“Wenn ist das Nunstuck git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!”
“It was actually German gibberish,” Eric Idle explains. “It’s written-down gibberish, because we all had to learn the same thing, yeah, but it’s gibberish! It doesn’t mean a thing at all. At least, I don’t think it does…”
Actually, some of it is legit… Below is my attempt at translation.
Beware! One of the British war-time translators who first converted it to German accidentally saw two words of this joke and spent several weeks in the hospital.
“If is the nowpiece git and Slotermeyer? Yes! …Beiherdog that or the pinballwood gersput!”
A further translation attempt:
- “Slotermeyer” = Nothing I could find even close though the last part “meyer” is a common German last name. So maybe it is just a proper name.
- “Wenn” = “if”, but “Wann” means “When” which probably makes more sense in the strange context of the joke. Perhaps it was changed to curtail the joke’s deadly effects.
- “Beiher” kind of sounds like “bier” which means “beer”.
- “Gersput” is kind of the first part of “gebrochen” and the last part of “kaputt” which both mean “broken”. So if you wanted it could mean “broke-broke”.
So maybe the world’s funniest (& deadliest) joke is actually:
“When is the nowpiece git and Slotermeyer? Yes! …Beerdog that or the pinballwood broke-broke!”
Ha… HA HA HA.. Ack……