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Frage:
briar patch  
von edeniz (AT), 2016-04-07, 10:43  like dislike  Spam?  
What does "briar patch" even mean?

Can it be translated to German as "Gebüsch"? Because I don't think that fits entirely, like there's a better word for it I just can't remember right now.
Antwort: 
dict.cc: briar dict.cc: brier  #839502
von Lllama (GB/AT), Last modified: 2016-04-07, 10:47  like dislike  Spam?  
Briars have thorns or prickles. This may or may not be important in the translation, depending on context.

Patch just means that there are a number of them growing together in one place - I would use Beet, but there might be a better word.
Antwort: 
von edeniz (AT), 2016-04-07, 11:18  like dislike  Spam?  
 #839509
That's just the thing, I'm pretty sure "Beet" does not fit in this case at all.

And yes, briars having thorns certainly important for the translation, which is why I don't think "Gebüsch" fits well enough.

My problem is that I sometimes can't remember everyday words I used to know despite German being my native language. You know that case where a word is at the tip of your tongue? I have no idea which phrase I'm looking for, just that I'll recognize is when I see it.
Chat:     
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2016-04-07, 12:16  like dislike  Spam?  
 #839513
Dict.cc has it as Dornenweg, but that's wrong. A patch is an area distinct from that about it, so a briar patch would be an area of wild thorny bushes in, for example, an open field or in a forest. You're correct that Beet is probably not what you're looking for since that implies a garden, and practically no one wants briars in a garden.

In your translation, is "briar patch" used figuratively in the sense of "clever ruse?" In that case, Dornengestrüpp would be the word you're looking for.
Antwort: 
Perhaps briars are different in America :-)  #839515
von Lllama (GB/AT), 2016-04-07, 11:50  like dislike  Spam?  
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/briar - ...especially a wild rose.

I've seen lots of gardens with wild roses - that's what I was thinking of when I said I might use Beet.
http://world-crops.com/sweet-briar/
http://www.hedging.co.uk/acatalog/product_10301.html
Antwort: 
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2016-04-07, 12:10  like dislike  Spam?  
 #839519
People in the U.S. generally refer to a desired thorny garden plant by its bloom or fruit. "Briars" (and especially so "briar patch") suggests thorny plants of little value or not desired. "You must come out and see my briars some day" sounds improbable, at least to U.S. ears.
Antwort: 
von Dracs (DE), 2016-04-07, 12:21  like dislike  Spam?  
 #839520
http://www.binisaya.com/english/patch
Im Deutschen kann das je nach Zusammenhang eine dornige Ecke im Garten sein, ein Beet mit dornigen Pflanzen, oder ein mit Gestrüpp überwuchertes Stück Land.
Antwort: 
von edeniz (AT), Last modified: 2016-04-07, 12:26  like dislike  Spam?  
 #839522
I have no idea how common the use of the word "briar" is for "wild rose". At a guess, I'd say not too common, but Lllama would be a better judge of that as a native speaker. A good information to have, though.

However, MichaelK's take on it was what I was looking for. "Dornengestrüpp" is not the exact phrase I had in mind (which I sadly still can't spit out), but it's close enough for me as makes no difference. Works well enough both for the figurative "clever ruse" and the literal "thorny piece of land".

Thank you all for the help. :)
Antwort: 
von Windfall (GB), 2016-04-07, 14:46  like dislike  Spam?  
 #839532
The first thing I think of when I hear "briar patch" is the story of Brer Rabbit and the tar baby. http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/07/brer_rabbit_meets_a_ta...
I assume that's why it also means clever ruse.
Antwort: 
Briar patch  #839533
von Catesse (AU), 2016-04-07, 15:06  like dislike  Spam?  
I don't think that this link has been mentioned yet. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/briar-patch
Like Windfall, I would think first of Brer Rabbit, but I would regard it in the literal sense as an undergrowth of thorny bushes - I would think first of brambles (blackberries). although "briar" has a much wider meaning. Check out in dict the entries for "Dornengestrüpp". The English translations are given as "brier", a valid alternative spelling.
Figuratively, however, I would see it as a nasty situation or difficult problem rather that a clever ruse.
Antwort: 
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2016-04-07, 15:38  like dislike  Spam?  
 #839535
4;Catesse The nasty situation is part of the ruse. In the U.S., the figurative use of the briar patch almost always points to Bre'r Rabbit pleading to not be thrown into the briar patch, but in fact desiring that very thing. "How about driving over to Bruster's and eat a load of ice cream?" "Oh please, please, don't throw me into that briar patch!" Meaning: "Yes, I'd love to!"
Chat:     
Michael  #839537
von Catesse (AU), 2016-04-07, 16:34  like dislike  Spam?  
I see the point, but it can be used either way. (Although the Brer Rabbit story is quite well known here, it would be unusual to use "briar patch" in either way, At least, I do not recall ever having heard it used, nor having seen it in Australian literature. Maybe I have just missed it.)
Chat:     
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2016-04-07, 19:58  like dislike  Spam?  
 #839538
4;Catesse: Yes, I agree. It would be easy to find examples of the figurative briar patch used to suggest a nasty situation. A writer might think twice before using it in this sense, though. Many readers here would immediately think of Bre'r Rabbit, even if that wasn't the writer's intention.

The literal briar patch (It was difficult to make headway, for the woods were full of briar patches.) would probably not trigger those remembrances of times past when you read Uncle Remus stories.

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