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Off topic: "Devouring your children". Do you do that in your country/region?
Thread poster: Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:39
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 14, 2011

Dear colleagues and nevertheless friends,

When I was a kid, my father used to hold me in his arms and act as he was a ferocious creature who was eating me. He went "¡Que te como!" (I'm going to eat you!) and tickled me with his chin. I do that very often with my kids, honouring the family tradition. They love it!

The other day in a TV show I saw an English-speaking father (I think he was an American) do exactly the same, and the idea just came up to try to figure out whether this is something that could have been in mankind for a long time and whether it is done in other countries.

I cannot help wondering whether this could be the remains of prehistoric life (it is widely accepted that early Homo species did not have a big problem eating other tribe's kids, as doing so they improved their opportunities in the competition for prey and other natural resources).

Now, may I ask you the following:

1. Do you "eat" your own children in your country? Is it frequent in your area and/or among your friends?

2. Are you allowed to/is it frequent to "eat" other people's children in your own family (your nephews/nieces, grandchildren...)?

3. Are you allowed to/is it frequent to "eat" your friends's children?

4. If you "eat" your children, how and when did you learn that children love it? Did your parents do it to you, did you see other people doing it, or was it just something you started doing spontaneously?

Thank you so much in advance!
Tomás

[Edited at 2011-07-14 08:54 GMT]


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:39
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
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I "eat" them a lot Jul 14, 2011

Interesting topic, Tomas.

I think it all depends on whether you love children or not. Personally, I "eat" them a lot, whether they're mine or my friends'/cousins'/families', etc.

And I strongly believe that these behaviors are necessary, since I'm sure they would grow up to be one of them, just like you. From my personal experience, my parents loved children, and especailly my mother would "eat" her nephews and nieces, and all my aunts and uncles love children too. It seems that love towards children are in their blood.

On the otherhand, if you abuse them, say, a typical scenario where DV due to alcohol is committed on a daily basis, those children grow up to be one of those DV husbands and wives where they smack their partners or even children, since they believe that committing violence is a normal thing in their daily lives.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:39
Member (2006)
French to English
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¡ Qué Goyesco! Jul 14, 2011

Reminds me of Goya's etching of a gigantic Saturn eating his children.
Yes, I think this "eating" thing is a sign of love. In England you hear people saying to children "Oh, you're so gorgeous I could eat you".
I can't remember whether I did it myself - it's so long ago! But I certainly remember that my son loved me to tell him frightening fairy tales when he was in the bath - the kind with lots of repetitions.
Best wishes,
Jenny


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Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:39
Member (2009)
German to Greek
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Yes, because... Jul 14, 2011

... she's so yummy yummy!




To answer your questions:
1. yes
2. yes
3. yes
(in this order of frequency)
4. My parents/relatives/friends did it and I just can't resist!

Your explanation going back to prehistoric life is not convincing for me.
I tend to believe that it has something to do with playing with the relief and happiness a child gets, if in a situation where fear is involved, it can feel safe because the parents are there to protect it.
For the same reason we also play "I am the big bear!" etc or "Where is mummy? Mummy's gone! Kuckkuck!".


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Rachel Fell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:39
French to English
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Prehistoric times Jul 14, 2011

Jenny Forbes wrote:

Reminds me of Goya's etching of a gigantic Saturn eating his children.


My thought too, of the painting!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_Devouring_His_Son
I think people do pretend to eat them in the UK too - not sure whether they do it of other people's.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:39
English to German
+ ...
Eating delicious babies? :-) Jul 14, 2011

Most definitely - German parents do that, too. There is even an expression: "Ich hab dich zum Fressen gern!" ("I love you so much, I could eat/devour you"). It is a gesture of ultimate trust, and usually the babies burst out in happy squeals of laughter. However, I don't think that anyone would do the same with other children besides their own. It's too intimate.

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Mailand  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:39
Italian to German
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Italians and Germans do! Jul 14, 2011

Yes, Germans "haben ihre Kinder zum Fressen lieb" (love their kids to the point of devouring them) as well as the Italians, who can chase their own or the children of relations or friends, around the house yelling: "Adesso ti mangio" (I´ll eat you). While the first is more an expression of love and affection and the second a game, it can be just the other way around: Germans chasing their kids yelling: Jetzt fress ich Dich! or Italians cuddling and murmuring: Sei buono da mangiare (good enough to eat).
It really seems to be something very atavistic - maybe like some anthropophagic tribes eating their enemies to gain their strengths!


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:39
English to German
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Prehistoric - not really. Animal - yes. :-) Jul 14, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I cannot help wondering whether this could be the remains of prehistoric life (it is widely accepted that early Homo species did not have a big problem eating other tribe's kids, as doing so they improved their opportunities in the competition for prey and other natural resources).



I don't think that this is even remotely related to cannibalism.

It's nothing but grooming. That's how animals cuddle each other.


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:39
English to Dutch
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Dutch too Jul 14, 2011

In the Netherlands too, we eat children. A game little children love: you draw an ugly face and tell them "I'm going to eat you" - they storm away shrieking, and then come back for more.

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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:39
English to Croatian
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Connotation? Jul 14, 2011

I see connotations differing here. Is it about "you are so sweet I could eat you" or is it "I'm going to eat you" kind of horror game?

I'm sure children would love both, they just love the attention. In the latter case, they probably also love the suspense and fear which provides some adrenaline and fun they need so badly.



[Edited at 2011-07-14 09:37 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:39
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
Clarification Jul 14, 2011

Thank you everyone for all the really amazing replies so far! Quite interesting to see the different approaches to this.

Just for clarification, I was thinking more about holding the kids in your arms and act as if you were eating them, not just chasing them. For instance, I chase other children in my kids' school, but would never hold them and "eat" them.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 21:39
English to Croatian
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Linguistic interpretation Jul 14, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Thank you everyone for all the really amazing replies so far! Quite interesting to see the different approaches to this.

Just for clarification, I was thinking more about holding the kids in your arms and act as if you were eating them, not just chasing them. For instance, I chase other children in my kids' school, but would never hold them and "eat" them.




This is called "metaphorical extension", when expressions from one realm ( food) are extended into our mental and emotional realms ( they are so delicious on emotional level). The first realm is usually more common and public, because our emotional realms are private, so we use reference from more common and visible realms.

[Edited at 2011-07-14 09:40 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:39
English to German
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Indeed. Jul 14, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
Just for clarification, I was thinking more about holding the kids in your arms and act as if you were eating them, not just chasing them. For instance, I chase other children in my kids' school, but would never hold them and "eat" them.



I strongly agree with Lingua 5B. There is a huge difference between cuddling a baby in a fun, but intimate manner or playing the "I am the big bad wolf, I'm gonna get you and eat you!" game.


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Ivars Barzdevics  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:39
English to Spanish
Translate this one into English Jul 14, 2011

Hi Tomás,

Last I did some interpreting for a conference on Hidrotherapy in Sanlúcar de Barremeda (Cádiz). The speakers were from Denmark and from Finland. After the conference we had a flamenco party and they asked me to translate the lyrics of this one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3lIx2AfjxA

We had a great laugh!

I'm gonna eat you, I'm gonna eat you, I'm gonna eat you again!

Ivars


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:39
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
WOW! Jul 14, 2011

Indeed a lovely "sevillana"! Thanks for sharing!

¡Ay, que te como! (Careful, I'm gonna eat you!)
¡Ay, que te miro! (Careful, I'm gonna stare at you!)
¡Ay, que te quiero! (Careful, I'm gonna love you!)
...
Fantastic.

[Edited at 2011-07-14 14:26 GMT]


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