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

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 6 14:29:13 UTC 2008

On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 10:24 AM, Doug Harris <cats22 at frontiernet.net> wrote:
> 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
>  loudmouth".

"We laughed loud, a real boom" looks like a description of the laugh,
not the jokester.

Mark Mandel

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

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