zwirn

Himmel, Arceus und Zwirn

I have learned something amazing and vitally important as I blunder my way through a German playthrough of Pokémon: X Version, defiantly refusing to acknowledge that my German is terrible.

There is a German expression, “Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn,” which literally means “heaven, arse and thread,” and is an old-fashioned and comparatively gentle expression of frustration or dismay – something like the German equivalent of “oh, gosh darn it,” which I really quite like.  What is truly beautiful is that in the Pokémon world, they apparently say “Himmel, Arceus und Zwirn” – the phrase is used by Sky Trainers when you refuse their invitation to a Sky Battle (a Himmelskampf).  Partly, I love this because it means that the official German translators are apparently willing to do something that, in English, I’m pretty sure only occurs in fan fiction: take the name of Arceus in vain, as it were, the way we say “god damn it.”  Mostly, I love this because Arceus’ name is replacing the word “Arsch” in the phrase.  I petition for us all to spell and pronounce his name “Arscheus” from now on, as it seems like a good compromise between the forty-six different ways of pronouncing it that are out there currently.