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der Bär steppt

English translation: They had everybody tapping their toes

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11:59 Aug 20, 2002
German to English translations [PRO]
Slang
German term or phrase: der Bär steppt
I know exactly what it means, I just can't think of any English expressions...

The context is "Die Band war so gut, dass sie den Bär zum steppen brachte"

Please help!!
Andrea Buttgen
Canada
Local time: 07:37
English translation:They had everybody tapping their toes
Explanation:
Or they had everyone dancing

Or they had even those with two left feet dancing

I don't know the phrase, I'm just going from your context!

HTH

Mary

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Note added at 2002-08-20 12:44:27 (GMT)
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or ... they had even the most reluctant (of) dancers on their feet.
Selected response from:

Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:37
Grading comment
Thank you Mary - the "two left feet" suggestion was exactly what I was looking for! Thanks for all the other suggestions too!
Andrea
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5set toes a-tappingRowan Morrell
3 +4They had everybody tapping their toes
Mary Worby
4 +1rockin' the cradleIngrid Grzeszik
4 +1that it even got the bear dancing...
Alison Schwitzgebel
4the band made everybody dance like mad cats on a hot tin roofNancy Arrowsmith


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
They had everybody tapping their toes


Explanation:
Or they had everyone dancing

Or they had even those with two left feet dancing

I don't know the phrase, I'm just going from your context!

HTH

Mary

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-08-20 12:44:27 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

or ... they had even the most reluctant (of) dancers on their feet.

Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:37
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you Mary - the "two left feet" suggestion was exactly what I was looking for! Thanks for all the other suggestions too!
Andrea

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Steffen Walter: those with two left feet is nice, Mary :-)
0 min

agree  David Kiltz: 2 left feet! that's great. Forget the bear! I can easily say "da ist der Bär los" or "tanzt/steppt d. B." just meaning "there's a hell of a party going on there"
22 mins

agree  Lars Finsen: You need something stronger than just setting toes a-tapping here.
46 mins

agree  Gillian Scheibelein: tapping toes is much too mild, 2 left feet is lovely
55 mins
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
set toes a-tapping


Explanation:
That's the general idea, I think. Quite a few hits for this phrase as well, e.g.:

"But what really sets your toes a-tapping are the more than 30 musical numbers by notables Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, and Benny Goodman."



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Note added at 2002-08-20 12:07:01 (GMT)
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So, \"The band was so good, they set toes a-tapping\".

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Note added at 2002-08-20 12:19:58 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Unless there is an actual bear in the wider context, I don\'t think a literal translation works here. At least, it doesn\'t for me. It makes me think of the poor performing bears in Russia and other places, who were treated very cruelly. A phrase like \"sets toes a-tapping\" captures the idea that is being conveyed in the German, without the unfortunate image of performing animals. I also think it sounds more natural in English.

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Note added at 2002-08-21 00:59:22 (GMT)
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While I still like my \"set toes a-tapping\" translation, another idea, more in line with Mary\'s \"two left feet\" proposal, is this:

\"The band was so good, it got even the rhythmically challenged dancing like there was no tomorrow.\"

Give that a whirl, or twirl, or pirouette, or whatever. :-)


    Reference: http://www.clickondetroit.com/det/entertainment/stories/ente...
Rowan Morrell
New Zealand
Local time: 23:37
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  gangels: got the bear to do a tap-dance
6 mins
  -> I feel "set toes a-tapping" is a better equivalent idiom in English.

agree  David Kiltz: I agree Rowan, for me as a native speaker there's no connotation of "dancing bears" tho'.It rather means "even a dull, clumsy person would get into it".
24 mins
  -> Well, maybe Mary's "two left feet" option isn't too bad. But we agree on leaving the bears out of it.

agree  Jos Essers
31 mins
  -> Thanks Jos.

agree  Mary Worby: Think this is a valid alternative as well, but I'd ditch the 'a' - sounds a bit twee to me! (-:
39 mins
  -> It's a matter of opinion. I actually prefer it with the "a" - it sort of rolls off the tongue better.

agree  Steffen Walter: remember Dylan's "The times they are a-changing"?
2 hrs
  -> Indeed! And thanks.
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7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
that it even got the bear dancing...


Explanation:
instead of putting the bear on a hotplate to make it dance, like they used to do in the circus.

HTH

ALison

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Note added at 2002-08-20 12:12:20 (GMT)
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Just found this.... tee hee....

\"So what\'s all this about Dancing Bears? Apart from a recent Dave Barry column I haven\'t seen much of anything in the news about dancing bears. But there are some people out there who have bears who may want to make them dance. Who those people are I have no idea. I don\'t know about anyone anywhere in the Continental United States owning pet bears. But in case anyone does that happens to read this, here is how to make your bears dance.

First off, you must give the bears the proper dress to wear when they dance. For the male bear that dress is a nice tuxedo. For the female bear I\'d recommend a nice pink tutu. (Note: If you do not know whether or not your bear is male or female, do not attempt to find out for yourself by sticking them in the room with your neighbor\'s bear (who they know is male or female) and putting on an Al Green CD. Instead consult your veterinarian.) ....\"

http://www.epinions.com/content_2431885444


Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 13:37
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Rowan Morrell: I think that's too literal here. Forget the bear.
1 min

agree  Steffen Walter: yep, why not keeping the bear image?
2 mins

neutral  Mary Worby: Think you deserve the points for the wonderful images of bears in tuxes and pink tutus :-)
41 mins

neutral  sylvie malich: what bear? Unless a bear has already been written about in the article the mention of a bear would make the reader just scratch his/her head for want of an explanation...
55 mins
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
the band made everybody dance like mad cats on a hot tin roof


Explanation:
you can be a little freer in the translation here - they got the joint hopping, made everybody's toes twinkle, and so on

Nancy Arrowsmith
Local time: 05:37
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
rockin' the cradle


Explanation:
could be what you are looking for. A German friend who had been living in England for many years told me this one.

Ingrid Grzeszik
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Joy Christensen: yup!
3 hrs
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Changes made by editors
Jul 26, 2015 - Changes made by Steffen Walter:
Field (write-in)slang » (none)


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