ANDERMANIR SHTUK.

That odd phrase is the title of a new novel by Evgeny Klyuev (Russian Wikipedia) mentioned in Lisa Hayden Espenschade’s latest post at Lizok’s Bookshelf, a typically informative list of the 2010 Big Book award finalists, with commentary. The one that is most immediately appealing to me is Oleg Zaionchkovsky’s Счастье возможно: Роман нашего времени (Happiness is possible: a novel of our time), but unquestionably the most intriguing title is carried by the book Lisa lists as “Evgenii Kliuev – Андерманир штук (Something Else for You – (?) I found a translation of the Russian title phrase in this article by Catriona Kelly).” The Kelly article is behind a paywall, so I tried Google Books on the phrase and got hits like “А вот, извольте посмотреть, андерманир штук — другой вид” [And here, if you'll be so kind as to look, andermanir shtuk — another view]; “А вот, извольте видеть, господа, андерманир штук хороший вид, город Кострома горит, у забора мужик стоит” [And here, see, if you would, andermanir shtuk, a good view, the city of Kostroma is burning, a peasant is standing by the fence]; “А вот андерманир-штук — Бонапарт на тулуп меняет сюртук со стужи да кушак подтянул потуже” [And here's andermanir shtuk — Bonaparte is exchanging his frock coat for a sheepskin coat because it's cold, and pulling the belt tighter]. As I wrote in Lisa’s comment section, I presume it’s from German, something like anderer Manier Stück “another sort of thing” (which is not actual German, but some Russian must have invented it on the basis of whatever the real German phrase is).
From the same Lizok post I learn that Jamie Olson, who translates Russian poetry into English and teaches in the English Department at Saint Martin’s University, has started a blog about Russian poetry, The Flaxen Wave. It looks promising, and I expect to be checking in on it regularly.
Update (October 2013). I have come across a variant in Alexander Veltman’s 1835 story Эротида, in the context of a game of cards: “Но вот ‘ander Stück manier!’ поносит он свою даму” ["But now he reviles his queen ander Stuck Manier"]. The early date brings it much closer to the 18th century (see comment thread below).

Comments

  1. From Catriona Kelly’s article on peep shows in Russia:

    raek recordings indicate that a macaronic phrase in Russian and garbled German, “a vot andermanir shtuk” (here’s something else for you), was used by some Russian performers to introduce each picture.

    She cites D. A. Rovinskii, Russkie narodnye kartinki, vol. 5 (Moscow, 1881), 231.

  2. Thanks!

  3. Languagehat, thanks for mentioning the title and phrase, and listing the other quotes. And thank you, lukas, for adding the quote from the Kelly article. I love the word “macaronic.”
    I use my public library card to access Maine’s virtual library page, which contains journals beyond that pay wall — I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at how much is available through our system.

  4. Googling on the phrase “andere manier” in German gets you 16,000 ghits, but going Dutch yields 1,1600,000.
    That’s consistent with my feeling that it sounds off in German.

  5. PS Andere Manier Stuk gets 4,300 ghits in Dutch.

  6. Well, Russian borrowed a lot from Dutch, but mostly in the 18th century. I’d be open to the possibility that this is from Dutch, but there would have to be a convincing means of transmission (a Dutch carnival troupe in Petersburg at the turn of the century?).

  7. Looking at those Dutch hits more closely, you will see that “andere manier stuk” contains fragments of two separate expressions that have nothing to do with each other, syntactically or semantically. If the separate expressions were proximate genes, then “andere manier stuk” would be a non-functional splice of portions of each:

    op een andere manier
    in another way

    op de een of andere manier
    one way or the other

    I know German but only a little Dutch. Going by resemblances in the text at this hit, I get the impression that Stuk gaan and stuk zijn mean kaputtgehen and kaputt sein:

    Whaha, Jah dan breekt het glas niet kapot, maar dan gaat ie op een andere manier stuk
    … then the glass doesn’t shatter, but it [the fog light ?, Mistlampe] fails in some other way

    At this hit,

    Ik heb het vermoeden dat de simulatoren op de een of andere manier stuk gaan door een verkeerd signaal.
    I suspect that the simulators fail in one way or another due to a false [inverted ?] signal.

    Here we have

    Zou het kunnen dat 1 van die 512mb stripjes op 1 of andere manier stuk zijn/gaan???
    [stripjes appears to mean memory expansion modules, see the pictures here]

    . So

    stuk gaan
    go to pieces, fail, break [no longer work properly]

    stuk zijn
    be broken [no longer work properly]

    At least on the evidence tendered by Gary, I would agree with Hat that a Dutch origin is unlikely. The phrase might be a garbled conflation of in der Manier and [ein] ander[es] Stück, from something like ein anderes Stück in der Manier. But *ein anderes in der Manier Stück is not on.

  8. Unless, of course, the Russians mistook a non-functional splice for a real gene, as I think Gary has done.

  9. Die Moral der Geschichte is that a hit is not a home run.
    The internet is full of people flailing the air. Rather than internet hits, it would be more reasonable to talk of strikes. The Umpire calls them – you, Gentle Surfer. The empirical is the umpirical.
    Epistemology rules !

  10. Another plug! (Lizok, and now Languagehat.) Мне очень лестно!

  11. I can’t find it in any of my dictionaries (curses upon them), but the phrase comes up a lot in a chapter of a book by Anna Nekrylova on folk festivities. The chapter is about rayok, which were panoramas of cities, events, people, etc. seen behind magnifying glass. The purveyor/peddler was a performer, who kept up a running commentary, usually rhymed and often satirical. Nekrylova writes that the first of these appeared (perhaps in St Petersburg?) in the last third of the 18th century from the West. She quotes some of the patter, and at one point the fellow says: Trrrr! Drugaya shtuchka! (Drumroll! Another one!) And then describes it.
    Anyway, my uneducated guess is that some of the first people to bring these panoramas were Dutch or German, and garbled bits of their patter stuck as part of the presentation. I think it sounds a bit like: Abracadabra! Another view! A bit of foreign exoticism, a magic word to produce the next image.

  12. So it does seem to be associated with rayochniks’ jargon. Which raises the question, how did this phrase outlive rayoks by a century?

  13. The same way that “Zounds !” survived the 17th century into today’s comic strips.

  14. I think it sounds a bit like: Abracadabra! Another view! A bit of foreign exoticism, a magic word to produce the next image.
    Sounds plausible, mab. I had wondered whether something like that was going on here.

  15. lukas, it hasn’t outlived the rayoks. It’s very anachronistic, and none of my well-educated Russian friends know it.

  16. So the Klyuev title is as opaque to modern readers as Tynyanov’s vezir-mukhtar in Smert’ Vezir-mukhtara; nobody but me seems to know it means ‘ambassador plenipotentiary.’

  17. I understood the phrase as a, very garbled, “(ein)ander(es), mein Herr, stueck”.
    Might it come from Yiddish rather than German? Seems more likely given the traveling show business link.

  18. vanya, I’m not sure, but I don’t think these were Jews. These kinds of panoramas were popular in Western Europe, so I think the first of them appeared in Russia were from there (not the Baltic countries or Belorussia, where there were a lot of Jews).
    Hat, as far as I can tell, yes: the title is totally obscure to Russians. Not even a distant bell ringing.

  19. Yiddish sounds like a very likely source, speaking as one who knows very little about Yiddish.
    My reaction to the idea that the Russian expression was not borrowed from German is based on my native-speaker intuition that, though the words are German, and the phrase makes sense, Germans wouldn’t phrase it like that.
    The overwhelming disparity between the 1 million plus hit for the phrase in Dutch vs the paltry number in German (bearing out my native-speaker intuition) suggested to me that “andere Manier” is a live expression in Dutch.

  20. My reaction to the idea that the Russian expression was not borrowed from German is based on my native-speaker intuition that, though the words are German, and the phrase makes sense, Germans wouldn’t phrase it like that.
    But native-speaker intuition is irrelevant in these contexts; cf. le talkie-walkie, just to take one of countless distorted bits of English borrowed into other languages.

  21. suggested to me that “andere Manier” is a live expression in Dutch.
    Gary, it does look like that – or rather it looks like part of a live expression, for instance op andere manier. But, as I showed, andere manier stuk looks to be neither a live expression in Dutch, nor part of one, but rather the tail and front end of two different and unrelated live expressions.
    Searching for “house on”, I get 20 million hits. Someone who didn’t know English might want to argue that the large number of hits is evidence for “house on” being a live expression in English. But it ain’t. There are many expressions in which it occurs, such as “house on fire” and “buy the house on the advice of my tax consultant”. “House on” in these examples is not even a sub-live-expression, it’s just two consecutive words.

  22. “andere manier stuk” is not a Dutch expression. As already has been mentioned before, the combination only occurs in sentences where these words happen to occur in this order, e.g. je auto kan ook op een andere manier stuk gaan ‘your car can also break down in some other way’. However, in modern Dutch this is the common way of saying ‘other way, manner, fashion, etc.’, but as far as I know in German you’d rather say ‘anderer Art’ and not with ‘Manier’. But I don’t know about the German of the 17th, 18th or 19th century. Not sure if that’s of any help…

  23. The way one says “in a different way” in everyday German is with the adverbial expressions auf eine andere Weise or auf eine andere Art und Weise, or just anders. Moving ever so slightly up the la-di-da ladder – above the German of everyday folks, that is, into the realm to which the word vornehm (distinguished, superior) is often applied in a mildly sarcastic way – you leave off the “eine” to say auf andere Weise, auf andere Art und Weise or even auf andere Art (this last expression suggests that you read serious newspapers regularly).
    besonderer Art, an adjectival expression in the genitive, means “of a special kind”: Das ist ein Gebäude besonderer Art. The expression einer anderer Art is gramatically the same, meaning “of a different kind”. They’re both more distinguished than the everyday, predicative ist etwas Besonderes, ist anders, ist von einer anderen Sorte.
    The film Close Encounters of The Third Kind was issued here as Unheimliche Begegnung der dritten Art. By the way, that’s a good example of the bad habit German distributors have of adding a melodramatic ingredient to film titles. Even the switch from plural to singular is willful, with the aim of making the story sound more concrete and as if “it really happened”. It’s a weakened viral form of the psychotoxic headline practices of Bild Zeitung and The National Enquirer.
    In der Manier belongs to an educated-folks register. It means “in the style/manner of”, for instance in der Manier des Rembrandt .

  24. Typo warning: einer anderer Art should be einer anderen Art

  25. Is it possible that the expression “ander Manier stueck” was part of German (or Dutch) language in the 18th century (or maybe it was limited to a dialect) and has since fell out of use. Have German (and Dutch) changed considerably since the 18th century?

  26. I added an update and am reopening the thread in case anyone wants to discuss it.

  27. Here are two similar “non-functional splices” into English, both from the Bible:
    1) anathema maranatha ‘particularly strong anathema’ is < the Greek anathema at the end of a sentence in 1 Corinthians 16:22, followed by an Aramaic phrase, either marana tha ‘Come, Lord!’ or maran atha ‘The Lord has come’ , Paul’s sign-off. The KJV translators did not realize this, and rendered the verse as a single sentence, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.”
    2) helpmate by folk etymology < helpmeet < help meet in “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” in Genesis 2:18. The NIV clarifies it as “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

  28. David Marjanović says:

    I understood the phrase as a, very garbled, “(ein)ander(es), mein Herr, stueck”.

    That really stretches the fun you can have with German word order. It’d be fine in Latin and probably Russian, but in German you’d need to resort to poetry first, and even there I’d not expect to ever find it.

    Is it possible that the expression “ander Manier stueck” was part of German (or Dutch) language in the 18th century (or maybe it was limited to a dialect) and has since fell out of use. Have German (and Dutch) changed considerably since the 18th century?

    Oh yes. In particular, higher-class German was full of French words that have much more restricted usage nowadays (like Manier) or are even completely unknown to anyone who hasn’t studied the period.

    Here are two similar “non-functional splices” into English, both from the Bible:

    One that’s not from the Bible is the trove, the treasure trove. Trésor trouvé, valuables acquired by finding them as opposed to buying, inheriting, robbing or stealing them.

    By the way, that’s a good example of the bad habit German distributors have of adding a melodramatic ingredient to film titles.

    That’s a really nice way to put it.

  29. marie-lucie says:

    higher-class German was full of French words
    Some years ago when I was a student needing to improve my German I read Goethe’s novel Elective Affinities in the original. I was astonished at the number of French words in the German text. Their meanings might have been different from the French ones, but my command of German was not such as to allow me to notice those differences.

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