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LEARNING GERMAN

German phrase of the day: Die Nase voll haben

Today’s word of the day is perfectly applicable to the changing weather outside.

German phrase of the day: Die Nase voll haben
Photo: depositphotos

During the third rainfall of the day, you might hear someone mumble “Ich hab' die Nase voll von diesem Wetter.“ That translates to “I am fed up with this weather.“ Hence, die Nase voll haben is a way of telling the world that you are done with something or that you’ve had enough.

It literally translates to “to have the nose full.“ The origins of that proverb aren’t quite clear, but there are assumptions. One of those is that the notion is connected to health – if you have a “full” (in this case, “blocked”) nose, it can be annoying. So if you say that your nose is full of something, it means that this something is really annoying you.

The use of die Nase voll haben is usually quite colloquial, although it can happen that authorities use is as well. For example, a teacher could tell your child: “Ich habe die Nase voll von deinem Rumgequatsche!” (“I have had it with your chatter!”) or your boss could tell you: “Ich habe die Nase voll davon, das Sie immer zu spät kommen!” (“I am fed up with you always being late.”)

These uses are unprofessional, though, and shouldn’t actually be used. But if someone tells you that they have die Nase voll of something you do, it’s probably best to have a calm conversation about what annoys them and how that could be changed.

Die Nase voll haben has a synonym as well: If you are immensely fed up with something, more than being just a bit annoyed, you can say “Ich habe die Schnauze voll!” Schnauze is a more vulgar word for Nase.

A good use of “die Nase voll haben.”: A Berlin union of public service workers tweets during a recent warning strike of 16,000 employees that they are fed up, and want “to be rewarded for their daily service to the city.”

Additional examples:

Ich habe die Schanuze voll von dir!

I am fed up with you!

Ich habe die Nase voll von diesen ständigen Staus!

I have had it with those constant traffic jams!

 

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GERMAN WORD OF THE DAY

German word of the day: Umstritten

Not everyone agrees on everything - and there are some things almost nobody can agree on. If you find yourself dealing with the latter, you may need to make use of this German word.

German word of the day: Umstritten

Why do I need to know umstritten?

Because umstritten is a handy word that can be applied to multiple situations, but is especially useful when chatting about current affairs or the big social issues of our day. 

You’ll likely come across it while reading articles in German newspapers, or hear your German friends use it while setting the world to rights in the pub. 

What does it mean?

Umstritten is best translated as “controversial” or “disputed” in English. As usual in German, you can easily work out – and remember – what it means by breaking it down into smaller components. 

The first is the prefix um, which tends to mean “around”. Think of German words like umkehren, which means to turn around or reverse, or umarmen, which means to put your arms around someone (or hug them in other words!). 

The second component is the verb streiten, which means to argue. So something that’s umstritten is something that there are lots of arguments around, like a controversial new law, a social debate or a public figure. 

Use it like this: 

Die Pläne der Regierung waren hoch umstritten.

The government’s plans were highly controversial. 

Sein Erbe als Fußballtrainer ist immer noch umstritten.

His legacy as football manager is still disputed today. 

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