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Tom, Dick, Harry

Hungarian translation: pityipalkó

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16:30 Oct 31, 2005
English to Hungarian translations [PRO]
Linguistics
English term or phrase: Tom, Dick, Harry
Please, give me the equivalent in your language of the "every Tom, Dick and Harry" thing. I need to know how you call "mister anybody", a person whose name you don't and won't remember, an insignificant, average person (or more of them)! And what I need are personal names that replaces that "anybody": like Fulano y Mengana (Spanish), Caio, Tizio e Sempronio (Italian), etc.
Thanks!
Neva M.
Local time: 08:34
Hungarian translation:pityipalkó
Explanation:
This is a combination of two words, 'pityergő'= crying, and 'Palkó'= little Paul. A name for any useless so-and-so, whose name you may not know, or you may know, but can't be bothered with. So it is quite close to what you are after.
Selected response from:

juvera
Local time: 06:34
Grading comment
I will use "pityipalkó", so I grade this one. But thank you everybody!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +6ˇ
Gabor Kun
4 +3pityipalkó
juvera
4 +1János, vagy Mihály [vagy=or]
xxxdenny
4Kifenevóth Gábor *** NOT FOR GRADING
Attila Hajdu
3 +1Átlag János
Balazs Horvath
3Kovács 132. János
Csaba Ban


  

Answers


52 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
tom, dick, harry
Kovács 132. János


Explanation:
I cannot think of any first names for such phrase.
We do have something similar, but it would be closer to "John Doe":
This is "Kovács 132. János".
"Kovács János" is probably the most common surname - first name combination (equivalent of "John Smith"). For an emphasis of insignificance, we sometimes add a serial number in the middle.* For some reason, the number that pops into my mind is "132", others may use this phrase differently.

*This formula was originally used in football teams. When two players in a team share the same name, they are mostly referred to as e.g. "Kovács 1. János" and "Kovács 2. János".

Apologies from anyone who happens to be called "Kovács János".

(In the brilliant Hungarian translation of "Winnie the Pooh", the little bear lives in a hut with a board nailed to the top. The name engraved on this board is also "Kovács János")

Csaba Ban
Hungary
Local time: 07:34
Native speaker of: Native in HungarianHungarian
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  novist: a többi is jó, de szerintem ez a legjobb
1 day 5 hrs

disagree  Attila Hajdu: This is not a living expression.
1 day 16 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
every Tom, Dick and Harry
ˇ


Explanation:
anyone = akárki
average person = átlagember

John Smith or Mr. Smith:
Gipsz Jakab (A Hungarian name used in examples.)

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Note added at 1 hr 8 mins (2005-10-31 17:38:43 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The difference between "Gipsz Jakab" and "Kovács János":
There are many Hungarians with the name "Kovács János", while "Gipsz Jakab" is not so common in real life, but a typical Joker name in examples.

Gabor Kun
Hungary
Local time: 07:34
Native speaker of: Hungarian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Csaba Ban: Yes, "Gipsz Jakab" is used often. And certainly nobody is actually called this way, so this may serve your purpose better
5 mins
  -> Thank you, Csaba

agree  Krisztina Lelik: yes, it is Gipsz Jakab or Pityi Palkó
1 hr

agree  perke
1 hr

agree  xxxCSsys
9 hrs

agree  Balazs Horvath
14 hrs

agree  Attila Hajdu: Gipsz Jakab
1 day 15 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
tom, dick, harry
pityipalkó


Explanation:
This is a combination of two words, 'pityergő'= crying, and 'Palkó'= little Paul. A name for any useless so-and-so, whose name you may not know, or you may know, but can't be bothered with. So it is quite close to what you are after.

juvera
Local time: 06:34
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in HungarianHungarian
PRO pts in category: 10
Grading comment
I will use "pityipalkó", so I grade this one. But thank you everybody!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jozsef Gal
1 hr

agree  xxxCSsys
5 hrs

agree  Attila Hajdu
1 day 12 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
tom, dick, harry
János, vagy Mihály [vagy=or]


Explanation:
This combination was used to express the exact sentiment of Tom Dick and Harry by the Hungarian poet of the 19th century, János Arany [...amit ne értsen János, vagy Mihály...= that should not be understood by John or Michael, in Vojtina Ars Poeticája=The Ars Poetica of Vojtina - assuming that my memory is correct.) Now tiems have changed and the cited expression has never become used by others. Possibly the poet of today would put it differently.

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Note added at 4 hrs 16 mins (2005-10-31 20:47:15 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In a very scarcely known song of the Chilean Quilapayun group (that was translated around 1970, if I remmember correctly, by P. Dabasi), the Spanish names Juan i Jose (and a third that I can't now remember) were replaced by János, Tamás és Kati. The meaning however here does not carry the somewhat belittleing if not ouright unpleasant overtones of Tom, Dick and Harry. Rather, they are replesentatives of the People. Notable, however that, touched by the times, a woman's name was included.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs 17 mins (2005-10-31 20:47:35 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In a very scarcely known song of the Chilean Quilapayun group (that was translated around 1970, if I remmember correctly, by P. Dabasi), the Spanish names Juan i Jose (and a third that I can't now remember) were replaced by János, Tamás és Kati. The meaning however here does not carry the somewhat belittleing if not ouright unpleasant overtones of Tom, Dick and Harry. Rather, they are replesentatives of the People. Notable, however that, touched by the times, a woman's name was included.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 7 hrs 11 mins (2005-10-31 23:42:02 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Only for the sake of accuracy: the cited passage is in a different poem by Arany, titled "Vojtina Levelei Öccséhez, I" (Vojtina's Letters to his Cousin, I). As far as the intended meaning, there is no question that the citation is correct. It is a tongue-in-cheek instruction for the aspiring poet to choose words in his poems that won't be understood by Tom, Dick and Harry, or even by himself. (Te mindig olyan szót válassz, csinálj,/ amit ne értsen János, vagy Mihály;/ Legjobb, ha tenmagad sem érted azt..."). Hopefully this clarifies it for Csaba.

xxxdenny
Local time: 00:34
Native speaker of: Hungarian
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Csaba Ban: This phrase may actually refer to two specific people: actually the two leading poets of this time (1850) (Sándor died a year earlier...). I may be wrong, but this poem is full of names of actual literary figures of this time.
22 mins
  -> I agree: you may be wrong :)

agree  Balazs Horvath: or "János és Tamás" (the most common first names) appears in the lyrics of Hobo Blues Band and Cseh Tamás
2 hrs
  -> Thx. Interesting. And see the note above.
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16 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
tom, dick, harry
Átlag János


Explanation:
"Átlag János" = "John Average"
also used in this form: "átlagjános",
which is pronounced very similar to "általános" (=general, common).


Balazs Horvath
Hungary
Local time: 07:34
Native speaker of: Native in HungarianHungarian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Attila Hajdu
1 day 53 mins
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2 days 4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
tom, dick, harry
Kifenevóth Gábor *** NOT FOR GRADING


Explanation:
...just for fun :)
This is a fancy name - the name of the first Hungarian lacquer maker appearing in a caricature of Eötvös Károly written by Karinthy Frigyes. Back translated the name sounds like "Gabriel Whothehellwas".
This name isn't part of the standard language, but may be a good choice, if somebody wants to shed light upon the exaggeration of a dead person's importance.

Attila Hajdu
Local time: 07:34
Works in field
Native speaker of: Hungarian
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