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?