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funky

English translation: smelly AND cool/unusual

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:funky
English translation:smelly AND cool/unusual
Entered by: Laura Tosi
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10:32 Feb 16, 2018
English to English translations [PRO]
Cooking / Culinary
English term or phrase: funky
All things fermented and somewhat *funky* require some initiative. There are wild yeasts involved that co-exist with plenty of other micro-organisms, including a substantial amount of acetic acid bacteria. These are essential for developing refreshingly *funky* tonics, but there can be other, less welcome, bacteria that can develop in your batch, too.

Hello everyone! Could you please help me understand the meaning of "funky" in this context?
I see that the adjective could mean
a. Having a moldy or musty smell
which makes some sense since we're talking about something fermented. However, I perceive in the term a negative nuance that in my opinion does not work well with the expression "refreshingly funky tonics" and in general with the positive descriptions and tone you will find in cooking books when talking about something you're going to drink or eat.
I was wondering if the meaning could be instead c. Unconventional or eccentric; offbeat or odd.

Anyway, could you please share your thoughts as English mothertongues so that I can understand better this term in context?
Thank you very much in advance for your help!

Best, Laura
Laura Tosi
Italy
Local time: 23:37
smelly AND cool/unusual
Explanation:
I think the word does indeed refer to the smell, but it is being used somewhat imprecisely by the original author. In the first use of the word, it says that "funky" foods may "require some initiative" - i.e. they need some getting used to / you might have to convince yourself to try them. This seems to refer more to the smell (usually very sour).

When saying "refreshingly funky tonics," this could be a play on words that refers to both the smell and the "cool/unusual" aspect. However, I think "funky" is a bit of a poor word choice here. From personal experience, I can tell you that fermented foods are very sour / astringent / pungent, not really "funky" like a stinky cheese. Maybe some of those words might be good synonyms to consider when searching for a translation of funky.

Selected response from:

Kristal Fellinger
Germany
Local time: 23:37
Grading comment
Thank you very much Kristal, and a big thank you also to everyone else who answered, provided useful insight or commented. This was indeed an interesting discussion and the comments of all of you were much appreciated!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +5smelly AND cool/unusual
Kristal Fellinger
4 +1unusual, original
Yvonne Gallagher
4bizzarri/ estrosi/ insoliti/ originali
Maria Teresa Sammarco
3 +1earthy
Rachel Braff


Discussion entries: 13





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
bizzarri/ estrosi/ insoliti/ originali


Explanation:
confermo

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Note added at 4 min (2018-02-16 10:36:53 GMT)
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pietanze piu' originali che hanno bisogno di estro/ iniziativa

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Note added at 18 min (2018-02-16 10:50:30 GMT)
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/www.google.ro/search?rlz=1C1GCEA_enRO768RO768&q=funky food ...

The definition of funky is something that smells bad or it is something artistic, modern, unconventional or cool. Old smelly socks are an example of something that would be described as funky. The cool, hip apartment of a young artist is an example of something that would be described as funky.

Maria Teresa Sammarco
Romania
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Yvonne Gallagher: En>EN
38 mins
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46 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
unusual, original


Explanation:
it can mean smelly as well but here I think it has the meaning of being a bit unusual and not run-of-the-mill. Something different from the norm. And being a handmade fermentation means that no two batches will ever be exactly the same

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Note added at 50 mins (2018-02-16 11:22:28 GMT)
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https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/funky

Yvonne Gallagher
Ireland
Local time: 22:37
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tina Vonhof
4 hrs
  -> Thank you!
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
earthy


Explanation:
I've seen "funky" used in a culinary context especially in reference to beer, and I take it to mean a unique, herbal, earthy taste that comes from fermentation (usually with wild yeasts). I found a couple of articles that may help you get a sense of what they mean by "funky".

If you say something "tastes funky", most likely you're saying it's started to spoil; but since they say "refreshingly funky", they're obviously going in a different direction here and using it as a positive.

Funky tastes would be the kind of flavor that people either love or hate, the taste equivalent of the smell of a basement. Sorry I can't suggest anything in Italian, but if you're looking for an Italian word I would go in the direction of reading about craft beers, especially beers made with wild yeast, and you might find something there.

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Note added at 1 hr (2018-02-16 11:38:25 GMT)
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Another idea: "tangy", depending on the context: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/sours-are-quic...

Example sentence(s):
  • Many of these beers are tart, pungent, profoundly bracing and deliciously refreshing, provided the brewing has been focused and precise. They can also be funky, which can be a welcome accent or completely over the top.

    Reference: http://www.decodingdelicious.com/beer-science-sour-funky-bee...
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/24/dining/review-sour-beers.html
Rachel Braff
United States
Local time: 16:37
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tony M
3 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +5
smelly AND cool/unusual


Explanation:
I think the word does indeed refer to the smell, but it is being used somewhat imprecisely by the original author. In the first use of the word, it says that "funky" foods may "require some initiative" - i.e. they need some getting used to / you might have to convince yourself to try them. This seems to refer more to the smell (usually very sour).

When saying "refreshingly funky tonics," this could be a play on words that refers to both the smell and the "cool/unusual" aspect. However, I think "funky" is a bit of a poor word choice here. From personal experience, I can tell you that fermented foods are very sour / astringent / pungent, not really "funky" like a stinky cheese. Maybe some of those words might be good synonyms to consider when searching for a translation of funky.



Kristal Fellinger
Germany
Local time: 23:37
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you very much Kristal, and a big thank you also to everyone else who answered, provided useful insight or commented. This was indeed an interesting discussion and the comments of all of you were much appreciated!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  philgoddard
2 hrs

agree  Tony M: Yes, i've seen 'funky' used a lot in this way, to mean a smell that isn't necessarily per se very pleasant, but that certain people might like all the same; in this sense, it doesn't have to be negative; in AE it's increasingly positive!
3 hrs

agree  Sofia Gutkin: I think it's more unusual in this sense, rather than cool.
13 hrs

agree  Sanghyo Lee
13 hrs

agree  Charles Davis: In "somewhat funky" it means smelly and in "refreshingly funky" I think "pungent" is probably the idea,
21 hrs
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