Bite him, o mother/Bitt’ ihn, o Mutter!

From Laudator Temporis Acti, quoting Gerald Moore’s autobiography, The Unashamed Accompanist.

A young friend of mine was playing the accompaniment to me one day of Wolf’s song “Bitt’ ihn, O Mutter” (Beg Him, O Mother). This accompaniment is written with Wolf’s usual eloquence and urgency, but it was played by this young lady with such viciousness that I ventured to ask her if she knew what “Bitt’ ihn, O Mutter” meant. “Of course,” she replied. “It means ‘O Mother, bite him.'”

Thanks to Trevor.

Meanwhile, the Guardian has a series called Germany – The accidental empire, and today there has been an odd article and some discussion of the length of German words and people’s favourite ones (not necessarily long). I remember Jonathan Franzen saying he liked obwohl. I am not sure what one commenter‘s Dampfesse means. Of course, with all the Latin and Greek in English, we are protected from ghe directness of Durchfall.
I am fond of Prekariat.

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