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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Germans


(This has absolutely nothing to do with comic books, but still.)

I am of German heritage (Mom was naturalized a US citizen in 1971, Dad's dad came over to America in the 1920s, they're from opposite ends of Germany), and I am always fascinated by the German language of which I speak a little and understand more. One of my favorite things about the German language is the seeming ability of the Germans to mash a couple of words together to make a new word when one is needed. And like the French language, the Germans have words for stuff we didn't know we needed.

One of my favorite German words is this:

"Schadenfreude", or a pleasurable emotion resulting from the misfortune of others

Of COURSE the Germans would have such a word! I'm sure it comes up all the time. Strangely enough, we Americans use it a lot too.

Recently I discovered a new German word:

"Backpfeifengesicht" - a face that cries out for a fist in it

Yes, that seems very German too, doesn't it! Crack me up.

Oh and the (second) longest German word, made of mashing a bunch of smaller words together when they needed a new one?

Behold:

"Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhaupt
betriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft"
which of course means Association for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services


I sure love those compound nouns!

You're welcome.

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5 Comments:

At 1/04/2009 12:25 AM, Blogger Bill at Comix Connection said...

And as your dose of irony, my aunt in Germany tells me that the German word for "portable cellphone" is...

Handi

-

 
At 1/04/2009 10:44 AM, Blogger MegoSteve said...

A new one I heard a few weeks ago is Sekundenschlaf, which is falling asleep for a very brief time, particularly whlle driving.

 
At 1/04/2009 11:58 AM, Blogger Bill at Comix Connection said...

Here's some German words that aren't long or anything, just funny:

Kummerspeck: a German word that literally means “grief bacon” but refers to the excess weight gained from emotion-related overeating.

Drachenfutter: A German word that is “dragon fodder” when translated literally, but means the peace offerings made by guilty husbands to their wives.


Heh.

 
At 1/09/2009 1:19 AM, Blogger Bill at Comix Connection said...

And YES I have a pair of lederhosen...

 
At 1/09/2009 1:20 AM, Blogger Bill at Comix Connection said...

There. I said it.

 

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