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back to article So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?

Our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission is on temporary hold today while we attempt to answer a question of vital linguistic import: just how do you say "the mutt's nuts" in French? Last week we unveiled the magnificent finished livery of our Vulture 2 spaceplane... The Space Graphics Solutions team poses with …

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Deutsch.

Apart from the fact that people in the old Vaterland wouldn't refer to a specially good thing that way the translation would be: "Die Nüsse des Hundes". Alternatively you could call the male canine gonads "Eier" (eggs), which is more common.

To preserve the colloquial humour I would propose: "Die Klöten des Köters*". I don't think anyone ever said that, but it sounds cool. At least for northerners with a soft spot for alliterations; I don't think "Klöten" is used in the south...

* The "ö" is rather like the "i" and half the "r" in "first". A bit like the Swedish chef from the muppets.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Die Klöten des Köters

Yeah, I like that one.

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Re: Deutsch.

Alternatively you could call the male canine gonads "Eier" (eggs)

However, dogs' eggs has a different colloquial meaning in English. Gotta love word play.

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Welsh any help?

My Welsh is a little rusty but I believe 'Cnau Cwn' to be perfectly valid colloquial Welsh for dogs bollocks (word order is reversed, cnau meaning nuts in both senses, cwn meaning dogs in the plural/general sense as opposed to an individual dog).

Happy to be corrected by the way, I wish I had more opportunities to practice my Welsh TBH.

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Headmaster

@ Cliff - Re: Welsh any help?

But we're looking for the possessive " 's ", not the plural " s " aren't we?

I don't actually speak Welsh, so take that with a pinch of salt.

And before someone tells me, I just saw that there's a comma missing between "good thing that way" and "the translation would be". To late for editing. My bad.

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Re: @ Cliff - Welsh any help?

I'm rusty too, but I think "the dog's nuts" would be "y cnau'r ci".

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Re: @ Cliff - Welsh any help?

I'd offer that "the mutts' nuts" would be "cnau'r cŵn" and "the mutt's nuts" is "cnau'r ci".

I don't think you need the 'y' because it's already in the contraction. "cnau y ci" -> "cnau'r ci".

It may be that in real use it'd just be 'cnau ci' though.

"Old chap, this microwave is the mutt's nuts!" -> "Mae'r pobty ping 'ma yn cnau ci gwboi!".

I rarely speak, and only remain fluent in the domain specific Welsh (Y Clwb Rygbi), so I anticipate further corrections.

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JDC

Spanish

I've never heard the Spanish use "nueces" as a euphemism for "cojones", just checked with the Spaniard sitting next to me and he hasn't either... Huevos (eggs) would be the usual one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spanish

Likewise, no one here has ever heard nueces used in that sense.

So far my colleagues have come up with "es la ostia". However it is early in the morning and once the brain cells get ticking they may think of more.

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Re: Re: Spanish

Well, round my way they say "mucho ruido, pocas nueces", meaning "gobs off a lot, but doesn't back it up". You get the picture.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spanish

Give a spaniard the chance to be linguistically creative and they will, a couple more

es de puta madre

es la polla <-- getting close wrt body parts

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Spanish

My absolute fave is "perroflauta" (crusty). For our non-Spanish-speaking readers, this translates as "dogflute", in honour of crusties alleged penchant for hanging around with dogs on string, playing flutes to beg cash.

http://projetbabel.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17858

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Re: Spanish

My favourite Spanish one is malfollado/a, which literally translates as "badly shagged" and means "extremely irritable."

The idea is it's worse if someone's badly shagged than not shagged at all.

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Pint

Re: Re: Re: Spanish

So that translates to the fairly similar "All mouth, and no trousers" ? I think that's a well known phrase in most of this green and pleasant land, but I still occasionally discover that something I think is in common usage ends up being a Scottish-ism - like when I stuck my head into a bar at Uni to see how busy it was and reported back to the group that we should go elsewhere, 'cos it was "hoaching in there!"

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Re: Re: Spanish

Yup, that's exactly the translation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spanish

Final Spanish suggestion

Cojonudo

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Re: Spanish

"Mucho ruido y pocas nueces" is how Shakespeare's play "Much ado about nothing" is called in Spanish.

The expression is not about cojones, not literally anyway

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Childcatcher

Re: Spanish

All hat and no cattle?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spanish

> mucho ruido, pocas nueces

Yes, but that comes from the sound of cracking nuts. That expression does not have any sexual overtones and is not vulgar.

For the record, in French there is no expression equivalent to "the dog's bollocks" in terms of both meaning and emphasis. To say that something is remarkably good, in the general sense, one would use mildly emphatic and familiar but definitely non-vulgar expressions such as "C'est superbe" or "C'est génial". Going down the way of vulgarity, expressions such as "[Putain,] c'est bien foutu ça!" could be used in certain contexts to mean that something is very good--although it could also mean "That's pretty fucked" in the sense of being in a state of disrepair.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Spanish

> The idea is it's worse if someone's badly shagged than not shagged at all.

And ain't that the truth? :-(

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Les couilles du clebs

As emeritus professor of Freunch at a renowned Mickey Mouse university, I believe the correct translation into French is:

Zeu deug's bolleucks

Where 'deug' stands for 'member of the canis canis tribe of the canides species, and 'bolleucks' is a colloquialism which depicts the external gonads of a male animal

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Re: Les couilles du clebs

I second that, at least where I worked in Bordeaux. No idea whence or why but "dogze boloques" was definitely an expression we used occasionally. Simply "boloques" was more common, as in "c'est ze boloques", ou "mettre ses boloques sur la table", but we're moving into proper franglais territory with the latter.

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Re: Les couilles du clebs

Zeu deug's bolleucks

I listened very carefully, because you said it only once.

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Boffin

Ok, so we need something in French that means the following:

1. the best you can get

2. some reference to testicles, ideally of a dog

I could not find the ideal candidate, but "bijoux de famille" springs to mind, "family jewels".

"couilles de cleps" is the literal translation but means nothing more than dogs testicles ...

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rising to the challenge of a good translation

Hans 1, I can’t think of an existing idiom that combines those two pieces; we’ll probably need to coin our own. Perhaps something like dard de clébard (literally “mutt’s spear”, though to my knowledge, dard is not currently used to represent any part of a dog’s anatomy, and clébard is a bit more pejorative than “mutt” — maybe “cur” would be closer)?

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Coat

Testicul par canem

as we say in ancient Rome.....

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Headmaster

Re: Testicul par canem

Actually no.

Colei canis is what you're after.

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Re: Testicul par canem

Romanes eunt domum!

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Re: Testicul par canem

The quote you are looking for is "Romanes eunt domus".

Now write it out a hundred times. And if it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your (dog's) balls off.

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IT Angle

How about in Thai?

Thai doesn't have any possessives (or plurals, singulars, tenses, articles [definite or indefinite], or pretty much any grammar at all - making the language a tad tricky to learn!), and so the phrase would be ไข่หมา - literally meaning 'egg dog', but in this context would be "the eggs of [a/some/the] dog(s)".

Eggs are used to refer to the male gonads, presumably for their fragility?

Because of the tonal nature of the language, the pronunciation is a little tricky, but it would be "khai maa" with the first word said with a low tone, and the second with a rising tone.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: How about in Thai?

Beautiful.

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Happy

Re: How about in Thai?

ไข่หมา - literally meaning 'egg dog'

With noodles?

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Re: How about in Thai?

And chillis!

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Coat

Re: How about in Thai?

ไข่หมา - literally meaning 'egg dog'

With noodles?

Poodle's doodles with noodles?

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Anonymous Coward

And in Italian...

..it would be "le palle del cane" , or alternatively, "i coglioni del cane".

(nuts are "noci" pron. "noshy", balls as "palle" pron. rhymes with "gall-ee", balls as in gonads are "coglioni" pron. "kollyonee")

Unfortunately, in Dante's and Manzoni's blessed language you'd -never- say something to be cool as "i coglioni del cane", since said gonads are not held in great respect.

You do, however, say, especially in Southern Itay, that "sei indietro come i coglioni del cane", meaning "you're late as a dog's nuts" in regards to something that has happened before you knew of it.

Oh, and in Latin it would be "testiculi canis" , or "colei canis", I believe.

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Re: And in Italian...

So, "testiculi canis est"?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And in Italian...

interesting: should the "it" being referred by "it's the dog's bollocks" be treated as masculine singular or neutral, or even plural?

I believe the neutral gender is more widely applicable, so the complete phrase would be "hoc testiculi canis est" , with Hoc for "this". In case of a multitude of appreciative gonadery (?!) I'd prefer "haec testiculi canis sunt".

I' believe I'm correct, even if my Latin is a bit rusty, so it's not the -complete- testiculi canis.

Also, it appears that the -other- latin word for bollocks, "coleus", comes from Ancient Greek "Koleos" (sheath), and "Kùon" is Dog, but that's another kettle of pisces.

Oh, and to express the wondrousness of something, you'd say " E' una ficata !" (it's a pussy-ite!) (as in not the feline sense) , pron. "Pheekat-aa".

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Gaelic

Cù magairle...

According to the indefinite oracle Mr Fry, the expression comes from Meccano, which had two kits, large and small - the small was box standard (bog standard), the larger box deluxe which spoonerised to dogs bollocks.

This may be complete cojones however.

If I get a chance I'll ask some of the cunning linguists here for further translations.

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Re: Gaelic

Pretty sure they retracted that as it was bollocks.

Mecano came in sets called A, B, C etc...

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Re: Gaelic

Ah - I don't have a telly, so I see the program infrequently... it sounded bollocks at the time - but plausible bollocks like a lot of the bollocks on that program.

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English

In my local lingo it would be The dogs bollocks...

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Headmaster

Re: English

Actually it would be either "the dog's bollocks" (one dog) or "the dogs' bollocks" (two or more dogs)...

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Japanese

How about "inu no kintama" for the Japanese translation. 犬の金玉. Literally "dogs gold balls".

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Japanese

I just did a Google image search on that. It appears to be the correct phrase.

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Re: Japanese

isn't that, Dog's Gold Jade?..

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Re: Japanese

Shouldn't that be tanuki no kintama, as the tanuki is regarded in Japanese folklore as having exceptionally large balls, and said large balls being considered lucky.

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Re: Japanese

Slighty more pedantic pidgin japanese:

kore wa tanuki no kintama desu (drop the trailing u off the desu when speaking)

"This is (the) tanuki('s) testicles"

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Re: Japanese

How about "inu no kintama" for the Japanese translation. 犬の金玉. Literally "dogs gold balls".

I have a copy of "Japanese Street Slang" at home. As you might imagine, it has a whole section devoted to testicles :) Kintama is the #1 word they recommend, but (as with many of the words in the book) I've never heard it spoken. It does seem to have a good pedigree, though (no pun intended).

The other word that I was actually going to suggest is in there too: O-inari. The 'o' at the start is an honorific prefix. Look up the web to see pictures of "Inari sushi" (contracted to "inarizushi"). For example, this one. From the resemblance to scrota, it should be obvious that people could understand its slang use. The only thing about using it with kitsune (as opposed to inu) as some people have suggested is that there's also a kami (somewhere between a spirit and a god) named Inari, and the kitsune are his messengers. If you said something like 'kitsune no inari", people might thing you were referring to the kami and get confused. You'd just have to try it out on a native Japanese speaker.

On another related point, I'm sure loads of you have heard the story about how the dog's bollocks could have come from Meccano sets and the "Box Deluxe". I'm sure that's pure bollocks. I always thought that the idea came because there must (self-evidently) be something good about them (the dog's bollocks) because they like to lick them so much. I've always wondered if the phrase translated literally into other languages because it would be strong support for the "self-evident" etymology theory. When I heard 'la puta madre' in Spanish I thought it literally meant 'dog's bollocks' (madra being the Irish word for dog, but that's a false friend). Alas, although it does translate to it in English, it's not a literal translation.

Anyway, this is all vital research, and I'm glad that el Reg is championing it in its pages. Thumbs up!

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Re: Japanese

玉. is either 'tama' (kun-yomi) or 'gyoku' (on-yomi). If it's in a compound it's much more likely to use kun-yomi (Japanese style reading) and mean "ball" or a round thing. Like 'eyeball' is 'medama' (with tama undergoing a sound change, becoming dama). The on-yomi (Chinese style reading) by itself would mean "jewel" or "jade" (the material). There might be some compound words (eg, 玉石, ぎょくせき, gems and stones) that use the on-yomi, but I think that the tama/ball reading is much more usual (eg, 玉石 also has the reading たまいし, a pebble/boulder/round stone).

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