Nicole’s Friday Post (as posted on facebook) – Englische Redewendungen und warum die Reihenfolge der Wörter wichtig ist…
You may have never heard of reduplication, but I am sure you have heard of chit-chat and tiktok.
And it is totally clear that no one would call it a chat-chit. That would sound rather strange. The rule is that the order is I, A, O if there are three words. If there are two words, then the first is I and the second is either A or O.
As English and German are connected, it is no surprise that we often have the same expression in our language.
Product names follow the rules of reduplication because otherwise they would not sound “right” to us.
Here are some examples:
• chitchat – Geplauder (we had a little chitchat at the garden fence)
• dilly-dally – trödeln (Lunch is at 12, so there is little time to dilly-dally)
• ding dong – das Klingeln an der Tür
• fiddle faddle – Humbug, Kokolores, Nonsens (she gave them some fiddle faddle about how the gun had got into her luggage.)
• flip-flop – Don’t wear flip-flops when you drive.
• hip hop
• jibber jabber – Nonsens, Unsinn reden (enough of this jibber jabber)
• King Kong
• Knickknack (nick-nack) – Krimskrams (kleine Dekorationsartikel) – The shelf was full of useless knickknack (gesprochen NIKNÄK)
• Mishmash – Mischmasch (The magazine is a mishmash of celebrity news, pictures, jokes, stories, and serious news.
• Pitter-patter – Getrippel, Getrappel (I heard the pitter-patter of the rain on the attic windows)
• riffraff – Gesinde, Pöbel (the high prices kept the riffraff out of the bar)
• singsong – Singsang (the lovely singsong of her voice enchanted him)
• Tic Tac
• Tiktok (reduplication rules are the reason that they did not call it toktik)
• zig zag – Zickzack (the player ran zigzag across the field at tremendous speed.)
You cannot change the word order in expressions like “salt and pepper” or “black and white” either.
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