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stum

English translation: for Alex

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:stum
English translation:for Alex
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02:17 Jan 28, 2004
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
English term or phrase: stum
I think this is a German word. The expression it was used in was: "He definately can keep stum."

I think it has something to do with keep confidences.
Luigi
for Alex
Explanation:
Alex:
I don't have enough room in the peer response section so will reply to your comment here :)

I appreciate that in Yiddish the word may have other interpretations - as I say, I know nothing about Yiddish. In current UK usage 'keep stum' simply means 'to remain silent' - yes, English tends to bend words as far as they can go, but 'suspense' is not an interpretation of 'keeping stum' that is in current UK English usage, as far as I am aware.

As far as your comment: "Do you have anything to back it up with? Where are the proofs that "keep silent" is "stum" in "current English usage"?" is concerned, the proof of usage is clear in Kim Metzger's definition.

I consider the fact that I am a native UK English speaker adequate proof of its current usage - I have used 'keep stum' a number of times.

I would hesitate to question your knowledge of your own native language and culture: please allow me the same respect.
Selected response from:

Amy Williams
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:26
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +17silent - Yiddish
Kim Metzger
5dumb
Varon
1 +3for Alex
Amy Williams
3 -3Yiddish/Hebrew - uncertaintyxxxAlex Zelkind


  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +17
silent - Yiddish


Explanation:
This is a Yiddish word based on the German word "stumm" which means silent. He can keep his mouth shut. Maintain confidentiality.

shtoom
shtumm
stumm
adj
1. slang
Silent; quiet.
Idiom: keep shtoom
To remain silent.
Etymology: 1950s: Yiddish, from German stumm.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 mins (2004-01-28 02:27:23 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

yiddish
Yid.dish \\\'yid-ish\\ n [Yiddish yidish, short for yidish daytsh, lit.,
Jewish German] : a High German language spoken by Jews chiefly in eastern
Europe and area s to which Jews from eastern Europe have migrated and
commonly written in Hebrew characters - Yid.dish aj



    Reference: http://adams.allwords.com/word-stumm.html
Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 07:26
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 55

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Pike
0 min
  -> • Klutz - clumsy person (perhaps from Yiddish klots 'wooden beam')

neutral  xxxAlex Zelkind: Not exactly. In Yiddish it means "uncertainty". Source: Yiddish-speaking mother
8 mins
  -> Depends on how it's used. "He can definitely keep stum" wouldn't mean he is uncertain.

agree  xxxBourth: Very British slang. "The Americans seem to require their news media to keep stumm on items that don't fit in with what the Bush government wants them to think about. Whatever you do, don't mention the USA's concentration camp, please."
2 hrs
  -> Chutzpah - audacity - from Yiddish khutspe

agree  PCovs: Yes, "don't mention the war". Whatever the word 'stum' means in Yiddish, the meaning in English may now how changed slightly by usage to simply mean 'quiet'. Happens all the time with 'borrowed' words like this.
5 hrs
  -> "Play it to us straight, with no shtik."

agree  writeaway: but imho, is German, not Yiddish.don't think the end of Zerbinetta's aria Großmächtige Prinzessin (from Ariadne auf Naxos) is in Yiddish. :-) http://www.aria-database.com/translations/ariadne04_grossmac...
5 hrs
  -> Yiddish is a mixture of German dialects. Some of its most common words are used in everyday English. Saturday Night Live frequently runs a skit with Mike Myers in which he plays an older Jewish woman."I’m so ferklempt. Talk among yourselves," he said.

agree  Aisha Maniar: definitely in UK usage - also written/pronounced "schtum" "shtum"
5 hrs
  -> Shtum - quiet (from Yiddish shtum 'mute')

agree  jerrie: Keep his mouth shut - definitely.
6 hrs
  -> Kvetch - complain (from Yiddish kvetshn, 'press, squeeze')

agree  kalimeh
6 hrs
  -> Mensch - an upright man; a decent human being (from Yiddish mentsh 'person')

agree  senin
7 hrs
  -> Mishmosh - hodgepodge (from Yiddish mishmash)

agree  Olga Judina
7 hrs
  -> Oy vey - Oh no! (literally, 'Oh, pain!')

agree  Amy Williams
7 hrs
  -> Shlep - to drag (an object)

agree  Krisztina Lelik
8 hrs
  -> Shmeer - to spread, e.g. the cream cheese on your bagel

agree  Gordon Darroch
10 hrs
  -> Shnoz - nose (possibly from Yiddish shnoits 'snout')

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
10 hrs
  -> Kvell - beam/ be proud

agree  Charlie Bavington
13 hrs

agree  Lesley Clayton
14 hrs

agree  MatthewS
1 day23 hrs

agree  hookmv
2 days15 hrs
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
dumb


Explanation:
stum is a german word meaning a person who cannot speak, dumb, more likely used deaf and dumb in English; but in this context it means a person who does not reveal a secret

Varon
United States
Local time: 08:26
Native speaker of: Native in SlovakSlovak
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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -3
Yiddish/Hebrew - uncertainty


Explanation:
In German "stumm" means "silent"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-01-28 03:33:22 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Suspense


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-01-28 04:00:14 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

To Mr. Metzger

Yes, but that might mean \"he definitely knows how to keep others in uncertainty\" or \"he definitely can keep suspense\"

Silence and suspense often go hand in hand :)

xxxAlex Zelkind
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Amy Williams: Current UK usage - 'keep silent' - nothing to do with suspense. I don't know any Yiddish, but this is under English monolingual, and this is current English usage. (edit: see my response below)
7 hrs
  -> Do you have anything to back it up with? Where are the proofs that "keep silent" is "stum" in "current English usage"?

neutral  cmwilliams: Agree with Amy
13 hrs

disagree  John Bowden: No, in English usage - however it may be used in Yiddish -"keep stum(m)" means "keep quiet about something". See, among many other refs, http://www.louisville.edu/~tavan001/MerseytalkT.html -and Eastenders, Only Fools and Horses etc etc!
14 hrs

disagree  James Calder: Agree with John though. See Monty Python too - the first time I heard it used on TV, years ago now.
2 days6 hrs

disagree  Textklick: The New Statesman is very respected periodical in the U.K. Find the word on this page already: http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0FQP/n4345_v126/20044228...
7 days
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12 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): +3
for Alex


Explanation:
Alex:
I don't have enough room in the peer response section so will reply to your comment here :)

I appreciate that in Yiddish the word may have other interpretations - as I say, I know nothing about Yiddish. In current UK usage 'keep stum' simply means 'to remain silent' - yes, English tends to bend words as far as they can go, but 'suspense' is not an interpretation of 'keeping stum' that is in current UK English usage, as far as I am aware.

As far as your comment: "Do you have anything to back it up with? Where are the proofs that "keep silent" is "stum" in "current English usage"?" is concerned, the proof of usage is clear in Kim Metzger's definition.

I consider the fact that I am a native UK English speaker adequate proof of its current usage - I have used 'keep stum' a number of times.

I would hesitate to question your knowledge of your own native language and culture: please allow me the same respect.

Amy Williams
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:26
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lesley Clayton: shtum (also schtum): silent; non-communicative. Origin 1950s: Yiddish, from German stumm. New Oxford Dictionary of English.
1 hr
  -> thanks for the info Lesley

agree  John Bowden: You're right - funny how some people won't be told, isn't it?
2 hrs
  -> thanks John

agree  Textklick: We should care? We can afford the time already? ;-)
6 days
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