KudoZ home » German to English » Idioms / Maxims / Sayings

"aus dem Mustopf kommen"

English translation: to be caught on the hop

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
11:49 Aug 9, 2004
German to English translations [PRO]
Idioms / Maxims / Sayings / colloquialism
German term or phrase: "aus dem Mustopf kommen"
a very colloquial form of saying that you have benn caught unawares, i.e. that you haven't got a clue what is happening
Monalina
English translation:to be caught on the hop
Explanation:
would perhaps do you
Selected response from:

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 01:40
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +2to be caught off-guard/be clueless
Heidi Stone-Schaller
3 +2to be caught on the hopxxxCMJ_Trans
4to have one's head in the clouds
Cilian O'Tuama
4to be living behind the moon
Caro Maucher
4to be slow on the uptake
Steffen Walter
3to be caught with your trousers down
Terence Ajbro
3to be caught with the fingers in the pie
swisstell
1to have been had
Jonathan MacKerron


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
to be caught with the fingers in the pie


Explanation:
caught with your fingers in the pie

swisstell
Italy
Local time: 01:40
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 6

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Victor Dewsbery: Too much guilt for this phrase.
4 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
to be slow on the uptake


Explanation:
to be (blissfully) unaware of things (going on)

Native speakers will surely come up with some more alternatives.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 11 mins (2004-08-09 12:00:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

to be completely clueless (to state the obvious - misses the proverbial aspect, though)

Steffen Walter
Germany
Local time: 01:40
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 65

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Victor Dewsbery: This gets closer to the meaning. Perhaps "blissful ignorance" could be worked into the sentence, too.
2 mins
  -> to be blissfully ignorant (if it's just that phrase)

disagree  David Moore: The first offering implies stupidity. I still prefer "caught on the hop", as the context I see is someone walking into an office where a discussion is going on, and not knowing what is happening, is asked a question....
1 hr
  -> But only my first suggestion, no?
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
to be caught off-guard/be clueless


Explanation:
As far as I can tell (my Duden tells me it's a colloquialism limited to the Berlin region: "völlig ahnungslos in Bezug auf etwas sein und dies durch eine entsprechende Äußerung zu erkennen geben"), it's not really equivalent to being caught with your trousers down because that would only fit if you were caught doing something you shouldn't be doing.
Or if the emphasis is on "dies durch eine Äußerung zu erkennen geben" I would say "he/she gave away his/her ignorance by asking xyz"

Heidi Stone-Schaller
Local time: 01:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Victor Dewsbery: I like "clueless" as a suggestion. But "off guard" suggests falling for trickery, which is not meant here.
49 mins
  -> Depends--if your boss catches you off guard in a meeting with a topic you're not prepared for there's no trickery involved.

agree  Mario Marcolin: clueless..:)
2 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
to be caught with your trousers down


Explanation:
this certainly means to be caught unawares.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 15 mins (2004-08-09 12:04:33 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Apparently the expression is a regional colloquialism from Berlin. But Victor Dewsbery is right in saying that my suggestion implies guilt and red faces. If this is not the intention then something along the lines of \"I haven\'t the foggiest\" or \"to be completely in the dark about something\".

Terence Ajbro
Sweden
Local time: 01:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Victor Dewsbery: This implies guilt and red faces, but "Mustopf" simply implies ignorance
1 min
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

52 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
to be caught on the hop


Explanation:
would perhaps do you

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 01:40
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 64
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Victor Dewsbery: Another good suggestion
11 mins

agree  David Moore: Like this one best
39 mins
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
aus dem Mustopf kommen
to be living behind the moon


Explanation:
Can't you say that in English as well?

Caro Maucher
Germany
Local time: 01:40
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 11

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  David Moore: No, not here, not given the explanation furnished; this is faintly insulting.
17 mins
  -> But so is the Mustopf, which was used in my family as well (dad's from Berlin)
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

43 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5
to have been had


Explanation:
about as colloquial as it gets

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 54 mins (2004-08-09 13:43:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

\"to be caught unawares\"

Jonathan MacKerron
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 63

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Victor Dewsbery: This, too, suggests falling for trickery, which is not what is meant by this phrase / Your second suggestion: being "caught" misses the point. I think "clueless" is the best suggestion yet (Heidrun and Steffen)
21 mins
  -> point taken, I've come up with an alternative
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
aus dem Mustopf kommen
to have one's head in the clouds


Explanation:
have one's head in the clouds (übertragen) = geistesabwesend sein

if that's what you're looking for

Cilian O'Tuama
Local time: 01:40
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 94
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search