|Avec nos excuses à Rumbear...|
What "inspired" this post was an incident at work. Yes boys and girls, I had one of those "ah crap" moments. Nothing dire or catastrophic. Just one of those "I just wasted a day and a half because of someone else's mistake."
Now I actually walked back to my cubicle, sat down, tossed my cap on the desk, stared at the ceiling and muttered, "Scheiße". (While I'm here, I'll mention that the "ß" character in German is pronounced as a double-"s". It's known in German as the "eszett". Many Germans don't even use that "ß" character anymore. I do. I'm a purist. I'm also not German. Much to many people's surprise. I seem to be as Teutonic as they come. Huh. Go figure.)
So after muttering "scheiße", I also muttered "ah crap". Just to let the Fates know what I meant. (Do the Fates ever get confused? Probably not, they are, after all, mythological beings and therefore not real. To which, no doubt, they would answer "scheiße". Or it's Greek equivalent. Which may or may not be "σκατά".)
Google Translate has a much stronger meaning for "scheiße" than I have provided here. Apparently involves fire trucks, if you get my drift. Google Translate prefers "scheiß" without the trailing "e" for the way I use it. As in "ah crap". As I lived in Germany for over seven years, I'm comfortable with my translation of "scheiße", though either would be correct. Germans generally go with the "ah crap" translation in my experience.)
The Missus Herself knew what the word meant. Her German was very limited. I think it consisted of "scheiße", "ja" and "nein". I'm not criticizing here. My wife speaks two languages very capably. I speak one semi-capably and three or four others badly. Her fluency in two trumps my "okay in one" and "can order a beer" in three others, any day of the week.
But it would freak her out when she heard the little German kids yelling "scheiße" all the time. (There was one kid in the neighborhood, Marcos, who was always saying that. I think it was the only word he knew.)
Feeling down? Say "scheiße".
Favorite team just lost? Say "scheiße".
Didn't get that big promotion at work? Say "scheiße".
Some oblivious idiot cut you off in traffic? Say "scheiße".
What a marvelous and useful word "scheiße" is.
Of course, if you speak French, "merde" works too.
And people say I don't know scheiße...