Tres Por Tres and Other TV Shows Lost in Translation

I was recently having a conversation about Full House, as you do, and my one friend, who is originally from Colombia, mentioned that when she watched it back home, Full House was called Tres Por Tres. Translated, this means Three by (for) Three, which quite literally is the premise of the show – three daughters and three men raising them. We obviously proceeded to look up YouTube clips and found out that in the opening credits, there’s a woman introducing each actor. Is this necessary? Probably not, but it’s entertaining.

And then she remembered that while everyone else’s name is the same (and Kimmy is ‘Kyyymmeee’), DJ is “Dejota” and we simply could not get over this. In fact we made it into a hashtag because Deej’s name en Español is so fun to say. You can hear Kyyymmeee say her name quickly at 1:55 in the clip below:

Either I’m fluent in Spanish or I understood all that because I’ve seen that episode so many times it’s almost embarrassing (a combo of both). Of course Full House isn’t the only show called something completely different in another language. Here are a few other programs that aren’t exactly what you’d expect they’d be titled around the world.

Arrested Development

Sweden: Firma Ruffel & Bygg  = Company Monkey Business & Construction

To be fair, “Company” and “Construction” are probably giving too much credit to The Bluth Company.

Six Feet Under

Russia: Клиент всегда мертв = The Customer Is Always Dead

It’s actually the customer’s family member that’s always dead, but vodka/vodka, right, Russia?

Breaking Bad

Bulgaria: В обувките на Сатаната = In The Shoes Of Satan

Creepily accurate.

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Brazil: Um Maluco no Pedaço = A Crazy in the Area

Fortunately, the Crazy in the area turned into the permanent crazy in the neighborhood.

Murder, She Wrote

Germany: Mord ist ihr Hobby = Murder Is Her Hobby

I’ve actually never seen an episode of Murder, She Wrote, so is this title right, or not? What am I missing here???

Two and A Half Men

Germany: Mein cooler Onkel Charlie = My Cool Uncle Charlie

The Germans probably weren’t expecting Charlie Sheen to go all Tiger Blood and die (twice) *spoiler alert?? ugh who cares* when they chose that title.

Pretty Little Liars

Finland: Valehtelevat viettelijät = False Seducer

DOES FINLAND KNOW SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW?? IS -A FINNISH?? IS ARIA -A BECAUSE SHE USED TO LIVE IN ICELAND AND THAT KINDA NEAR FINLAND?? THEORIZE, LIARS!

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Poland: Tajemnica Amy = Mystery Amy

Is Poland doing an ABC Family crossover with PLL? What’s the mystery with a girl who got knocked up at 15?

Gilmore Girls

Poland: Kochane klopoty = Dear Trouble

I know Gilmore Girls backwards and forwards and I still don’t understand why it’s translated into “Dear Trouble”.

30 Rock

Brazil: Um Maluco na TV = A Crazy on TV

Just ONE crazy on TV? There’s too many to choose from.

Beverly Hills, 90210

Brazil:  Barrados no Baile = Barred From the Dance

Again, I’ve never seen a full episode of Bev Hills, but I’m assuming like many teen dramas, there are a fair share of dances, and I’m under the impression these kids were cool enough to at least attend one spring fling.

How I Met Your Mother

Finland: Ensisilmäyksellä = At First Glance

OKAY but Finland is up to something here. Based on what happened in the finale, did Finnish Craig Thomas and Carter Bays purposely title it At First Glance as a call back to the pilot when Ted first puts his eyes on Robin?? Because At First Glance is wayyyy less misleading of a title than How I Met Your Mother.

Scrubs

French: Toubib or not toubib = Doctor or Not Doctor

The answer is: ‘Barely’.

Everybody Loves Raymond

Israel: Mishpacah Lo Bochrim (משפחה לא בוחרים) = You Can’t Choose Your Family

While the Israelis have a good grasp of the concept, Everybody Loves Raymond executive producer Philip Rosenthal took his efforts to Russia in hopes of creating a version of the show in Russia called Voroniny, a play off the family name. He documented his journey in a documentary called Exporting Raymond, which is a great watch if you’re into this stuff and have read this far.

Married… With Children

Estonia: Tuvikesed = Pigeons

Estonia thinks they’re pigeons, and Hungarians call them “A Terribly Nice Family”… which one is the real show??

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23 Skidoo! Downton-Era Slang For Every Vocabulary

Downton Abbey came back for its fourth season last night (for our more law-abiding North American readers anyway), and that talkie is the cat’s. I’m not just beating my gums here — the ’20s were the start of our modern pop-culture age, and the slang was the bee’s knees.

Incorporate some of these phrases and you’ll sound like your favorite sheik or sheba in no time!

23 skidoo! – leave quickly

  • Example: The coppers are busting the gin mill. 23 skidoo!

And how! – I agree with you SO HARD.

  • Example:

Herman: Those flappers sure are showing a lot of ankle!

Hattie (showing a lot of ankle): And how!

Bank’s Closed: stop making out

  • Example: It’s a speakeasy, not a hootenanny. Bank’s closed, Sam and Ida!

Beat one’s gums – to talk a lot of nonsense

  • Example: Lula says the stock market’s going to tank, but I think she’s just beating her gums.

Beef – a complaint. Actually, just like how we use it now. Thanks, ’20s!

  • Example:

Myrtle: What’s your beef?

Maude: You borrowed my stockings and got rouge all over the knees!

bee’s knees – really, really awesome

  • Example: Boy, Josephine, these movies that you have to read sure are the bee’s knees!

bimbo – a macho, overly manly man

  • Example: Reginald’s always lifting barbells on the boardwalk. What a bimbo!

blind date – a date with a stranger. Actually, just like how we use it now. No thanks, ’20s!

  • Example: George missed his blind date with Thelma because he was stuck on top of a flagpole.

blotto – drunk

  • Example: Mabel is completely blotto off that moonshine!

bubs – boobs, but way more fun to say

  • Example: Now Mabel’s showing her bubs! Geraldine, get her home!

cancelled stamp – a shy, wallflower-y girl who’s not very fun.

  • Example: Say what you will about Mabel, at least she’s not a cancelled stamp like old Gertie!

cat’s pajamas – particularly great. Often abbreviated to just “the cat’s.”

  • Example: Ida and Roger think dance marathons are the cat’s pajamas!

dead soldier – empty beer bottle

  • Example: Clean the dead soldiers off the field, boys! A football game’s starting and they could scratch our leather helmets!

drugstore cowboy – a guy who hangs out in public trying to look good and pick up ladies. See: the text of No Scrubs.

  • Example: Bernice bobs her hair, and next thing you know she’s taken off with some drugstore cowboy!

Dumb Dora – an unintelligent lady

  • Example: Maxine’s such a Dumb Dora – you can get better conversation out of a silent film!

gasper – cigarette

  • Example: Harold says that gaspers can make you sick, but I think he’s just beating his gums.

giggle water – booze

  • Example: Slow your roll, Mabel. Enough of that giggle water.

half-seas over – drunk

  • Example: Mabel is completely half-seas over off that moonshine!

handcuff – engagement ring

  • Example: George has the handcuff on ol’ Thelma and he’s never at the speakeasy anymore.

icy mitt – to coldly blow off a person who’s trying to get with you

  • Example: Now that Ruth’s a coed, she’s giving all of the townies the icy mitt.

Let George do it – something that you’d say to get out of work.

  • Example: I don’t want to work on my financial planning for 1929. Ah, let George do it!

Moll – a gangster’s lady-friend

  • Example:

Moll: No, Irene, this is just the name my parents gave me. I’m not affiliated with the mafia. But I hope my great-granddaughter will be named after me, because what are the chances that the name Molly would be associated with a seedy subculture again in 100 years?

ossified – drunk.

  • Example: Mabel is completely ossified off that moonshine!

quilt – an alcoholic beverage that keeps you warm

  • Example:

Mabel: I sure am cold after that sledding party! Somebody get me a quilt.

Ethel: Oh, you’ve had quite enough, Mabel.

Mabel: I meant a literal quilt, though.

petting pantry – a movie theater. Still relevant for anyone who’s gone to the movies only to realize that it was apparently the couple’s show.

  • Example: Let’s go to the petting pantry! There’s a new Louise Brooks flick. And I want to make out.

So’s your old man – a response to somebody who said something that irritated you. Sort of a “your mama” for the 1920s crowd.

  • Example:

Phyllis: I saw your beau Jimbo at the petting party with Olive. He’s courting a hussy!

Gladys: So’s your old man!

sheba – girlfriend (or a good-looking lady). For millenials, that usually translates to “this girl I’m kind of hanging out with, I don’t know.”

  • Example: Arthur’s sheba is Lucille.

sheik – boyfriend (or a good-looking man). Millenials: “that guy I’ve been seeing or whatever, not really sure what we are.”

  • Example: Lucille’s sheik is Roy. Don’t tell Arthur.

spifflicated –  drunk

  • Example: Mabel is completely splifficated off that moonshine!

struggle buggy – a car’s backseat

  • Example: Wow, it sure is easier to neck in a struggle buggy than it was in a regular buggy! I always felt like the horses were watching.

Tell it to Sweeney! – I don’t believe you. Tell it to someone who does.

  • Example: Sick from gaspers, Harold?! Tell it to Sweeney!

zozzled –  drunk

  • Example: Mabel is completely zozzled off that moonshine! I think she might have a problem.

Old trends don’t die as soon as a new one starts. Case in point: 40-something women who still dress like they did in the class of ’87. So, some of the early ’20s Downtoners were still using their World War I and Edwardian-era slang. It’s not too late to start using these words, too:

balmy on the crumpet –  crazy

  • Example: Henrietta is wearing bloomers! She’s gone balmy on the crumpet.sybil

blue devils – feeling down in the dumps

  • Example: Aminta has the blue devils because her best corset just broke.

beaver – a man’s beard

  • Example:

Jonesy: Why the long face, Jamesy?

Jamesy (whose face is hairless):  I can’t give Clorinda what she wants. I’m a baby-faced boy, but she likes the beaver.

Jonesy: Perhaps she can find a beard elsewhere.

boner – a mistake

  • Example:

Ronald: I made a real boner while I was courting Flossie in her parents’ parlor. I think I really ruined my chances.

Donald: A boner while courting in her parents’ parlor? What was it?

Ronald: A boner while courting in her parents’ parlor.

cheese it! – stop it!

  • Example: Cheese it, Edmund! You have to take your cod-liver oil!

clergyman’s daughter – a whore

  • Example: Bridget’s a clergyman’s daughter, and mark my words, in ten years her little Mabel will be just as bad.

cootie – crabs

  • Example: Bridget has cooties.

curtains – the end

  • Example: So… I guess that means it’s curtains for you and Bridget, then?

fittums – a great fit

  • Example: Constance, your new hobble skirt is just fittums!

jumping jesus – a fanatic

  • Example: I mean, I’m as excited about the coronation as anyone, but Nigel is a bit of a jumping jesus about the whole thing.

off his chump – crazy

  • Example: Now Henrietta wants to vote, as well? She’s off her chump.

pad the hoof – walking

  • Example: Ready to pad the hoof to the magic lantern show? It’s really the best entertainment option at this point in history.

pipe off – lose interest (in a romantic relationship)

  • Example:

Edwardine: Why did you pipe off Simon?

Thomasine: He spent more time with his hair tonic than I did on my pompadour!

Razzle-dazzle – to go out there, stir up some trouble, and get some ladies!

  • Example:

Bert: Shall we go razzle-dazzle, Simon?

Simon: I’m actually less interested in razzle-dazzling than you might think.

Teagie – tea gown

  • Example: You know, calling it a teagie makes it seem like it would be pretty casual, but it takes like three handmaids to change into this thing.

What priced head have you? – How bad’s the hangover?

  • Example: You really hit the music-hall hard, Basil. What priced head have you?

yeah – yes

  • Example

Charles: In 100 years’ time, will old people still get mad when you say “yeah” instead of “yes?”

Charlotte: Yeah.

You’re Saying It Wrong: An Outsider’s guide to local pronunciations

Having lived in three different places, I’ve come to learn some of the local slang, colloquialisms, and ‘correct’ pronunciations of things. I’ve noticed that a common theme between Rochester, Boston, and Los Angeles are the different neighborhoods in each city which are totally pronounced the opposite way of what your brain thinks. Here are some I’ve found questionable after stepping out of the city limits.

1) Rochester (RAH-chester)

Interestingly enough, Rochesterarians are known for their odd, slightly midwestern accent. It’s nasally and weird. When I was home for Christmas, it was more evident than usual that the strangers around me at the mall were total Rochies, exaggerating their vowels. It’s actually a good test to see if someone is a native Rochesterarian or not, by asking them to say the name of the city. If you don’t stretch out that Raaaaahhhchester, you’re probs from like, Albany or the city, where they think ‘upstate’ New York is Westchester.

2) Chili (CHI-lai)

You’d think this five letter word is said ‘CHI-lee’, but as a suburb of ROC, you say it CHIli, rhyming with the alcoholic drink ‘mai-tai’.

3) Charlotte (shar-LOT)

Rochester is right on Lake Ontario, so naturally there is a beach. Or something that resembles a beach when the waters aren’t deemed toxic. However, this beach is not like the North Carolina city, home of the Bobcats or Bachelorette Emily Maynard. It’s questionably said with an emphasis on the second syllable , because that makes more sense.

4) Woburn (WOO-burn)

Not WHOA, BURNN (that was stupid, move on).

5) Quincy (QUIN-zee)

If you pronounce President John Quincy Adams as President John KWINSEE Adams, you’ve been doing it wrong your whole life. Quincy was the birthplace of the President, hence its namesake. The town was named following the pronunciation of the family name, but people have been saying it wrong for years. Have a Bostonian tell you the right way to say it. Or take the red line and see where you end up.

6) Worcester (WUSS-ter)

It’s not ‘Worcestershire Sauce’ so don’t say it like that. But if you ask a native Bostonian, they’ll say it the way it’s really supposed to be said, ‘woos-tah’.

7) Los Feliz

Yeah I actually still don’t know what the correct pronunciation of this is. I hear two different versions all the time. All I know is that Lauren Graham lives there, next to Natalie Portman. So I mean, there’s that.