bonchen?

Need help with translating WW1, Inter-War or WW2 related documents or information?
Felix C
Member
Posts: 1028
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

bonchen?

Post by Felix C » 24 Nov 2021 20:54

Hello Everyone,

Apologizes stumped again.

For context:
The author was in the coal fired boiler room and his buddy in the oil fired boiler room. The latter's "bonchen" was a better billet.

Mein Busenfreund an Bord war Richard Walter Uns hatte schon auf der “Hertha” innige Freundschaft verbunden. Er fuhr als Maschinistenmaat im dritten Heizraum, wo die Kessel schon mit Oelfeuerung geheizt wurden, hatte daher ein etwas sauberes “Bonchen” als ich.

Found some very interesting definitions for Bonchen in older dictionaries. Not ideal when placed in context.

A little help please, as we used to say in Little League.

I am assuming he means billet, duty, etc. Wonder if anyone is familiar with the term?

Thanks
FC

GregSingh
Member
Posts: 3544
Joined: 21 Jun 2012 01:11
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: bonchen?

Post by GregSingh » 24 Nov 2021 23:54

From my young years in Northern Germany I remember Bonchen as round/cylinder chocolate sweets!
Could be of French/Belgium origin where they called them bonbons.
The more you let yourself to go, the less others will let you to go.
F.Nietzsche

Felix C
Member
Posts: 1028
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

Re: bonchen?

Post by Felix C » 25 Nov 2021 00:03

GregSingh wrote:
24 Nov 2021 23:54
From my young years in Northern Germany I remember Bonchen as round/cylinder chocolate sweets!
Could be of French/Belgium origin where they called them bonbons.
The 1890 to 1900 dictionaries consulted indeed indicated a bonbon, sweet. etc.

The author is quite humourous throughout and it may be a play on words.

User avatar
danebrog
Member
Posts: 370
Joined: 17 Nov 2008 15:59

Re: bonchen?

Post by danebrog » 25 Nov 2021 13:51

In the context it will be a piece of clothing: The author's friend worked on an oil-fired ship, while the author himself probably still served on a coal-fired one, so his "Bonchen" was not so clean ;-)
It will most probably be a slang expression no longer common today
What Greg meant is called "Bonschen", usually candies, occasionally also other sweets in general.

Felix C
Member
Posts: 1028
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

Re: bonchen?

Post by Felix C » 25 Nov 2021 14:09

danebrog wrote:
25 Nov 2021 13:51
In the context it will be a piece of clothing: The author's friend worked on an oil-fired ship, while the author himself probably still served on a coal-fired one, so his "Bonchen" was not so clean ;-)
It will most probably be a slang expression no longer common today
What Greg meant is called "Bonschen", usually candies, occasionally also other sweets in general.
Thanks. In the immediately preceding chapter he was describing how dirty everything was after coaling ship.

User avatar
Hans1906
Member
Posts: 2715
Joined: 06 Jan 2020 23:13
Location: Deutschland

Re: bonchen?

Post by Hans1906 » 25 Nov 2021 18:16

What Greg meant is called "Bonschen", usually candies, occasionally also other sweets in general.
In my childhood years in Germany, a "Bonschen" was the (north?) german slang/low german word for a Bonbon.
Especially in North Germany, Hamburg / Bremen, etc.

For what this word was used in the Marine/Kriegsmarine, unknown to me so far, someone will for sure know the correct answer...

Bonschen https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Bonschen


Hans
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

Felix C
Member
Posts: 1028
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

Re: bonchen?

Post by Felix C » 30 Nov 2021 21:22

Thanks again Hans. Appreciate all comments. The author does include quite a bit of folk/slang in his work

User avatar
Hans1906
Member
Posts: 2715
Joined: 06 Jan 2020 23:13
Location: Deutschland

Re: bonchen?

Post by Hans1906 » 01 Dec 2021 15:52

Felix, from the context, I think that a "Bonschen" could have been a typical white sailor shirt, worn for example by the stokers ("Heizer") of the Kriegsmarine at that time ?

Forum Marine Archiv https://www.forum-marinearchiv.de

Good luck for your further researches...

Ahoi! :milwink:


Hans
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

ManfredV
Member
Posts: 436
Joined: 10 May 2005 10:55
Location: Pirmasens

Re: bonchen?

Post by ManfredV » 03 Dec 2021 22:38

I'm German. Never heard "bonchen" before. I'm from Franconia but also have relatives in Southern Bavaria, South Baden and Switzerland. Now I live in the Palatinate for 25 years. My parents demanded us to speak Standard German. So did many teachers at gymnasium. So I learned and use both Standard German and East Franconian. I also understand many other south german dialects and both swiss and austrian german. But no "bonchen".
Must be North German dialect.

User avatar
Hans1906
Member
Posts: 2715
Joined: 06 Jan 2020 23:13
Location: Deutschland

Re: bonchen?

Post by Hans1906 » 03 Dec 2021 23:45

Manfred,
Here in northern Germany, people say "Bonschen" when they mean candies. The Worpsweder Bonschen Manufactur produces delicious sweets according to its own recipes in a small factory and sells them regionally, nationally and even worldwide.

Source: https://www.worpsweder-bonschen-manufactur.de

As school children, we received a "Bonschen" for good grades in school, sometimes a small bar of chocolate, rarely.
(Hershey /Cadbury, etc.) Mostly american / english sweets.

An African American GI gave my mother a small bar of nut chocolate in 1946, my mother still talked about it decades later, the children just smelled the paper years later, there was no chocolate in Germany after 1945.


Hans
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

Return to “Translation help: Breaking the Sound Barrier”