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.

One thought on “Himmel, Arceus und Zwirn

  1. When I played Pokémon X back in 2013/14, I was confused about this sentence because I had never heard the original phrase before (even though I’m German). A few years later (still never heard the original), PokémontutorialTV (a german Pokémon Youtuber) mentioned that phrase in a video about random Pokémon facts and said “Den originalen Satz wiederhole ich an der Stelle mal lieber nicht…” (“At this point, let’s not repeat the original phrase…”). That was the day I finally googled it.

    “Arscheus” lol
    Fun fact: There are already two german Pokémon names containing “Arsch”: “Barschuft” (Basculin) and “Barschwa” (Feebas)

    Liked by 1 person

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