sonnet 18 – Shall I compare thee to a pizza pie?

Inspired by the lovely and awesome and kind and funny and witty Jolene Haley

It’s kind of a hack job, but I’m reasonably happy with it, so without further ado about nothing… ;-)

 

Shall I compare thee to a pizza pie?
Thou art more sav’ry and delicious:
Hot oven bakes on temperature high
And pizza’s smell reminds to do the dishes.

Sometime too hot the peperoni burns
And often is its cheese complexion dark;
Yet for its taste my palate often yearns
Hunger, or everchanging app’tite, hark!

But thy eternal savor shall not wane,
Nor lose the toppings of the pie thou art
Nor shall thy dough be ever dry or plain
For ev’ryday you are lunch of my heart

So long as men can eat or nose can smell,
So long tastes this, and this gives taste to thee.

Olli’s Saturday School – Gute Nacht, Liebling

Not long ago, someone on twitter decided to show off her awesome German skills when saying good night on twitter.

So what I got was the title of this blog1.

Gute Nacht, Liebling!

I explained a few things and decided to make this a topic of my weekly language lessons.

The translation of that tweet basically is Good night, love!2

So far so good, you say? Well, sure. I can say Good night, love! or something like that to good friends, coworkers, people I like and want to tease a bit. Depending on how well I know them. The right tone helps, but even in written conversation context and relationship to that person should help making clear that it is not a honey between actual lovers.

In German the word Liebling3  is pretty much exclusively used between lovers, or maybe by a parent adressing their child. Ok, or someone talking about their pet.

To avoid confusion on either side a change in wording might be appropriace. Gute Nacht, mein Lieber4 could be used when talking to someone you treasure, estimate or like but are not in an actual romantic relationship with. Although it’s a little old fashioned AND funnily enough sort of an expression commonly used in eastern Germany.

Actually most of the words stemming from Liebe and their use are a pretty serious matter and should be used carefully.

Tell someone you love them today, because life is short. But scream it at them in German, because life is also terrifying and confusing!

Yeah, I know. German does have a reputation of being a harsh and angry sounding language. It is not actually true. Just like French doesn’t always sound like poetry. Trust me. I am German AND French.

German for I love you is Ich liebe dich.

As with Liebling that is usually reserved for usage between lovers and close family.

The last person to say Ich liebe dich to me was a customer of mine.5

He said it in a tone that made it absolutely clear he was not actually declaring his undying love to me. In fact he was just thanking me for explaining something to him and making his life a little easier6. I replied, laughing: Ich dich auch, André! which is short for Ich liebe dich auch / I love you, too

Something else people say, although usually younger folks, is Ich hab dich lieb. Love as an adverb. The best translation for that probably is I hold you dear.

That also works with other pet names usually reserved between lovers, family, pets and owners, etc.

It is a little less common to call someone darling or honey in German who actually isn’t. But occasionally a friend or even coworker will do it, jokingly, when asking for help or saying thanks for something.

Pet names for your partner7 are a common thing in Germany as well and range from animals to very kitschy compound words like Augenstern. That one literally translates to star of my eye.

According to a list I just googled, here are the most common pet names people in relationships would like to be called. I’ve included the most literal translations where applicable.

Women
Schatz – treasure
Süße – sweetie
Engel – Angel
Liebling – love/darling
Maus – Mouse
Honey – duh
Hase – rabbit, bunny
Baby – duh
Bärchen – Bär is German for bear, Bärchen is a diminuitive of that, diminuitives are often used as terms of endearment

Men
Schatz – treasure
Liebling – love/darling
Süßer – sweetie
Bärchen – Bär is German for bear, Bärchen is a diminuitive of that, diminuitives are often used as terms of endearment
Hase – rabbit, bunny
Engel – Angel
Maus – Mouse8
Honey – duh
Baby – duh

So, except for the order it’s the same stuff on either side.

As you can see, animals are a thing in Germany. Calling someone Hase9 does not have any negative connotations as bunny might have due to a certain publication with an animal logo. There ARE animals you should not use though, but I think I’ll leave that for you to figure out.

A good rule of thumb is: cute and furry = yes, typical farm animals = probably not.

Top of the list for men and women is the word Schatz

The literal translation of that is treasure as in Treasure Island, hidden treasure, the famous pirate’s booty. A better translation for our use while retaining some of the original meaning would be precious.

Although, concerning certain associations regarding literature and movies, you should probably just go with darling.

Footnotes
  1. minus the Olli’s Saturday School part []
  2. or sweetheart, honey, darling []
  3. from Liebe = love []
  4. or meine Liebe in case a woman is adressed []
  5. He’s not my type, 20 years older than me, married with at least one kid and rather male, which isn’t what I am looking for in a partner []
  6. software licensing can be a difficult thing []
  7. or kid []
  8. ok, that kinda surprised me []
  9. or a diminuitive of that []