Posted by R. Berg on November 13, 2002
In Reply to: Absent mindedness posted by Word Camel on November 13, 2002
: : : I have to translate from English into Hebrew.
: : : "can you beat that for daftness?"
: : : can anyone help in the meaning of this sentence?
: : : I'll be most grateful to anyone who can help.
: : : Thank you
: : : miri
: : I am guessing here, but I think "daft" means roughly the same as "mishegas" in Yiddish. It means craziness. Yiddish buffs, any other suggestions?
: Sorry I meant to say that the entire sentence is a rhetorical question asking whether it is possible to think of anything crazier. The implication is the craziness is so extreme that it isn't possible for it to be any crazier than it already is.
The popular Yiddish adjective (almost adopted into American English) for "crazy" is "meshugge," but that doesn't help, because the questioner is working with Hebrew. "Mishegoss," or "mishegaas," is the noun (Leo Rosten, "The Joys of Yiddish"). "Can you beat that for daftness?" means "Do you know of anything crazier (sillier, more misguided) than that?"