nach allen Seiten hin decken

gru_rossa

Member
Italian
"Er verstand es stets, sich nach allen Seiten hin zu decken."

It's about a person who doesn't want to take a clear position in a political conflict.

"He always passed from one side to the other?"

Thank you!
 
  • Gernot Back

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    "Er verstand es stets, sich nach allen Seiten hin zu decken."
    (...)
    "He always passed from one side to the other?"
    No, I don't think that would be a correct translation. Your English translation would describe what we call a "Wendehals" in German. (Ein Opportunist, der sein Fähnlein nach dem Winde dreht.)

    "Er verstand es stets, sich nach allen Seiten hin zu decken" could mean sth. like: He was slippery as an eel, so you couldn't hold him to account.
     

    Demiurg

    Senior Member
    German
    "Sich decken" is a military term meaning "to take cover" (e.g. from bullets). Here it's used symbolically. He was very cautious, he didn't risk anything without cover/backing from all sides.
     
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