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Thesis about German metaphors

deen the breen

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German «heart» metaphors

I am very interested in metaphors. This year at university I need to write a thesis about metaphors in English and in German. I am going to compare metaphors which have the heart as an essential element. I already collected a lot of english „heart-metaphors“, however I am still searching for more german examples.

To all the german native speakers: could you please provide some heart-related metaphors

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Here you go. Please help yourself with the translations of them by entering them into google. I guess it should be possible to find english translations. If not, please let me know so I can help you to translate them.

*//*  sich ein Herz fassen

*//*  (schwer) auf dem Herzen liegen

*//*  jmdm.  fällt das Herz in die Hose

*//*  Hand aufs Herz

*//*  etwas mit viel Herz machen (angehen)

*//*  etwas (jmdm.) nach Herzenslust nachgehen

*//*  jmdm. fällt ein Stein vom Herzen

*//*  das Herz auf dem rechten Fleck tragen

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  • 4 weeks later...

I do remember "verschlafenes Nest" used to refer to a sleepy town or quiet area. A person who is in a good mood could be told that, "Sie sieht's durch ihre rosarote Brille!", or "she's looking at it through her pink spectacles!". 

Also, something that is no longer relevant is referred to as the "Schnee von gestern", or the "snow from yesterday".

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  • 2 weeks later...

I remember my German professor talking about how in German, you don't say, "I am cold," or "I am hot."

In the German language, this refers to your sexual receptiveness, not your actual bodily temperature.  "I am hot," is like saying "I am horny."

What you say is "I have cold," or "I have hot".  Ich habe kalt. Ich habe heiße

Not having visited Germany myself, I have yet to try this out.

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Yes, that is true. In German, if you say Ich bin heiss, it definitely means that you are horny :=), so you should say "Ich habe heiss".


That is correct as well. "Schnee von gestern" is a very common idiom and we use it all the time. It is very popular in Switzerland as well and we use it here in Swiss-German :=)

"Verschlafenes Nest" as a metaphorical expression for a sleepy area/town sounds more experimental but I can easily see how this could appear in German texts. "Verschlafenes Nest" could be used for a lot of different things too (in a metaphorical way).

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, I was also taught to say (by a German friend) "Es ist mir kalt", as a more formal or polite way to say I am cold. Literally it means, "It is cold to me".

Never use the English "I am..." construction in this circumstance.

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