"Er war jeder Zoll ein König."

Translation:Every inch of him was a king.

March 15, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Just in case you are interested: This german sentence looks like it is written in a form that was used 75-150 years ago. It is not something you would hear anyone say or see anyone write nowadays (other than in bible translations etc.). People would get what you want to say, but it's not a natual sentence.

Today if you wanted to say "Every inch of him was a king." in german you could say something like:

  • "Er war durch und durch ein König." (king to the core)
  • "Jedes Bisschen an ihm war könglich." (~ every bit of him was royal)
  • "Er war ein König, wie er im Buche steht." (he was a textbook example of a king)
  • and so on (und so weiter)


That makes sense since Germany has not had a King since 1918.


I'm a little confused here--doesn't Zoll mean toll? Does it also mean inch?


Yes, it means both. Note, however, that the only place I've seen inches used in Germany are on TV and monitor screen sizes.

Zoll also means customs, which is where you'll first encounter the word in the airport when you arrive. You might also have to deal with the Zollamt if you ever receive an expensive package here.

  • 1308

'He was every inch a king' is actually an English phrasing of the idiom as well, though you may more likely hear 'gentleman' rather than 'king'.


Agree. In American English at least, no one would ever say, "Every inch of him was a king." One would say, "He was every inch a king (or champion or whatever else one might conceivably be every inch of)."


'Every inch of him was a king' is nonsense in English. If he were six feet tall, he would be 72 kings? ! 'He was every inch a king' is the expression, as Daniel and G-S have said, and I like Patros' German equivalent, 'Er war durch und durch ein König'. :-)


I thought for two minutes to find any sense in the german sentence.

I know the idiom "durch und durch" but "jeder Zoll" in that meaning I never heard. Also "Er war jeder Zentimeter ein König." sounds rediculous and suspicious, too ;-)

It should be changed to "Er war durch und durch ein König." or "Er war ganz und gar ein König."


Maybe "Every inch of him was royal"? At the beginning I was trying to figure out many kings on the same body/country...

Probably "Every inch of him was a king" is an idiom and it's fine like that.


I said "He was every bit a king".


The German sentence does not make sense.


Sounds pretty dirty, but maybe that's me

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.