Kill time

  • ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Strange but someone reacted to this thread, I was informed, calling in doubt my hint that passing is like going through. I cannot be sure either. As a matter of fact, etymologically speaking, passing + DO is going past or along something, I think. I wonder whether anyone has other ideas about this idea of passing time..
     

    Schlabberlatz

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    On second thoughts, I guess you are probably right. It's possible that my interpretation has been influenced by German expressions like "sich die Zeit vertreiben" and "Zeit verbringen" (cf. above #39). But there's also "durchleben":
    Wörterbuch v1 Englisch-Deutsch © WordReference.com 2012:
    durchleben v/t (untrennb, hat) go (oder live) through, experience;
    (im Geiste) noch einmal durchleben relive
    durchleben - Wörterbuch Deutsch-Englisch - WordReference.com
    e. g. "harte Zeiten durchleben", "to go through hard times".

    Still, I would not rule out the other explanation completely. If you want to pass your time agreeably, it could mean you want to make it pass agreeably, possibly by the help of a pastime:
    WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
    pas•time /ˈpæsˌtaɪm/ n. [countable]
    1. something, as a game, sport, or hobby, that serves to make time pass agreeably:
    pastime - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    As for (a) pleased to hear that. did not know you coud use die Zeit durchleben in German. Very interesting!

    As for (b) I could agree with what you say, but I am looking a bit further and wonder then where this causative pass comes from: time is passing is probably something like time running out, but the how do we interpret time passing? Time going??? Time of duration going through the large time (concept). You see what I mean? I am looking for an underlying metaphor…
    As a matter of fact, (past =) vorbei/ voorbij: how do we interpret the latter two? It is something like "gone by", which I suppose means "along"... What do you think?
     

    Schlabberlatz

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    did not know you coud use die Zeit durchleben in German
    It is only a rough equivalent of "to pass"; "die Zeit durchleben" is not idiomatic; I guess I should have mentioned that. I think one would not say :cross:to live through the time:cross:, either. You live through "a hard time" or "hard times". Native speakers, please correct me if I'm wrong.
    I am looking for an underlying metaphor…
    As a matter of fact, (past =) vorbei/ voorbij: how do we interpret the latter two? It is something like "gone by",
    Yes, that sounds reasonable. I think you can say "Die Jahre ziehen vorbei" in German, "The years go by". ("Es geht vorbei" means "It will end".) Maybe it means that it feels as if you were standing there while the years are going past you. Does time really move? At least it feels like it: past --> present --> future.
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Interesting, this difference: you do say X Zeit verlieren, don't you? We generally try de tijd te doden (time in general: English is certainly different, with regard to determiners). So we seem to be engaged in a battle with time as such. Yet, we are x tijd aan het verliezen (wasting [fractions of ???] time).

    Does time move? It probably does not, but I believe Lakoff/ Johnson explained that man uses (physical) metaphors in order to describe abstract things. That does create some view of things, but that is not the truth an sich/ as such. As a matter of fact, when we change (succeed in changing) the metaphors used, we may arrive at a different world view - or at least view on the situation... That is why I like to examine roots of words...
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I should not draw too many conclusions from that, but in my view "time" can be different from "the time". "Time" seems to be more general, " the time" more like a specific amount. "die Zeit" in my view sounds like a container full of time...
     
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