In German, there is an idiom "Hier spielt die Musik!" (with intonationally emphasized "hier"). Translated literally: "Here is the music playing!" It is used with an accompanying pointing gesture to direct/point someone's attention to oneself or to a specific point in space/location. It is mainly used to grab someone's attention, or to regrab her attention because the person had become distracted by something else.

In plain words, you could say: "Look here/at me (again)!", "Listen to me (again)!", or more generally (but less correct): "Pay attention to here/me (again)!"

Does an idiom with the same function exist in English?

If you are a native speaker and not aware of such an idiom then an answer like "I am a native speaker and not aware of such an idiom" is absolutely fine and will be highly appreciated.

  • 1
    We do often use Look!, as in "Look! There's a rare butterfly." or "Listen! Do you hear that eerie sound?" If you're demanding that people under your command (students, employees, etc) pay attention to what you're about to say: "Listen up! The bus leaves at 11AM sharp." If you're giving a sudden warning: "Look out!" (much like Pass auf!).
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 16:23
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Right, but I am searching for an idiom. Because often idioms add some flavour to the plain meaning: humoristic (as in "Hier spielt die Musik!") or dramatic or ... Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 16:33
  • So, you could say "Hier spielt die Musik" to say, for instance, "The grizzly bear is over here in this cage."? or "Aha, this is the smoking gun!".
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 16:34
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo lol I am not sure because mentioning a grizzly bear might result in running away the addressed person before he/she could listen to the rest of the sentence ("in this cage"). Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 16:37
  • How about the smoking gun example (which I was appending probably as you were typing)?
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 16:38

5 Answers 5


I think I understand what you're trying to convey: if someone is distracted or ignoring you while you're speaking, a simple way to get their attention in English would be by simply saying "Hellooo?" (focus on a inquisitive intonation) and/or "Over heeeree" (again, all in the intonation) accompanied with waving or snapping fingers, but be warned these are not very elegant approaches. A politer way would be by simply saying "Excuse me?" to get their attention again. Good luck!

  • 1
    I don't imagine that the German version is particularly elegant or polite either. Rather, I think that there is some muffled annoyance being communicated through these sayings, and that is intentionally a part of choosing to use these interactions. Another similar option which carries the same tone, but playfully emulates a phone conversation is, "Are you still there?"
    – mathewb
    Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 21:34
  • This is very much like our Russian "Алёёёё?" which works on a pretty much similar way, do +1 from me. Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 7:02

"Earth to [someone]," comes to mind, as in:

Earth to Min-Soo Pipefeet. Come in Min-Soo Pipefeet.

Here's some more information on that phrase's origin and meaning, but to summarize, it was similar to the way people spoke in sci-fi movies in the latter part of the twentieth century. If someone from a base on earth was hailing an astronaut, that phrase would be used. So the connotation is that the someone being addressed is "spaced out." I haven't heard that in a while, but it was definitely something I heard as a kid (directed at other kids, of course, not me)...


In American English, two similar phrases which come to mind (but aren't figurative idioms) are:

Hey, Charlie, I'm talking to you.


Charlie, I'm over here.

You can say these when someone seems not to be paying attention or when their eyes have wandered. The second fits well if you're talking to someone and they're gazing at another person. (Unless you're a ventriloquist.)

Sometimes women complain that men look at their breasts, and they say:

My face is up here.

The tone of emphasis, which I've denoted with italic, is important.


I think "take a gander" might work to get someone's attention.

"Hey, Jim, take a gander at this thing over here!"


Not exactly equivalent, but English has some idioms that seem to be related:

  1. drum roll, please is used to introduce something or someone.
  2. Ta da! can be used to draw attention to an idea or an event, as an imitation of a fanfare (it has other uses which are more common).

Another recent meme that can be used to introduce and create emphasis is wait for it.... But it may not be understood by all English speakers.

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