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un puits sans fond

English translation: bottomless pit

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12:15 Feb 16, 2009
French to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Finance (general)
French term or phrase: un puits sans fond
A bank's CEO is defending the company from accusations of being "un puits sans fond".

The question asked to him is: "Cela vous offusque lorsque l'on compare votre banque à un puits
sans fond?"

I know that this would usually be translated as a 'bottomless pit', but i'm not sure if that works here.

The context is that the bank in question has carried out a huge capital increase, is about to post big losses and could soon be partially owned by the government.

'Bottomless pit' surely implies, in financial terms, an endless supply of money, which isn't right here.

I can't quite put my finger on a snappy translation, but i guess the idea is of money being thrown at the bank but not really going anywhere.

Thanks in advance!
Andrew Fanko
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:29
English translation:bottomless pit
Explanation:
I see your concern, but I honestly don't see a problem. I think this phrase can just as well be used to mean a giant hole into which no end of money can disappear without effect.
Selected response from:

Rob Grayson
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:29
Grading comment
Ok - your arguments have convinced me! Thanks for your help, and thanks to Bourth for your references.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +12bottomless pit
Rob Grayson
4 +2a bottomless pitEllen Kraus
3money pit
Simon Cole
3a bottomless money pit
Rachael Renie
3a never-ending drain
Helen Shiner
3"a money catcher"xxxbowse123
Summary of reference entries provided
pockets in the pitsxxxBourth
the original bottomless pit
Rachael Renie

Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +12
bottomless pit


Explanation:
I see your concern, but I honestly don't see a problem. I think this phrase can just as well be used to mean a giant hole into which no end of money can disappear without effect.

Rob Grayson
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:29
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 718
Grading comment
Ok - your arguments have convinced me! Thanks for your help, and thanks to Bourth for your references.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Eutychus
2 mins
  -> Thanks, Eutychus

agree  Valerie SYKES
4 mins
  -> Thanks, Valerie

agree  Theodora OB
4 mins
  -> Thanks, Theodora

agree  Christophe G.
20 mins
  -> Thanks, Chris

agree  Lidia Saragaço
29 mins
  -> Thanks, Lidia

agree  narasimha
29 mins
  -> Thanks, narasimha

agree  helena barham
31 mins
  -> Thanks, Helena

agree  Simon Mac
31 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  BrigitteHilgner: My spontaneous idea, too - quite obvious in the context, isn't it?
44 mins
  -> Thanks, Brigitte

agree  Michele Fauble
7 hrs
  -> Thanks, Michele

agree  Catherine Gilsenan
8 hrs
  -> Thanks, Catherine

agree  rkillings: Of course, yes.
17 hrs
  -> Thanks, Bob
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2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
a bottomless pit


Explanation:
is my suggestion

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 Min. (2009-02-16 12:25:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I dont think that the sayings < to spend money like water or like it was going out of fashion > correspond better to what the author had in mind.

Ellen Kraus
Austria
Local time: 11:29
Does not meet criteria
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Helen Shiner: Since you posted first, I don't see why you should go without at least one agree.
1 hr
  -> thank you for the sympathy !

agree  Michele Fauble
7 hrs
  -> thank you !
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15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
a never-ending drain


Explanation:
on resources - or something similar, if you want to avoid the bottomless pit.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 17 mins (2009-02-16 12:33:42 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

on the public purse

Helen Shiner
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:29
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
"a money catcher"


Explanation:
?

xxxbowse123
Local time: 05:29
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in EnglishEnglish
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
a bottomless money pit


Explanation:
In answer to your question if you really want to convey the idea of "money being thrown at the bank but not really going anywhere".

Why not use 'a bottomless money pit' - this to me seems to translate both ideas - like the expression "throwing good money after bad"

Twas just an alternative to 'bottomless pit' on its own ;)

Rachael Renie
Local time: 11:29
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
money pit


Explanation:
In a film made in 1986, a young couple buy a dilapidated house and then spend a fortune renovating it. Everything that can go wrong does, and they end up spending a fortune. The film is called the "Money Pit" because renovating the house just seems like throwing money into a big hole in the ground.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091541/


    Reference: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091541/
Simon Cole
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:29
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 7
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Reference comments


10 mins
Reference: pockets in the pits

Reference information:
We've all seen that the first $700 BILLION was basically THROWN DOWN A BOTTOMLESS PIT, so why would we think this one is going to be any ...
blogs.nashvillescene.com/pitw/2009/01/our_contrarian_congressman_doe.php

It costs MILLIONS that just gets THROWN DOWN A BOTTOMLESS PIT, and the relief it would provide for our overly crowded prison and jail systems would be ...
citizensbriefingbook.change.gov/ideas/viewIdea.apexp?id=087800000004q2B

More of BRITISH TAXPAYERS' HARD-EARNED CASH being THROWN DOWN A BOTTOMLESS PIT. The IOC will NEVER choose London! Jason Waldron, Manchester, UK ...
news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/cycling/3031505.stm

Sellers’ MONEY THROWN DOWN A BOTTOMLESS PIT in the name of advertising without measurable results ...
https://wic010v.server-secure.com/VS217840_secure/order-eboo...

Then yet these same people act surprised when their TAX DOLLARS (and then some) end up getting THROWN DOWN A BOTTOMLESS PIT when the ...
answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070719061920AAJNk4A

You losers are the only ones that are whining for TAX MONEY to be THROWN DOWN A BOTTOMLESS PIT. Even though you lying scum had centuries of head start. ...
www.reddit.com/r/environment/comments/7dh3p/alt_energy_is_e...

Time to muddy the water, again... it's MONEY THROWN DOWN A BOTTOMLESS PIT. We probably haven't heard the last on MJ-12. Comment | Permalink ...
www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A1UUF4IF8LELPZ?ie=UTF8...

If MONEY is THROWN DOWN A BOTTOMLESS PIT, it must account for that. However, in the private sector that does not always occur. ...
www.parliament.wa.gov.au/hansard/hans35.nsf/.../4e2ed285aab...

that will be wasted during the course of continual PAY-OUTS THROWN DOWN A BOTTOMLESS PIT entitled, "damage control" (Jumping, digging, barking, biting, ...
www.mountaindogboarding.com/id12.html

"Otherwise massive amounts of money could be THROWN DOWN A BOTTOMLESS PIT!" This week, it was the turn of the media to take some of the flak for the current ...
www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/oct/03/bradfordbingley.use...

The money to be thrown down bottomless pits has to come out of bottomless POCKETS.

xxxBourth
France
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 307
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1 hr
Reference: the original bottomless pit

Reference information:
the original reference to both "un puits sans fond" and "a bottomless pit" is biblical from the Apocolypse / Revelations Chapter 9) and referred to Hell. Although I'm not sure how aware the journalist may have been of the origins of the expression, the apocolyptic reference is interesting in the context (a key to botomless pit is given to an angel, who opens it and sees smoke and locusts come forth) and a bottomless pit is the standard English biblical translation - while "un puits de l'abîme sans fond" is the French.

Example sentence(s):
  • Revlations 9 : "And there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit"
  • Apocalypse 9 : "La clef du puits de l'abîme sans fond lui fut donnée"
Rachael Renie
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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Voters for reclassification
as
PRO / non-PRO
Non-PRO (2): SJLD, Helen Shiner


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