10 Weird Sounding Words and What They Mean. — THE SOMETHING GUY

The English language is, quite possibly, one of the strangest languages out there. Do you bloviate and carry a Bumbershoot with you while you lollygag? Yes, that was English… Let’s explore some of the craziest words in the English language. 1. Bumfuzzle. Refers to being confused, perplexed, or flustered. Your grandparents might even say this […]

10 Weird Sounding Words and What They Mean. — THE SOMETHING GUY

Umbrella Day – Let’s talk all things Schirm — More than Beer and Schnitzel

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. There are no additional costs to you. 1,648 more words

Umbrella Day – Let’s talk all things Schirm — More than Beer and Schnitzel

While we talk about root words and their meanings in both English and German, there is one root word in German that we know about, which is “Schirm.” First thing we think of with this word is Regenschirm, which means Umbrella. Yet there are dozens of other meanings of Schirm, especially when we add the prefixes to them. Anika Rieper shows you the origins and usage of the German word “Schirm.” Have fun reading about it. 🙂

New top story from Time: ‘If This Task Was Urgent Before, It’s Crucial Now.’ U.N. Says World Has 10 Months to Get Serious on Climate Goals

The language of diplomacy rarely allows for a true sense of emotion or urgency. But reading between the lines of the latest report commissioned by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)—the body representing the 197 member nations of the Paris Agreement to minimize a global average temperature rise this century—the message is […]

New top story from Time: ‘If This Task Was Urgent Before, It’s Crucial Now.’ U.N. Says World Has 10 Months to Get Serious on Climate Goals

Nouns and Expressions about the Body- The Shoulder

Photo by Katerina Holmes on Pexels.com

There are two different meanings of shoulder that one sometimes doesn’t pay attention to. The first one is very obvious when looking at the picture above. The shoulder is part of the human body. In German, we would use the word Schulter. Little do people realize is that shoulder has a second meaning, which can be seen in the picture below:

Photo by Sebastian Palomino on Pexels.com

Imagine you are travelling down this road and you must pull off to the side because of car issues or you needed to make an emergency run. The shoulder here is a lane on the outer side of the road where you can park your car. And while that may be difficult to see in the picture above……

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com

…..it’s more clearly seen in this picture, where the shoulder here is marked off by a straight line. Shoulder can be known as parking or stopping lane. The German meaning is Standstreifen.

Yet shoulder has over four dozen noun and idiomatic expressions in English, although a fracton of them are used on a regular basis. Which ones are those?



Exercise 1. Look at the six pictures below and choose the best answer for each one. The expressions below are to be used only once. The first picture in the slide show is considered picture one.

Shoulder to cry on

To rub one’s shoulders

To give someone the cold shoulder

Shoulder-length hair

To stand shoulder to shoulder

To have the world on one’s shoulders



Exercise 2: For each of the following expressions, choose the correct meaning


  1. To have a chip on your shoulder means…..

a. You are a rookie with little or no experience

b. You are a person who easily gets angry

c. You have a negative attitude in life

d. None of the statements



2. To be on one’s shoulder is the same as……

a. To keep an eye on the person

b. To monitor the person closely

c. To observe the person for actions and other behaviors

d. All of the statements fit.



3. To be a weight off one’s shoulders means the same as………

a. To be a burden to one’s problems

b. To complete a task that is highly problematic and time consuming

c. Talking about a serious problem with a friend

d. Both b & c



4. To have broad shoulders means you……

a. Can multi-task

b. Take on several tasks and responsibilities

c. To do the job of three people

d. To be a strong, tough man



5. A hard shoulder is the same as……….

a. A tough and really agressive person

b. A hard lesson that is painful

c. A side of the road made of concrete or pavement where a person can pull over

d. A decisive defeat in combat sports like wrestling or kickboxing



6. If you look over your shoulder, what must you do?

a. Look back in the past

b. Look at what others are doing because they may sabotage you

c. To watch the actions of others carefully because you don’t trust them.

d. Both b & c.



Exercise 3- Music Video

You will have an opportunity to watch a Music Video entitled “Over My Shoulder,” a song produced by the American music group, Mike and the Mechanics in 2002. To understand the meaning of the song, you should do the following in order:

  1. Silent-viewing: Watch the video without the sound and make notes of the scenes played out there.
  2. Blind viewing: Listen to the song without watching the video and make notes involving the lyrics sung by the group. Here you may have to listen to the song more than once.
  3. Watch the whole video with the sound. Compare the notes and find the main idea behind this song.
  4. Answer the question: Why the title “Over My Shoulder?”



You will find the answers to the first two exercises plus other expressions and a video per link by clicking here.




‘World’s Oldest’ Brewery Unearthed in Ancient Egyptian City

Even the ancients had a taste for a good brewski. Archaeologists recently discovered what they believe to be a 5,000 year old brewing site in Abydos, Egypt, making it the world’s oldest known brewery. One of Egypt’s oldest cities, Abydos is home to many temples and tombs, some of which contain the remains of early […]

‘World’s Oldest’ Brewery Unearthed in Ancient Egyptian City

The White Rose – A Tale for our Time

Originally posted in February 2010 – and most relevant today Core Members of the White Rose – Munich 1942 – (l to r) Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst.  Arrested by the Gestapo and guillotined  on February 22, 1943. The notorious Nazi Judge Roland Freisler was practically spitting venom. “You are a traitor!!” Sophie quietly […]

The White Rose – A Tale for our Time

Nouns and Expressions about the Body- Introduction

We’re starting a new series on body parts and idiomatic expressions in English. The goal is to determine what they actual mean in English and you will have a chance to interpret them in your native tongue. You will find the series in the Menu under the title The Fun With Foreign Languages

To start off the series, we will start with an overview of the most common expressions regarding this topic in English. We will then go from head to toe with each body part.


Most Common Expression with Body Parts:

Exercise 1: Matching

Match the following idiomatic expressions on the left with the meanings on the right. One answer only!

A.  To cost an arm and a leg1. To joke or tease someone
B.  Head start2. To start earlier than planned/ expected
C.  To keep an eye on someone3. To listen to someone fully and carefully
D. To pull one’s leg4. To be  (deeply) in love with someone
E. To get a pat on the back5. To watch someone for his actions/ behavior
F. To be all ears6. To wish someone the best of luck
G.  To be head over heals7. To (offer) help to someone
H. To break one’s leg8.  To be extremely expensive; exorbitant
I. To give/ lend someone a hand9. To agree with someone
J. To see eye to eye10. To thank someone for her hard work/ service


Exercise 2: Multiple Choice

Determine the correct meaning of the following expressions below.  One answer only!

  • „Thou shall not steal!“ is a common example of a ____________ when interacting in society
  • Green thumb
  • Broken thumb
  • Rule of thumb
  • The Bible’s thumb

  • The restaurant is in my neck of the woods. The bold-marked expression means…….
  • Nearby
  • Near my home
  • In the area
  • All are possible

  • In order to master Latin, you must ………… the words and their conjugations ………
  • Turn on with your head
  • Learn by heart
  • Write on your fingers
  • Head by heart

  • Hey, chin up, buddy. Things can only go up from here.  To chin up means…..
  • Look up
  • Cheer up
  • Think positive
  • Both b & c

  • One can have cold feet before a wedding, which means…….
  • To be cold and unloving
  • To be cruel
  • To be nervous
  • To be sensitive

  • If your students are giving you a bad day in class, what is the first thing you would do?
  • Get something off your back
  • To have one’s back
  • To have one’s head
  • To get something off your chest

  • The only time that person will be elected mayor is when hell freezes over. Hell freezes over is the same as this body expression?
  • When Jesus Christ walks on water
  • Over my dead body
  • When pigs fly
  • When the world comes to an end.

  • Well, there goes my job promotion. We better…….. and accept the consequences.
  • Face the facts
  • Face the music
  • Talk face to face
  • Talk about facts

  • You can cry your heart out if you……….
  • Are jumping with joy
  • Are angry and infuriated with someone
  • Have a broken heart
  • Have an injury.

  • I have a twin sister. She’s my
  • Flesh and blood
  • Blood and honor
  • Blood brother
  • Bad blood.

You will find the answers plus other expressions in this link. Each most commonly-used  expression also has an example sentence to help you.

Link: https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/idioms-body.htm



After giving you a brief overview on body expressions, we’ll now look at the each body part, which starts with………

Germany Quiz Nr. 5: What to Know about Mecklenburg-Pommerania (Germ.: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)

To wrap up on the guest blog series on MV, I would like to invite you to take a stab and guess at the answers to a guessing quiz I created in 2015. I’ve made a few changes including adding a link to the answer sheet and a pair of links in connection with the state’s bridges.


The Baltic Sea Coast at Zinnowitz at sundown. Photo taken in 2011 The Baltic Sea Coast at Zinnowitz at sundown. Photo taken in 2011

Mecklenburg-Pommerania- a hidden jewel in Germany. Many people consider the northeasternmost state, which borders Poland to the east, Brandenburg to the south as well as Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein to the west, to be desolate, with many dying villages, abandoned industries, and fewer but older people. It is understandable for thanks to the pre-1990 industry disappearing combined with the constant emigration of people ages 30 and younger, the state, with 1.6 million inhabitants, has the sparsest population per square kilometer (69 inhabitants per square kilometer) and the second lowest population in all of Germany. This does not count the three German City-States of Hamburg, Bremen and Berlin.

But Mecklenburg-Pommerania does have one shining light, which attracts people to this region more than in other regions along the Baltic and North Seas. Apart from its shipping, tourism is the…

View original post 1,157 more words

Hiking Rügen’s beautiful Cape Arkona — Notes from Camelid Country

The thatched cottages came as a surprise, but Friesenhäuser as they are known are a common sight on Rügen. I had no idea what to expect from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, but thatched cottages definitely weren’t on the list. To be fair, there was much that was surprising about Rügen: a rugged coastline that extends for 574 […]

Hiking Rügen’s beautiful Cape Arkona — Notes from Camelid Country


Sunshine island of the Baltic coast with some dark history Sunseekers may not think about spending their holidays on the Baltic coast. However, the island Usedom, divided between Poland and Germany, may surprise every beach enthusiast. Its shores get more than twice as much sunshine hours per year as the German average, and its wide sandy […]