior Member
    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    Time (jikan) is a noun, wo marks the accusative case. You can smash (つぶす) pretty much everything, things, people and time, a noun. But I don't know the historical reason why tsubusu is used for time and not 殺す korosu (to kill). nevertheless, some people indeed say jikan wo korosu in Japanese.
     

    涼宮

    Senior Member
    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    Of course :) what happens is, that in Japanese there are verbs that can even have 13 different meanings. Tsubusu will change its meaning depending on context.

    For instance:

    事件は彼女の面目をつぶした. jiken wa kanojo no menboku wo tsubushita. The scandal brought her to shame. lit: as regard to the scandal/event her reputation was crushed.

    Tsubusu can also mean ''to put paid to'' when it comes to plans and wishes. And also ''to wash out'' talking about rain and storms.
     
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    terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Korean
    What's important to ask here is if these expressions were simultaneously developped in different languages or originally an expression of a particular language(French or English) that spread to others.
    For example the Japanese word 時間 is a modern word so it couldn't predate the European equivalents of this expression.
    Although there is the expression 暇つぶし where 暇 is like "spare time."
    Also in Korean we say 시간때우기 or literally "filling up, making up for" time but we also use the English word 타임킬링(time killing).
    So it's highly likely that for non-European languages like Hebrew or Turkish to have adopted the expression from French or English.
    My theory is that most of these expressions are directly from the French one which we see from 1504( http://www.expressio.fr/expressions/tuer-le-temps.php ) or from the English one which is attested in 1728 ( http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=kill ), probably from French.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Interesting theory, and not implausible. It might be true indeed that even metaphors, or well, expressions, are copied.

    In fact all the questions I am asking very often have to do with metaphors, and seeing whether they are different - supposing they might betray aspects of a different worldview.
     

    Selyd

    Senior Member
    ucraniano
    In Ukrainian:
    губити, загубити, згубити час /huby'ty, zahuby'ty, zhuby'ty chas/ it is vain to expend
    струювати час /stru'yuvaty chas/ approximately to destroy
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    I had not, believe it or not, I just thought of a parellel as the metaphor seems to imply some resemblance between time and with a wild animal (or god ?). But I am not so sure I understand you well: "Kronos" (time) is not to be equated to "Chronos" (the god)? Sorry, if I am mistaken.
    I apologise for not responding earlier, I honestly, did not see your reply!
    «Κρόνος» ('kronos) is the god, or rather, the father of the ancient Greek gods who devoured his children (in Latin, Cronus).
    «Χρόνος» ('xronos or chronus) is time, who-according to Aristotle-like «Κρόνος» devours people.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    No problem, Apmoy. So there is no link between the two, they are quite different, aren't they? I simply thought the god symbolised time, the way Apollo can be said to stand for reason.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I now realize we also fill time, as in Korean, though not that stylish. So time can also be like an empty hole, or something, that one can fall into... (And if you fill time, you can't fall into it...)
    Another is besteden, which is like spending (on):it is like money! ;-) (Hoe besteed je je (vrije) tijd? - How do you spend your (free) time)? BUT implying as well: what do you spend it on? )
     

    810senior

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    In Spanish it also uses ''kill', matar (el) tiempo.

    In Japanese you say 時間をつぶす jikan wo tsubusu /ʤikan o tsu'busu/ = to crush/to smash/to block/to shut down time.
    In addition to it, we'd say 暇をつぶす hima wo tsubusu meaning to crush free time(hima refers to a time when you can spend out as you want it to do)
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    In Chinese (simplified):

    消磨时间 (written style) - to wear down or fritter away time

    打发时间 (written or colloquial) - to send away or dismiss time

    耗时间 (colloquial) - to consume or waste time
     
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    Messquito

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    In Chinese (simplified):

    消磨时间 (written style) - to wear down or fritter away time

    打发时间 (written or colloquial) - to send away or dismiss time

    耗时间 (colloquial) - to consume or waste time
    I don't know about China, but in Taiwan, besides 消磨时间 and 打发时间, the direct translation 殺時間 is also widely used here, which is highly likely a loanword from English.
    殺=kill
    Also, 耗時間 sounds somewhat negative to me, which I wouldn't consider "killing time" because it gives a sense of "wasting time", or, as some may say, "dawdling" or "lingering". It is often used as verb meaning "wasting time doing something as long as possible" or "delaying (as a tactic)" or as an adjective meaning "time-consuming". There might be some regional difference, though.
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    Catalan and Spanish just as French ('to kill' and 'to pass'):

    Catalan:
    matar el temps
    passar el temps

    Spanish:
    matar el tiempo
    pasar el tiempo
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    No problem, Apmoy. So there is no link between the two, they are quite different, aren't they? I simply thought the god symbolised time, the way Apollo can be said to stand for reason.
    The etymology of «Κρόνος» Krónŏs (the mythical father of the ancient Greek Olympian gods) is obscure (it's possibly linked to the ancient Greek v. «κραιαίνω» kraiaínō, later form «κραίνω» kraínō --> to rule, complete, (intr.) to end < PIE *ḱrh₂-s-n- head cf Gr. «κάρᾱ» (kárā), head; Skt. शिरस् (śiras), top, peak; Proto-Germanic *hirsniją > Ger. Hirn). Its earlier form was perhaps *Κρόσνος < *kr̥sneh₂-
    «Χρόνος» kʰrónŏs (masc.) on the other hand has a possible PIE root *ǵʰer- to enclose > *gʰr-ono- (cf Skt. हरति (hárati), to carry, offer; Av. gərədha; Lat. hortus; Proto-Germanic *gardô > Dt. gaarde, Eng. garden). On the semantic side, an original meaning "encompassing time-limit" has been assumed for «χρόνος» or even "seizer" (Beekes pg. 1652).
     

    ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    die Zeit=time
    totschlagen=to beat to death
    In addition to that, you can say (sich)* die Zeit vertreiben or die Zeit verbringen - as in Dutch:
    - de tijd verdrijven: to drive it away
    - tijd doorbrengen: pass (the) time -but that is quite common, I believe - or to spend time
    * sich = reflexive pronoun, difficult to define its function here. I guess it takes the attention away from the 'object', in a way - it doesn't really matter what it is you 'drive away' the time with... By contrast, the expression die Zeit verbringen ('to spend time') - never used with a reflexive pronoun - seems to focus more on the activity itself.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Just read: meubler le temps, a euphemism (…) for killing time in French, I think, as filling the void… But a nice metaphor!

    It reminds me also of verdrijven/ drive away or something, as mentioned above: time like a burdensome animal, or so? What the underlying time metaphor is for passing: no idee. Is it like a forest one has to get through? [I refer to the Dutch meaning here, perhaps you don't have the same association in your language if you use something like passing...]
     
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    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Just read: meubler le temps, a euphemism (…) for killing time in French, I think, as filling the void… But a nice metaphor!
    Let's just note that this is not a common collocation. It is rather used with "conversation" or "silence" (or nothing at all, to just talk to avoid silence).
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    (Ha, you're still around & alive and kicking! Welcome back - if you were gone…)
    I had no idea that it was more common in other contexts. I just liked the metaphor, and as a matter of fact, I think they all have something in common: the void, the emptiness.
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    In Catalan we'd also say: fer temps ("to do time"), specifically when you're waiting for something and you fill up that time with whatever comes at hand, instead of doing nothing.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    But then that seems like the opposite of killing time, doesn'it (when I may assume that "fer" is like making, creating). We might use that expression perhaps when we try to "win" time... Or how do you view "fer"? Both doing and making time?
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    But then that seems like the opposite of killing time, doesn'it (when I may assume that "fer" is like making, creating).
    Just to make it clear, "fer temps" is not being productive, it's just doing anything at all to avoid getting bored. It's the same as "killing time" but only when you have to wait for something. If I'm downtown with someone and I have an appointment in an hour I might say, let's go fer temps and have a drink.

    As for whether it seems counterintuitive (I think that's what you were asking), I wouldn't look much into it, fer is by far the most common verb in collocations in Catalan, it just acts as a verbal support to "temps" (I don't know if I'm making myself understood).
     

    TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    We do say literally "kill time" in Italian: ammazzare il tempo. Of course, there are other ways to say it, too.

    In Catalan we'd also say: fer temps ("to do time"), specifically when you're waiting for something and you fill up that time with whatever comes at hand, instead of doing nothing.
    But then that seems like the opposite of killing time, doesn'it (when I may assume that "fer" is like making, creating). We might use that expression perhaps when we try to "win" time... Or how do you view "fer"? Both doing and making time?
    Just to make it clear, "fer temps" is not being productive, it's just doing anything at all to avoid getting bored. It's the same as "killing time" but only when you have to wait for something. If I'm downtown with someone and I have an appointment in an hour I might say, let's go fer temps and have a drink.

    As for whether it seems counterintuitive (I think that's what you were asking), I wouldn't look much into it, fer is by far the most common verb in collocations in Catalan, it just acts as a verbal support to "temps" (I don't know if I'm making myself understood).
    Assuming that fer temps is equivalent to the Spanish hacer tiempo, I once partook in an interesting discussion revolving around the differences between matar el tiempo and hacer tiempo. I'll leave a link to it in case someone's interested: Hacer tiempo
     

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Macedonian

    тепа време (tépa vréme) or утепа време (útepa vréme)

    тепа (tepa) = 'to beat'; in some context 'to kill'
    утепа (utepa) = 'to beat to death'; in some context 'to kill'
     
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