Ass belch, part II

A few weeks ago when I asked about gěrpì, it took Sinoglot readers all of a few minutes to come up with the dictionary entry that had eluded me. From the comments in that entry I’ll first quote Jeroen’s response:

嗝儿屁[-兒-] gěrpì v.o. 〈slang〉 die; be dead

and then Julen’s comment:

etymology: from ass belching, something people do when they die.

Brendan also noted the phrase is in current (ironic) usage not just among kids.

Now the question is: what would be a better translation of that phrase that inspired the title of the original post: “Grandma’s going to murder me if she finds out”?

Yàoshi Lǎolǎo fāxiàn de huà wǒ huì gěrpì de.

“Murder”, as an active verb with Grandma as agent, isn’t even close. Construction-wise it seems to fall in line with the fully idiomatic phrase “if grandma finds out, I’m dead meat”. But “dead meat” doesn’t quite capture the foulness of 嗝儿屁 — keep in mind it was something my 10-year-old didn’t dare to say in front of her grandmother.

My best proposal is to borrow the “dead meat” format and substitute “ass belch”, so that you get: “If grandma finds out, I’m an ass belch.” But of course that lacks transparency in English: you’d have to go through an explanation of ass belching… Well, I never claimed to aspire to anything but the crudest translations. Ideas?

4 responses to “Ass belch, part II”

  1. Bruce Rusk says:

    “My ass is toast?”

  2. Syz says:

    Bruce, nice! Almost choked on my lunch.

  3. Brendan says:

    “My ass is toast” — nice! If you wanted to be cute about it, maybe “my ass is gas?” Nah…

  4. 姥姥 would obviously shit a brick if she found out. The expression usually doesn’t go the other way, but there’s nothing horrible with reversing it.

    I think when someone finds out something, you’re pretty much fukt. I’m pretty sure fukt or brick-shitting would equal the foulness of involuntary defecation accompanying death.

    Though, technically, for the elderly, shitting one’s pants or diapers is probably a more appropriate and harsh insult.

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