Loses Something -- But Not Color -- In Translation: "A Real Boom"

Doug Harris cats22 at FRONTIERNET.NET
Tue May 6 14:24:11 UTC 2008

An Associated Press story about Josef Fritzl datelined May 4 from Amstetten,

Austria includes the following paragraph:
     Graf said he sometimes met
Fritzl for business dealings, and
the pair would share a beer. "He
told jokes, not always the clean-
est," Graf said. "We laughed loud,
a real boom."
Perhaps the phrase "a real boom" is Austrian vernacular. Perhaps it was
simply a turn of phrase employed by this speaker. But it sure doesn't
seem to have an currency in English, at least not the American version.
However, that said, it _is_ an interesting variation on the AE "a real
card" (if anyone says that anymore) or "a real clown" or perhaps "a real
Oh, and for anyone who isn't aware: Fritzl has admitted effectively
kidnapping his daughter a couple of decades ago, keeping her locked
in a basement and fathering seven children with her in the intervening
years. Coincidentally, this is the third such someone-locked-away-for-
years case to have emerged in Austria in the past few years.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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