According to one of Nathan Bierma's language columns, "ubersexual" is now replacing "metrosexual." Salzman in "The Future of Men" (has anyone read it?) uses the new term "ubersexual," which means guys who feel your pain but whose heterosexual orientation is unambiguous, and she gives as examples Bono, George Clooney and Bill Clinton.
However, Bierma brings up a really good point about the "uber" prefix. He says that "uber" is a much more grand word in English than in German. In German, Bierma says, it is mundane, meaning "over," "above," or "across." It seemed to change, according to Bierma, with the philosopher Frederick Nietzsche who "coined the word 'Ubermensch' -- literally 'over man' -- in the 19th Century, to describe an exceptional man who rises above organized religion to determine his own moral code. George Bernard Shaw translated the word as 'superman,' and later the Superman comic book character picked up the term and gave 'super' -- and, by extension, 'uber' -- the sense of 'heroic'."
I know we have some posters here who are familiar with German. Is "uber" more mundane in German than in English? Does this explanation sound reasonable?
Although I am familiar with the German meaning, I would not consider that "uber" is an English word, or even one that is close to being adopted by UK English speakers (as now is Schadenfreude).
The translation is sometimes a precise one: uber meaning over, as in uberhaufen = overload; overwhelm. In other instances the meaning is similar but the translation not so literal: uberpolster (literally to overpad) which we would probably translate as "to upholster" (but the derivation is clearly the same.
The use of "uber" as a prefix is certainly more common in German than it is in UK English.
Lol - yeah, Bill Clinton really feels women's pain. The author could at least have come up with better examples than playboys and adulterers (I don't know about Bono, but I know Clooney used to have a reputation of being unable to settle down and not treating women well - maybe he's grown up now).
As for 'uber', I don't know how mundane it is in German, but it does appear to have a feel of 'supreme' or similar when used by English speakers: when more than 'very' is needed.
So - according to that article - men who treat women as useful objects but can also cry to get their way . . . umm . . .that's a good thing?
I would not say that wanting lots of women for sexual pleasure would mean that their heterosexuality is undisputed, either.
I think "uber" is becoming the new chic prefix to use. Its quite popular.
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
As far as I can tell, "uber" is starting to fall out of favor in American popular culture. 5 years ago, it occured much more on television and in movies than it does today. Perhaps I am just becoming used to it, to the point where I don't notice it being used, but I would highly doubt this.
On a different note, are there any etymological connections between "uber" and "super"?
I have heard the young ones saying über in isolation. For example, saying that something is über 'super, great'. Latin super (< *eks-uper), Greek huper (whence our hyper), and English over are all related. german auf (cf. English up, Dutch op), ob, and ober are also related, as well as übel 'bad, evil, nasty' and übrig 'odd, remaining, spare'.
—Ceci n'est pas un seing.
I personally am extremely uncomfortable with the word 'ubermensch', because of its use by the Nazis.
Sorry...but I was only quoting Bierma.
Sean, your observation about über falling out of favor is interesting. That is not Bierma's contention, but then you are probably more familiar with popular culture than he is.
I've never actually heard Ubersexual. Of course, I never heard metrosexual until it hit television. One week it wasn't there, and then the next it was a widely used term. I somehow doubt that ubersexual will actually catch on, but I dislike both terms. Seriously, instead of "metrosexual", we could use any number of terms, effeminate, fashionable, gay, all of which work just as well.
Except the point of 'metrosexual' is that it's supposed to describe a hetero, not a gay, man.
I think 'uber' waxes and wanes, or maybe just depends on where and with whom one is.
Yes, I was making a joke.
Sean, I was referring to your comment that über is falling out of favor in American popular culture, not übersexual.
Nope, still don't get it.
Many "red blooded American males", would refer to a metrosexual as "gay"(or meaner synonyms), rather than any other term, like metrosexual. The word "gay" has lost significant connotational power, unlike "queer" and "fag", and has come to describe, amongst other things, effeminate heterosexuals.
I was making a joke about this.
Aha - it's another US/UK thing. Thanks for the clarification .
Queer has pretty much been reclaimed in a positive way now, at least in the UK (Queer Theory, etc). I don't think fag ever really caught on here (the slang term for cigarette being the preferred usage), although I have heard some people use it.