Grüßaugust

English translation: fixed-smile meeter & greeter

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Grüßaugust
English translation:fixed-smile meeter & greeter
Entered by: Katy L Dean

09:13 Jun 1, 2019
German to English translations [PRO]
Tourism & Travel
German term or phrase: Grüßaugust
I understand the explanation below, but I can't think of an equivalent term in English. Linguee suggests 'figurehead' or 'welcoming clown', but I don't think either of these quite gets across the full intended meaning (plus they do not necessarily specifically refer to hotels, which is important in the text I am translating).

From Wikipedia:

"Grüßaugust (auch Grußaugust, Grußonkel oder Grüßonkel[1]) ist eine salopp abwertende oder scherzhafte Bezeichnung für einen Empfangschef in einem Hotel oder einer Gaststätte sowie für eine Person, die ein repräsentatives Amt bekleidet, mit dem aber keinerlei Machtbefugnisse verbunden sind.[2]"

In the text I am translating, we are talking about a woman and it needs to be pejorative. I have invented 'vacuous welcoming dolly bird', but again I'm not too happy with it. Any suggestions gratefully received. Thank you
Katy L Dean
Local time: 23:10
The fixed-smile meeter-&-greeter; the Cheshire Cat on the front desk
Explanation:
... grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

Redolent of some members of the British Royal Family, 'waving to the crowds and grinning' the whole time.

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Note added at 4 hrs (2019-06-01 13:47:04 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Glad you like one or both. Coincidentally, I have found - over the years - that native German speakers have no trouble understanding the 'grinning cat' metaphor, but not always the Alice in Wonderland allusion to a 'Cheshire Katze' (vs. Kater, Allegro). Perhaps some of the above could comment.
Selected response from:

Adrian MM.
United Kingdom
Grading comment
There were loads of great suggestions, but I felt your first option 'fixed-smile meeter and greeter' was closest for my specific context. What I actually wrote was: "XXX gets the picture immediately: these gentlemen would like to see their new boss relegated to nothing more than a meeter and greeter, a smiling airhead on the front desk."
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +3just look pretty and smile/be a mere decoration
Ramey Rieger
4 +1smilely recepcionist
David Hollywood
4The fixed-smile meeter-&-greeter; the Cheshire Cat on the front desk
Adrian MM.
4mere figurehead
Michael Martin, MA
3 +1commissionaire
Sanni Kruger
3smiley or pretty airhead
Andrea Garfield-Barkworth
3glad-hander
Kevin Fulton
3greeter/ welcomer/ figurehead/ handshaker
Ebrahim mohammed
3[phrase]
Jennifer Caisley


Discussion entries: 15





  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
[phrase]


Explanation:
I absolutely love Thomas' 'look pretty and smile', but if you want something that slightly more comprehensively captures the nuts and bolts of her potential role, rather than the implications of it, here's my tentative suggestion:

'nothing more than a vacuous greeter, of no importance to anyone other than the guests she welcomes day in, day out'

Jennifer Caisley
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:10
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
commissionaire


Explanation:
That's what springs to my mind.

Example sentence(s):
  • ...nothing more than a pretty little/cute commissionaire.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commissionaire
Sanni Kruger
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:10
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  AllegroTrans: I think this needs more "punch" (asker says it should be perjorative)
2 hrs

agree  Michael Martin, MA: I heard that. But "Grüßaugust" is only mildly condescending in German, "pejorative" sounds a bit too blunt or too harsh
3 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
glad-hander


Explanation:
To glad-hand means to greet someone in an insincerely effusive manner.
This may be an Americanism, however.


    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/glad-hander
Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 18:10
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 3

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  AllegroTrans: I don't think the text implies insincerity
1 hr
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
greeter/ welcomer/ figurehead/ handshaker


Explanation:
greeter

welcomer

figurehead

handshaker
https://en.pons.com/translate/german-english/Grüßaugust


Ebrahim mohammed
Germany
Local time: 00:10
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  AllegroTrans: I think this needs more "punch" (asker says it should be perjorative)
1 hr
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
mere figurehead


Explanation:
a person who is head of a group, company, etc., in title but actually has no real authority or responsibility:
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/figurehead

Vacuous greeter or even welcoming clown doesn't really conjure up much for me.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2019-06-01 12:40:37 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I also thought of "smiling face of the company" (company's smiling face), but that can be positive or negative, depending on context. How about "ever-smiling face of the company (or whatever it is), to convey a sense of sarcasm?

Michael Martin, MA
United States
Local time: 18:10
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 46
Notes to answerer
Asker: I think this would definitely work in some contexts


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  AllegroTrans: I think this needs more "punch" (asker says it should be perjorative)
2 hrs
  -> I heard that but Grüßaugust is only mildly condescending in German, "pejorative" sounds a bit blunt or too harsh
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
The fixed-smile meeter-&-greeter; the Cheshire Cat on the front desk


Explanation:
... grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

Redolent of some members of the British Royal Family, 'waving to the crowds and grinning' the whole time.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2019-06-01 13:47:04 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Glad you like one or both. Coincidentally, I have found - over the years - that native German speakers have no trouble understanding the 'grinning cat' metaphor, but not always the Alice in Wonderland allusion to a 'Cheshire Katze' (vs. Kater, Allegro). Perhaps some of the above could comment.


    Reference: http://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Grüßaugust
Adrian MM.
United Kingdom
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
There were loads of great suggestions, but I felt your first option 'fixed-smile meeter and greeter' was closest for my specific context. What I actually wrote was: "XXX gets the picture immediately: these gentlemen would like to see their new boss relegated to nothing more than a meeter and greeter, a smiling airhead on the front desk."
Notes to answerer
Asker: This is a great option, thanks - it works perfectly in the context


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  AllegroTrans: I always thought Cheshire Cats were tomcats but I may well be wrong
9 mins
  -> Paradoxically neutral vs. neutered www.halloweencostumes.com/cheshire-cat-costumes.html Cheshire Cat (*female*). That depends if tomcats in your part of the world are perpetually grinning. The asker may in fact be going for the first alternative.

neutral  Ramey Rieger: The Cheshire Cat is definitely a male. Read the book.//Edifying, indeed.
1 day 1 hr
  -> As mentioned, the asker may be keener on the first alternative. The second alternative was tongue-in-cheek and meant to attract 'catty put-downs' - and teach native Germans a novel phrase.

neutral  Thomas Pfann: Re 'Cheshire Cat': The cat's gender is completely irrelevant. Both man and women can grin like a Cheshire cat. Wobei grinsen natürlich nicht dasselbe ist wie lächeln!// Cheshire cat = Grinsekatze in German (not 'Cheshire-Katze').
1 day 23 hrs
  -> I agree - and so should you have..... I'm still unclear whether 'Cheshire Katze or Kater' is a simile known in German-speaking countries. My (limited half century of) experience from Greifswald and Rügen to Biel/Bienne and Vienna is that it isn't.
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15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
smilely recepcionist


Explanation:
that's the idea

David Hollywood
Local time: 19:10
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 72

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  AllegroTrans
12 hrs
  -> thanks AT and we've got a spirited one here for sure
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1 day 1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
just look pretty and smile/be a mere decoration


Explanation:
This is the best suggestion, so I'm posting this as Thomas has not. If he does, I'll hide mine.

Ramey Rieger
Germany
Local time: 00:10
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 52

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  AllegroTrans
2 hrs
  -> Plagarism, sorry!

neutral  Adrian MM.: It is significant how you and Allegro are trying to monopolise this question.
3 hrs
  -> Now THAT is a very strange thought.

agree  Thomas Pfann: Happy to agree with this! ;-)
21 hrs
  -> Job-sharing?

agree  Björn Vrooman: A regular dollface
1 day 1 min
  ->  Just t & a?
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1 day 5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
smiley or pretty airhead


Explanation:
An airhead is someone who hasn't got much going on between the ears and tends to just be there for decoration.

Andrea Garfield-Barkworth
Germany
Local time: 00:10
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  AllegroTrans: "Airhead" is not really a term much used in GB
19 hrs
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