The greatest words in the German language.
Just my humble opinion, naturally, but these are some of the most entertaining words I've come across in any language, never mind this one.
Kummerspeck - literally 'grief bacon', this is the weight one gains when depressed or otherwise emotional.
Erklärungsnot - imagine you're caught doing something that you really, really shouldn't be, and need an excuse immediately. This is the 'explanation emergency'.
Glühbirne - something as simple as a lightbulb made into a thing of beauty with a change of name. In this case, it's a 'glow-pear'.
Do any of you have any particular favourites- or, if you happen to be German, are there any especially entertaining English words? My boss from Niedersachsen is particularly fond of 'vixen', for obvious reasons. :)
My favorite is Staubsauger for vacuum cleaner. When I would knock on my German landlord's door to borrow the vacuum cleaner, I could never remember the word and always ended up imitating the sound and motion of using a vacuum cleaner, and laughing so hard in the process. What sweet memories!
In France and in Austria they are also called "earth apples", i.e. "pommes de terre" and "Erdäpfel" respectively. In parts of South West Germany they are often called "Grumbeere", which comes from "Grund Birne", i.e. "ground pear". A similar word exists in Luxembourg, where they are called "Grompere".
I think the "Härd" also comes from "Erde" and not from "Herd" (stove). Here is the wikipedia article in Alemannisch, which is similar to your Swiss German dialect. The variants of Grum-/Grombeere are "Rheinfränkisch", i.e. the Palatinate (Pfalz), Saarland and Northern Baden. In Southern Baden, closer to Switzerland, they are "Herdöpfel".
That would be the limit of the maximum speed. Geschwindigkeitsbeschränkung, Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung and (erlaubte) Höchstgeschwindigkeit are common words for speed limit/allowed maximum speed.
What makes these words long, is not the number of words, which the word contains like in "Fuß-boden-schleif-maschinen-verleih"(5) and "Donau-dampf-schiff-fahrt-s-gesellschaft-s-kapitän"(6), but the leingth of only two words "Geschwindigkeit" (speed) and "Gegrenzung" (limitation, if this word exists)
"-zeug" does not directly translate to "-thing". Instead it is related to the English word "toy". Both are derived from a proto-Germanic root, which meant sth. like "what has been taken/drawn/tugged" (yes, "tug" is also derived from a similar word).
In English the meaning of "toy" was sheared to a "playing-device" only.
Swedish has this too, and I'm rather fond of the word riksdagsmannautskottssuppleantbostadsstäderskevikariebarnbarnsbyxor: Trousers of the grandchild(ren) of the substitute cleaner of the house of a Member of Parliament who is a deputy in a parliament committee. (invented by the comedian author Falstaff, fakir.)
I just heard "Zebrastreifen" ("crosswalk") courtesy of Vlog Dave. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnZ0C4deOyB_TUFSJK3L4lg Is it due to the stripes painted on the road?
Despite that most of my ancestors were German, I sometimes have a little trouble taking the German language seriously. I find it very amusing that if you're in Berlin and you're feeling very sick (krank) then you might have a serious medical crisis and you may end up riding to the Krankenhaus in a Krankenwagen, but hopefully you will have good Krankenversicherung to help cover the medical bills. Perhaps there's a kind of genius behind all this. After all, words beginning with a "k" are deemed to be funny, and laughter is said to be the best medicine.
Another "sick" word that I kind of like is "Arbeitsunfähigkeitbescheinigung". (at least I think that's how it's spelled!) Literally it means something like "work disability certificate". (Arbeits = work, (un)fähigkeit = (dis)ability, bescheinigung = certificate) Not sure if it is used frequently, but I still like it!
The word inspired someone to create the new word "Arbeitsunlustbescheinigung", which became a running gag when stating "officially" that you're not in the mood for work today. For an example see http://www.chip.de/ii/3/0/1/7/7/4/8/963f3531b34a1cdb.jpg
Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung, I think, with another buffer -s- in there (Arbeit + Unfähigkeit + Bescheinigung -- the "s" does not belong to "Arbeit" but is a sound added during the process of combining the words).
Used frequently enough when talking about the object it refers to, though it's also often simply called "der gelbe Schein" (the yellow slip) after its colour.
1.) Zeitgeist (wurde zum geflügelten Wort und stammt vom Dichter Johann Gottfried Herder) 2.) Weltschmerz ( stammt vom deutschen Dichter Jean Paul) 3.) Fremdschämen ( siehe Wikipedia Donald Trump) 4.) Backpfeifengesicht (siehe Wikipedia Donald Trump) und Schnapsidee dürfte hier wohl auch passen. 5.) Treppenwitz (Friedrich Nitzsche, Denis Diderot und William Lewis Hertslet) Das Buch "Treppenwitz der Weltgeschichte" wird seit 1822 Jahr für Jahr bis heute in einer aktualisierten Fassung aufgelegt. (siehe Wikipedia Donald Trump) 6.) Torschlusspanik ( in deutschen Städten wurden im Mittelalter abends die Tore verschlossen. In Hamburg sogar bis zum Jahre 1860 ) 7.) Oberlichte (Weil Deutsche diese Fensterform Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts in Frankreich entdeckten und diese dort "Le Vasistas" - in Anlehnung an den deutschen Satz "Was ist das?" heißen. Mutterseelenallein ist auch so ein Wort, das sich die Berliner den Hugenotten (französischen Flüchtlingen) abgeschaut haben. unn natürlich Fingerspitzengefühl, Luftschloss, Kopfkino, Dunkelziffer, Dornröschenschlaf, Putzfimmel, Frühjahrsmüdigkeit und Dünnhäutigkeit.
Das schönste deutsche Wort: begreifen! Es bringt auf wunderbare Art das abstrakte Denken und das sinnliche Erfassen in einem Wort zusammen.