nosh

kiwi-di

Senior Member
New Zealand, English
I've just been watching the movie, Joyeux Noel.

Right at the end of the Christmas ceasefire, the French officer's aide de camp nips off to his mother's house for some nosh (very colloquial BE expression for food).

For those who haven't seen the film, the dialogue is in French, English and German, with [in the English version] English subtitles over the French and German parts.

In this part conversation is in French, and the subtitles translate the word used as nosh. However, the audio on the DVD is not fantastic, and I have great difficulty in understanding what word is being used in French. I can't even tell you what it sounds like, but it seems to have two syllables.

My dictionary gives bouffe as a translation for nosh, but that's definitely not the word used.

Any ideas?
 
  • kiwi-di

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    It's just occurred to me that the AE equivalent of nosh is grub - which the WR dictionary gives as tambouille.

    I think this is the word that was used.

    How does one get a word (e.g. nosh) added to the dictionary?
     

    Nil-the-Frogg

    Senior Member
    Français (France)
    It's just occurred to me that the AE equivalent of nosh is grub - which the WR dictionary gives as tambouille.

    I think this is the word that was used.

    How does one get a word (e.g. nosh) added to the dictionary?
    You have a link called "suggestions" to the left. ;)
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    nosh is from Yiddish, not BE unless that's where it came from in the UK, too.

    It means snack, a little bite to eat (can be a verb or a noun)

    It is not as widely used by non-Jewish AE speakers as other Yiddish words that have become quite common here: schlepp, schmooze, klutz, glitch, etc.

    Outside of Jews speaking with each other, I only hear people saying nosh in New York City. I'm surprised it was in the script of a Hollywood movie--I'm sure a lot of Americans wouldn't have understood it without a very clear context.

    grub in AE is slang for food generally--la bouffe--not a snack in the specific way of a nosh--un goûter, un encas; grignoter (verb). Grub is much more commonly understood than nosh--but not really a direct synonym.

    Let's go get some grub could mean go for a full meal or just something small to eat
    Let's go for a nosh only means they want a snack.
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    It's just occurred to me that the AE equivalent of nosh is grub - which the WR dictionary gives as tambouille.

    I think this is the word that was used...
    Hello,
    Does anybody have a copy of the film on DVD to check-out which word was used in the VO?

    I know this is an old discussion, however I wish to add two thoughts, fwiw.
    Subtitles in France, especially into English, are often very poorly translated, (in my opinion, based on 20 years of watching VOST)

    In the context of Christian Carion's film "Joyeux Noël" although I didn't find a dialogue du film on line, I did find this mention :
    The character "Ponchel" is a Ch'timi see this example of one of his répliques : "I n'a qui disent qui va y avoir des permissions, que les copains, i' vont pouvoir rentrer à leur maison que'ques jours... Seul'mint, avec m'maison derrière les lignes allemandes, où que j'vais aller, mi?" Il est garçon coiffeur, Ponchel. Un gentil garçon, hanté par le souvenir de sa mère qui vit à Lens, ville du nord occupée par les Allemands, à une heure de marche du front.
    So it's possible that the actor Danny Boon used a word in the local dialect.
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Well,
    I found a moment after the cease-fire that fits the bill -
    1hour 10 minutes into the film :
    Ponchel's alarm clock sounds.
    Scottish officer says : Oh, I'm fast.
    German officer asks : Why do you have an alarm-clock go off every morning at 10 o clock? Is it for the changing of the gaurd?
    Lieutenant Audebert answers : No, no, it's just that my aide-de-camp used to have coffee every morning at 10 with his mother.
    He is worried that he will forget about all that with the war. We've just got used to it.

    Scottish officer : So have we.
    Some time later
    1hour 27 into the film
    Lieutenant Audebert calls "Ponchel. Ponchel!
    Il est où, Ponchel? ça fait 1 heure que je l'appelle."
    Soldat français : Il a dit qu'il allait à la bectance, Mon lieutenant.
    Lieutenant Audebert puzzled : ...à la bectance?*
    *1916 expression très familier Nourriture (from Becter (de bec) Manger. verbe défectif employé surtout à l'informel et au participe passé.
    Not sure if Nosh is the best translation, since Nosh is noted as 1946, hardly WWI slang.
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Hello again,
    By way of conclusion, for those who browse on this website. I go along with wildan1's suggestion in #4 that grub is best in the context :

    I asked the question in another thread ; which bore out this thinking. See Bectance (l'argot des tranchées) for a fuller discussion.
    Soldat français : Il a dit qu'il allait à la bectance, Mon lieutenant.
    Lieutenant Audebert perplexe : ...à la bectance?
    My summing up :
    French soldier : He said he was off to rustle up some grub, Lieutenant.
    Lieutenant Audebert puzzled : ...to rustle up some grub?
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    My, my--some threads do come back to haunt us!

    My suggestion of grub does indeed match the context of a soldier running off to eat something.

    rustle up, however, is pure cowboy-speak--it would sound pretty funny coming out of the (subtitled) mouth of a poilu!

    He went off to get some grub, sir.
     
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