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What gives? What gives?

English translation: \'what the heck?\'

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:What gives? What gives?
English translation:\'what the heck?\'
Entered by: vitaminBcomplex
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16:34 Jan 16, 2008
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: What gives? What gives?
The man – Nelson – is killing time at the office where he has just started to work. It’s evening. The boss – Jack -, and old acquaintance of him, left earlier that day, telling him to close at 6.30. Past six Jack gives the office a call, Nelson thinks with resentment, “He’s checking up on me.” Jack wants to know if anyone has stopped in. Nelson says no. “Well, that is all I wanted,” says the other, sounding relieved. Nelson tells him about customer’s call, Jack says, “I’ll take care of that tomorrow. You might as well close up now. It’s ten after six.” He – jack – hesitates. “In fact, I wish you would. As soon as you can. Just be sure the catch is on the door.”
“Right.”
“Good night.”
“What gives? What gives?” murmurs Nelson aloud as he slips into his raincoat. He turns off the lights and steps out into to the corridor…

as far as I know “what gives” is something to close to “what’s up?” but that doesn’t seem to make sense in this context
vitaminBcomplex
Local time: 03:37
'what the heck?'
Explanation:
'What gives' is more of a complaint, an expression of displeasure, than an innocent 'what's up?'
Selected response from:

Mark Berelekhis
United States
Local time: 20:37
Grading comment
thanx
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +11What's the reason for this? What's happening?kmtext
4 +2'what the heck?'
Mark Berelekhis
5 +1What's going on?Refugio
3What is the matter?
jccantrell


  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +11
what gives? what gives?
What's the reason for this? What's happening?


Explanation:
He's wondering why the boss wanted him to close early. He (and I) thinks there's something unusual going on.

kmtext
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:37
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GaelicGaelic
PRO pts in category: 56

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxmistahara
2 mins
  -> Mòran taing.

agree  Mehmet Hascan: what's happening? http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/29/messages/876.htm...
4 mins
  -> Mòran taing.

agree  Ken Cox: exactly
5 mins
  -> Mòran taing.

agree  Jack Doughty
23 mins
  -> Mòran taing.

agree  liz askew: The latter.
41 mins
  -> Mòran taing.

agree  NancyLynn
50 mins
  -> Mòran taing.

agree  Patricia Townshend
1 hr
  -> Mòran taing.

agree  Carol Gullidge: What's happening or What's going on
1 hr
  -> Mòran taing.

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
3 hrs
  -> Mòran taing.

agree  Lily Waters
4 hrs
  -> Mòran taing.

agree  selma232
5 hrs
  -> Mòran taing.
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
what gives? what gives?
What is the matter?


Explanation:
You are correct in your assumption.

I believe that Nelson is wondering what is behind Jack's call about anyone else. He is wondering if there is more to the story than Jack is telling him. Perhaps Jack is trying to avoid someone (a bill collector?) and is using Nelson to screen his calls and visitors.

jccantrell
United States
Local time: 17:37
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 40
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
what gives? what gives?
'what the heck?'


Explanation:
'What gives' is more of a complaint, an expression of displeasure, than an innocent 'what's up?'

Mark Berelekhis
United States
Local time: 20:37
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 206
Grading comment
thanx

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Trudy Peters: I like that!
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Trudy :)

agree  JaneTranslates: Yes, I agree. The other answers are more-or-less correct, but I think you've picked up on an important nuance.
7 hrs
  -> Thank you, Jane :)
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
what gives? what gives?
What's going on?


Explanation:
+

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2008-01-16 19:11:52 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

A literal translation of "was gebt" or "was geht", very New Yorkian expression, where everybody is at least a little bit Jewish.

Refugio
Local time: 17:37
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 120

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Susan Hammons: This sounds the most natural to me.
28 mins
  -> Thanks, Susan
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Jan 16, 2008:
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