No pain, no g ähn?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 16 01:02:35 UTC 2009

I agree, Joel. But Chris will undoubtedly straighten us out.


On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 8:03 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      =?iso-8859-1?Q?No_pain,_no_g=E4hn=3F?=
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  From an article in The New York Times today on
> the debate duet of Merkel and Steinmeyer:
> "The front page of Bild, the country's largest
> newspaper and a tabloid not known for its
> subtlety, rhymed the famous Obama slogan with the
> words "Yes we gähn," which means "yawn."
> Do Germans really rhyme this with "Yes we
> can"?  When I was in high school, I would have
> pronounced "gähn" more like the English
> "Cain."  (I hear three vowels, "can," "con"
> (which I would associate with the umlautless
> German, e.g. in "Hahn"), and "Cain".  I don't hear "gähn" as "can.")
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list