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  • Betreff

    watch one's Ps and Qs

    Kontext/ Beispiele
    They were nice people. I didn't feel I had to watch my Ps and Qs with them.
    Kommentar
    Any idea what that means? Or a German translation?
    VerfasserLena31 Mär. 06, 17:42
    Vorschlagpleases and thank yous
    Kommentar
    Basically, "I didn't feel I needed to be overly polite/formal with them."

    (I didn't need to keep saying my "pleases" and my "thank yous")
    #1VerfasserGary31 Mär. 06, 17:46
    Vorschlagumsichtig sein?
    Kommentar
    Die Form "mind one's P's and Q's" existiert auch. Es bedeutet "vorsichtig sein, damit man kein Ärgernis erregt".
    #2VerfasserCJMoss31 Mär. 06, 17:50
    Kommentar
    CJ prima vorschlag
    #3Verfasserk31 Mär. 06, 17:57
    Vorschlaggute manieren and den tag legen
    Kommentar
    the idiom is

    TO MIND one's ps and qs
    #4Verfasserk31 Mär. 06, 17:59
    Kommentar
    @k: I think the discrepancy might be an AE/BE thing. The Brits mind everything, Americans watch or watch out for things.
    I will never forget hearing the famous "MIND the gap!" announcement the first time in the London Tube. My friend and I found it extremely amusing. On the other side of the ocean we would say "WATCH your step!".

    #5Verfasserwpr31 Mär. 06, 18:08
    Kommentar
    wpr

    i appreciate what you say ... although your example is an unfortunate one since both expressions are used and do mean something different...

    overall, i still think mind the ps and qs is more a little more common - i imagine when the expression came into being, literacy and writing was anything but common.
    #6Verfasserk31 Mär. 06, 18:20
    Kommentar
    Thank you everyone :)
    #7VerfasserLena01 Apr. 06, 09:26
    Kommentar
    It's "mind your p's and q's" in AE (not *watch...)

    Other than in this expression, wpr is correct that we don't use 'mind' in this sense in AE; however, it remains in this fixed expression.

    The origin is disputed, here are a few sources of which the last is the most comprehensive:
    http://www.answers.com/topic/mind-one-s-p-s-a...
    http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/19/m...
    http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/psandqs.htm
    #8VerfasserPeter <us>01 Apr. 06, 10:24
    Kommentar
    Just to clarify: I was not trying to imply that "Watch your Ps and Qs" is somehow more correct, in the US or elsewhere. "Mind your Ps and Qs" definitely sounds "best" to my AE ears too. "Watch" sounds like a deviant. But sayings often get quoted incorrectly or impartially and I think that explains the google results for "watch...".
    I also was not trying to suggest that this difference(watch vs. mind) is a rule. I can think of many exceptions, eg. mind your manners sounds much better than watch your manners, although both sound acceptable to me.
    @Peter
    Thanks for the links as to the origin. I never knew where the expression came from. I always thought it sounded humorous. Just goes to show what a slippery thing language can be.
    #9Verfasserwpr01 Apr. 06, 10:44
     
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