Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Mischmasch is the German word for "hodgepodge" (an apt description of today's post).

Germans love long compound words, known as Mammutwörter ("mammoth words").

The German word for "laws governing the labeling of pork," for example, is Schweinefleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz.

Among the best Mammutwörter are:

Ohrwurm ("ear worm"); the condition of having a song (such as Wayne Newton's big hit, Danke Schön) stuck in your head.

Sitzfleisch ("Sitting meat"); the ability to sit through a long, boring event (or through Danke Schön).

Weltschmerz ("world pain"); the pain you feel over the world's imperfection (commonly experienced by most Americans during election season).

Backpfeifengesicht ("Slap face"); a person who deserves a slap in the face (like some Presidential candidates).

Kummerspeck ("grief bacon"); the weight gained after a romantic breakup.

Innerer Schweinehund ("inner pig dog"); the voice in your head telling you to slack off.

Treppenwitz ("staircase joke"); the snappy comeback that occurs to you only after the conversation.

Erklärungsnot ("explanation poverty"); the inability to explain why you did something, or failed to do it.

Schattenparker ("shadow parker"); a wimp who parks his car in the shade, so the interior doesn't get hot; similar compounds include Warmduscher (a wimp who showers in warm water) and Sitzpinkler (a wimp who sits to urinate).

Lebensmüde ("life tired" ); when you're so weary of life you perform a stupid act (like the one below).

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