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Frank Schophuizen

Need a Dutch title? I think the Dutch word "eikel" represents about the same semantic value as "asshole". But since Dutch people are more into braking rules than in following rules, I think a Dutch title should avoid the word "rule".

There is a Dutch song with the phrase "Wie werken heeft uitgevonden, is een enorme eikel" (free translated into: the inventor of work is an big asshole).

I propose for a Dutch title: "Geen eikels!" (No assholes!).

G. F. Weber

you have fallen victim to the literal translation and will miss, as I see it, the intended response or not generate the attractiveness you want. Just as 'out of sight - out of mind' does not translate into 'invisible lunatic' and given that language usage and meaning changes over time, you have the same case here in German. Today you can call a person an 'Arsch'. That is grammatically incorrect (since you can only have an A.. and not be one) but conveys the same meaning and level as 'asshole'. The term Arschloch is reserved even today as an outright insult - something you did not intent, rather you were targeting an imbecile and/or deceitful, malicious intriguer and the like. And 'Arsch' would do it.

Perhaps your title should read 'Der Faktor 'Arsch': heimtückische Zeitgenossen' or The Asshole Factor: insidious contemporaries'


You should have toned it down in German. As a native German speaker, I find "Arschloch" much more offensive than "asshole". I would rate the English term about as strong as jerk which you would translate as "Trottel". "Arschloch" uttered to your boss warrants an immediate firing. It is mostly used in near-anonymous situations such as insulting your fellow drivers or in bar brawls.

But you'll get attention with the title. Weaker terms that came to my mind: Fiesling, Scheusal, Monster, Drecksack.

There is also a quite unfunny German comic called "Das kleine Arschloch" (the little asshole).


Fortunately, German and English share many common roots, and the translation is indeed correct. You may find it useful to know that German often pushes together words we in English separate: Zusammenarbeit ("working together" or "cooperation" or "team work") comes from zusammen (together) and Arbeit (work).

While I may need to have a plain brown wrapper to read your book in public, I'm looking forward to it.

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