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Gender of product names

If a new product name is coined, how is the gender of the noun determined in German?

April 11, 2018



Interesting question.

Car brands are almost always masculine (der Mercedes, der Ferrari, der Peugeot), whereas motorcycle brands are feminine (die Harley Davidson, die Ducati). Thus, if somebody says "der BMW", it is a car, if he says "die BMW, it is a motorcycle.

It is "der Big Mac" and "der Whopper", probably because it is "der Hamburger", but "die Coca-Cola", "die Sprite", "die Sinalco".

People disagree (quite emotionally) about whether it is "die Nutella" or "das Nutella".


Thank you! The question arose when I was dusting with an American product called "Swiffer." Googling showed it to be feminine: die Swiffer.


I don't know how Google came to the conclusion that it's feminine but in this case I would agree with LiamBeresford and I would say "das Swiffer" since I would use "das" for other cleaning brands as well.


I agree, "Swiffer" does not "sound" feminine at all. Google found plurals probably.

I think P&G markets the product as "der Staubmagnet", thus I would go for "der Swiffer" :)


Google just showed that it is marketed in Germany as die Swiffer.


If it was made from existing words, then the gender of the last word will be used. If it's a foreign word then it's most probably neuter. If neither, then I'm not sure, but I would guess it is based off the ending

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