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"mox nix" and American GI's

Posted by Word Camel on April 12, 2003

In Reply to: Re: "Mox nix" usually Macht Nichts but sometimes Macht's Nichts. posted by TheFallen on April 12, 2003

: : I'm new to this site, having stumbled onto it when seeing a reference to an old thread about "mox nix." so this one may have already been settled. If so, then macht nichts. But for those still interested, the correct spelling is 'Macht Nichts'

: : a German colloquial expression which basically means never mind, or it makes no difference. "machts nichts" is similar to the English Colloquial expression "whatever," although I'd say usually 'whatever' usually has a negative connotation directed toward the person to whom you are speaking (i.e., 'I don't care what you say')

: : "macht nichts" - 'never mind' also "schon gut"

: : "das macht nichts - 'this/that doesn't matter'

: : "es machtnichts wenn" - 'there's no harm if...'

: : The spelling "mox nix" has become popular, so much so that I dare say Webster should consider entering it in the dictionary as a colloquial English express with roots in German. I even use 'mox nix' sometimes because readers are more likely to recognize the expression in this form.

: : Guten Tag,
: : David

: I have to agree near on whole-heartedly with the above, except in the case where the original German is expressed as a question. If a German were to say "I'm taking the car out tonight. Do you mind?", he/she might use "Macht's nichts?" for "do you mind?" German demands that the verb comes ifirst in the word order when an interrogative is being used. Oh and the 's part? A colloquial and frequent contraction of "macht es".

I was going through somebits and pieces left over from when my father was stationed in Germany in the early 60's and came across a pamphlet intended to teach basic German phrases to American GI's. "Mox Nix" was one of the expressions used along with "ya" for "yes" ("ja" auf Deutsche). I suppose the military must have thought German spelling beyond the reach of the average soldier. I don't have proof but I think this could be the origin of this expression spelled this way. The pamphlets looked like they were produced in the 40's judging by the hairstyles and shoulder pads of the German femme fatales in the book.