Doch, The Tricky German Word

I love words that don’t have a translation. It’s like a whole group of people just decided that nah, we don’t need a word for that.

We were watching Jeopardy, and Alex Trebec said to a guest “Das ist nicht gut, jah?” or basically the equivalent of “That’s not good, right?” It was in response to hearing that the guest had studied German for 11 years and couldn’t speak it.

The guest chuckled and answered “Doch.” The rest of the room turned to me.

Uhhhh… It’s like “But” but it’s a one word answer. Like you ask me if someone is not happy, and in order to make sure you understand that I’m not saying ‘yes he’s not happy,’ I say “Doch.” Meaning, no, he is happy. In one word. Like ‘to the contrary.’ In one word.

Would be kind of interesting if ‘But’ was an acceptable one-word answer to questions, wouldn’t it?

[More on Doch]

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About enosarris

I write. About baseball, mostly, but also about the anthropology of sports, travel, cooking and sometimes music. But yeah, baseball mostly.
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