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German Expression: Mit dem Klammerbeutel gepudert


German Expression: Mit dem Klammerbeutel gepudert.

Meaning: To act stupidly

Literal Meaning: To be powdered with a peg bag.

Was tust du denn? Du bist wohl mit dem Klammerbeutel gepudert! (What are you doing? You are crazy! )
Dich hat wohl jemand mit dem Klammerbeutel gepudert!

Use it when: You want to state that somebody is doing something entirely stupid. It is a strong statement, equivalent to English expressions such as “Are you off your rocker?”

History: The origin of this idiom is uncertain. It is however not too old - it was the 1907 Jugendwort des Jahres. One possibility to its origin, is the literal translation of the idiom, in the context of wig-wearers. Instead of using a powder bag to powder someone's head, a peg bag is mistakingly used and thereby inflicting possible head injuries. (Clothes pegs were made of wood a few generations ago.) This would result in impaired intellectual abilities. Though I prefer this possible explanation: It used to be that millers used cloth bags resembling peg bags to put over open flour boxes and then close them. These cloth bags acted as sieves to sift the ground-up grain. If the miller was dumb enough to open the box during this process, then a cloud of powder would emerge, thus “powdering” the miller. Further, such a cloud of fine dust increased the risk of a fire.

Similar Phrases:
Er hat einen Vogel. (He has a bird.)
Dich hat man wohl als Kind zu heiß gebadet?! (They bathed you in too hot water when you were a child, didn't they?) Du spinnst!
nicht recht bei Verstand sein; blöd sein
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