to go like gangbusters

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by zita beretta, May 31, 2011.

  1. zita beretta Senior Member

    France - French
    Hello Everybody,
    Who can help me with gangbusters in this sentence ?
    "...the Mallo Cups and Atomic Warheads are going like gangbusters..."
    I've found that it can describe something very successful.
    1°) Is it right ? (it would be more or less ok in my context, which is a poem.)
    2°) Could you tell me the level of language of this word? Colloquial ? Slang ?
    It will help me to choose :
    les Mallo Cups et les Atomic Warheads...
    ...partent comme des petits pains
    ... cassent la baraque
    ...déchirent tout
    ......:idea: ?
  2. harrythelm Senior Member

    USA English
    pour ce qui est du registre, c'est très proche de, voire identique à, "comme des petits pains" … mais je ne sais pas si "going" dans ta phrase veut dire "se vendre" - c'est tout à fait possible.
  3. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    It is odd. I'd assume 'going' has the sense se vendre, from the point of view of the seller, a sold item "goes out the door."

    What would be normal here would be to say that the items were going "like hotcakes" which equals "comme des petits pains" rather exactly.

    The phrase "like gangbusters" tends to suggest "in an ostentatious manner" ... the phrase calls up the image of a police raid, busting down doors, guns a-blazing, an entirely unsubtle experience.

    What's also odd is that there is no food item I'm aware of called an "atomic warhead." There's a candy called Warheads but no 'atomic.' So I have to wonder if it's possible the writer is discussing the sales of both Mallo Cups (yummy) and actual atomic warheads??? And is it possible that the context does not imply simply "a brisk trade" in these items but a spectacle of some sort?

    (Ciao, Zita ... long time!)
  4. zita beretta Senior Member

    France - French
    Thank you Harrythelm and mgarizona (hello Mike)
    Yes there is an "atomic" candy, I've found in Yahoo answers :
    Question : What's the sourest candy ever?
    Answer: Atomic Warheads, Kinda taste like vinegar at first.
    I'm desperately looking for something in French that "suggests in an ostentatious manner" but I'm stumped.
    Oui, c'est le cas.
    So I will choose " se vendent comme des petits pains", or, more colloquial, "partent comme des petits pains".
    Thanx again.
  5. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    You can't always trust the internet, cara zita. Take a closer look at any reference to "atomic warhead" candies on google and you'll see they're really refering to "warhead" candies.

    The cartoon character on the case has the form of a mushroom cloud, which is likely where the association in people's mind with 'atomic warheads' comes from, but they aren't really called that. But really, who cares?

    As for yr translation ... un traffic des Mallo Cups et des pastilles "nucléaires" florissant ???
  6. zita beretta Senior Member

    France - French
    Bonjour Mike, of course I was kind of naive with this....(Atomic Warheads)
    But what misled me was the fact I met it twice : in the text I'm translating (or, better, I'm trying to translate:eek:), and in the net. (by the way, do you say in or on the net ?)
    Thank you:)
  7. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    One is trapped "in" a net.

    One finds much misleading information "on" the net.

    (Why? My guess would be it's that we interact with the internet via a (monitor) screen and "on the screen," like "on television," is the paradigm???)
  8. ekd Member

    English - Australia
    Not an expert, but I think 'comme des petits pains' is only a limited translation, I agree that 'gang-busters' suggests a certain amount of force or chaos, not just success or popularity. 'Au pas de charge' ???
  9. sejean Senior Member

    English - USA me "going like gangbusters" is a common expression which implies that business is really good, products are "flying off the shelf," etc. I could also say that a country's economy is going like gangbusters. I could even say "My tomatoes are going (like) gangbusters this summer!" (meaning my tomato plants are producing tons of tomatoes). When the reference is to a brisk trade, I suppose " gangbusters" implies a more frenzied pace than " hotcakes" but the expressions are pretty close to me.
  10. zita beretta Senior Member

    France - French
    Mixing ekd and sejean's ideas, why not :
    partent à fond la caisse ?

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