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German lingo of mentality and mental states Login/Join
 
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Germany was the birthplace of psychology, and our new theme will be German "mental" words that English has adopted verbatim.

Let's face it: last week's theme was week. So rather than play it out to the 7th word, we'll cut it off early and start the new theme early. This decision displays our:

sprachgefühl (literally, "language-feeling")
- an intuitive sense of what is linguistically appropriate
- also, the character of a language

quote:
One thing ... which is absolutely essential to literary translation, is the whole question of what the Germans call Sprachgefühl, the language sense you have.
-- John Hollander, recipient of numerous awards as poet and as translator, as interviewed in The Poet's Other Voice: Conversations on Literary Translation (ed. Edwin Honig; 1985)
 
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quote:
Let's face it: last week's theme was week.


I thought it was water words? roll eyes
 
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Wordcrafter, you were so clever with your pun on weak!
 
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Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary provides a word for another aspect of the "unconscious awareness" concept of yesterday's word:

Anshauung – intuition; sense awareness or perception

English rarely uses this term alone, but more often uses another term building upon it:

weltanshauung – a comprehensive view of the world and human life; the overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world
(literally, "world-view"; AHD gives "worldview" as the meaning of the term)
quote:
With respect to the First Amendment, Joseph Story, who served on the Supreme Court, explained: "The promulgation of the great doctrines in religion, can never be a matter of indifference in any well-ordered community. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive, how any civilized society can well exist without them." Of course, contemporary American society, or at least its social elite, may not still share this religious Weltanschauung.
-- Gregory C. Sisk, Drake Law Review (1998; excerpted)
 
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PS to Kalleh and arnie:
Pooh! I'll respond in kind tomorrow. smile
 
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A delicious word:

schadenfreude – a malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others.
from Schaden, damage + Freude, joy. often capitalized, as it is in German.
quote:
The historian Peter Gay -- who felt Schadenfreude as a Jewish child in Nazi-era Berlin, watching the Germans lose coveted gold medals in the 1936 Olympics -- has said that it "can be one of the great joys of life."
--Edward Rothstein, Missing the Fun of a Minor Sin, New York Times, February 5, 2000

... this summer's favorite guilty pleasure -- delighting in others' misfortune, or "Schadenfreude." Between Martha Stewart, Michael Ovitz, Dennis Kozlowski, Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling and Samuel Waksal, there's plenty of misfortune of various kinds to go around and, as it turns out, plenty of delight. "Right now the Schadenfreude is flying high," said John Portmann, the author of When Bad Things Happen to Other People.
-- Warren St. John, New York Times News Service, August 25, 2002.
from an interesting article, noting how scientists are studying this emotion
I know there was no Schadenfreude in the "week" comments. wink
 
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I know there was no Schadenfreude in the "week" comments
As if! big grin
 
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I know there was no Schadenfreude in the "week" comments.

Only from Arnie! big grin
 
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A cheerful word:

gemütlich – warm and congenial; pleasant or friendly
(noun form gemütlichkeit – warm friendliness; amicability)
quote:
Not long ago, I was sitting, enjoying with my cherished spouse our anniversary dinner in the Hotel Post at Freudenstadt in the Black Forest ... All was gemütlich, the waiter hovered, the candles threw their beams, and joyful serenity prevailed.
-- John Gould, in The Christian Science Monitor, November 14, 1997

E.Y. ("Yip") Harburg, the lyricist of the movie Wizard of Oz and of many much-loved songs, including Over the Rainbow, put a twist on this word:
quote:
The Nazi, whom we did abhor,
Is now gemütlichkeiter,
For when he isn't making war
No one could be politer.
He woos Miss Liberty with zeal;
He bows with grace and rigor,
To kiss the hand and click the heel --
Before he clicks the trigger.
 
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weltschmerz – sadness over the evils of the world; esp. as a romantic pessimism. more generally, sentimental pessimism.
literally "world pain". Often capitalized

Coined in German by the Romantic author Jean Paul (pseudonym of Johann Paul Friedrich Richter) in an 1827 novel, but not adopted into English until nearly 50 years later. "Weltschmerz" initially came into being as a by-product of the Romanticism movement in Europe of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Romantic poets were a notably gloomy bunch and "Weltschmerz" aptly captures their melancholy and pessimism .

quote:
Carol was plunged back into last night's Weltschmerz.
-- Sinclair Lewis, Main Street (1920)

German critics have written of a cosmic Weltschmerz afflicting all the noblest spirits of Europe in the era following the Napoleonic wars.
-- Times Literary Supplement, August 1950
 
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What a wonderful group of words this week. They make me want to study German!
 
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Fahrvergnügen - driving pleasure. Used by Volkswagen in an advertising campaign

quote:
The other day, I learned that Fahrvergnügen is a real word, not just a creation of the folks who brought us the New Beetle."
-- Andrew Gore, Experience iBookgruven Macworld, Jul. 2001.

Already television viewers in the U.S. have seen signs of a heightened linguistic confidence on the part of the Germans. One example: a Volkswagen ad campaign that centers on the word Fahrvergnugen, or joy in driving--however mispronounced it may be in the commercials. Only a few years ago, the use of a German word in an advertisement in English would have been avoided, if only because the sound of German was associated with the bad guys in World War II movies. Today Fahr--and other Vergnugen--may be here to stay.
--Daniel Benjamin, "And Now for Sprachvergnugen", in Time, Jan. 9, 1990


I've not checked whether OED has accepted Fahrvergnügen. And since I don't speak german, can anyone tell me what Sprachvergnugen would mean?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
And since I don't speak german, can anyone tell me what _Sprachvergnugen_ would mean?


If it exists it would mean the pleasure of speaking. That said, it doesn't appear in my very good German Dictionary but while looking for it I came across another word that I'm sure we'll all appreciate.

Sprachverderber - a corrupter of language.

And a further one that I already knew (this board is a splendid example)

Sprachverein - a linguistic society.

Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum viditur

Read all about my travels around the world here.
 
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Sprachneuerer - a language reformer
Sprachregelung - prescribed phraseology
Sprachschnitzer - a grammatical blunder
and
Sprachshöpferisch - creative in the use of language

Isn't German wonderful ?

Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum viditur

Read all about my travels around the world here.
 
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quote:
Germany was the birthplace of psychology


I just noticed that statement in the original post. I think any Austrians who came across this board would take issue with it. Surely Vienna was where Freud and Jung practised at the turn of the last century?
 
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Isn't German wonderful?

Bob, I wholeheartedly agree, and I didn't even realize it until this thread. I am intrigued with words that Germans have where suitable words are not found in English. At least in America, I think we have neglected the German language. We push French or Spanish on our kids. Many schools don't even have German. What other German words are there??? I am definitely on a German word binge.

Arnie, I fear you may be right.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
What other German words are there??? I am definitely on a German word binge.



Well two of my favourites are Durchfall and Verstopfung, the German words for diarrhoea and constipation which translate literally as "through drop" and "blocking up".

Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum viditur

Read all about my travels around the world here.
 
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And you may call yourself a sprachwissenschaftler if you consider yourself a linguist. That is, if you can pronounce it. wink
 
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For this word (which seems to have been much more common in the early 1900's), the etymology tells all.

katzenjammer - a hangover (also, a discordant clamor)
from Katzen = cats + Jammer = distress, wailing
quote:
Alas! as I was to learn at a later period, intellectual intoxication too, has its katzenjammer.
-- Jack London, John Barleycorn, ch. XXI, (1913)
 
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Caterwaul sounded like it had similar origin, and my check says it comes from cater "tomcat" + waul "to yowl". AHD gives "1. cry or screech like a cat in heat. 2. make a shrill, discordant sound. 3. have a noisy argument."

In searching this I found a tibit on our word "chagrin", which comes to us from the french word of the same spelling. One theory is that the french got this by translating the elements of "katzenjammer" into french:

german: cats + distress = katzen + jammer
in french: cat + grimace = chat + grigner = "chagrin"

This type of borrowing, which translates the borrowed components into the their equivalent in the borrowing language, is called a loan translation.
 
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Ending this theme with a worderful word:

torschlusspanik (literally "shut door panic") -
a sense of panic in middle age brought on by the feeling that life is passing you by
quote:
One type of failure afflicts people in their forties and fifties-the depression and panic that comes from realizing that, even though they have successful careers, some of their goals will never be met. German being the language of the consulting room, this condition is known as Torschlusspanik, or the panic due to the closing of gates. This, and the other crises of life, lead approximately 20 percent of executives to suffer from psychiatric problems, with depression and substance abuse leading the list.
– David S. McIntosh, Center for Business Information, reviewing The Leadership Mystique by Manfred Kets de Vries


But the term has broad application. One finds it defined or applied as:
  • middle-aged men pursuing young women for a final fling "before the gates close"
  • young women fearing they will not be married until they are to old to have children
  • the woman who longs to rediscover the excitement of youth and fears being left "on the shelf" (OED)
  • a rush to get in on a financial opportunity before the door shuts: either to buy (in a financial bubble), or to panic-sell when the bubble bursts
 
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Wordcrafter, what a wonderful week of words it was! cool
 
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Morgan is right; this has been an amazing week. And, you definitely saved the best for last!

I am enamored now with German words. I found one for which we have nothing similar in English: ohrwurm, translated "as a little animal (which is a symbol for a song) being in your ear and you aren't able to get rid of it". In other words, that song that you just can't get out of your head.
 
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quote:
schadenfreude – a malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others.


"Epicaricacy" - means getting pleasure from the misfortune of others. According to my source (Novobatzky & Shea) it has been around long before "schadenfreude" and has been defined in "esteemed" dictionaries. However, it has been replaced with "schadenfreude" for no apparent reason. It has Greek roots of epi (upon) + chara (joy) + kakon (evil).
 
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"What a glorious day," shouted Tom
epicaricaciously while viewing re-runs on the Disaster Channel.
 
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Okay, I am stumped. Why didn't this thread get locked after 60 days of not being used? Confused
 
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It seems that a new hit film, "Goodbye, Lenin!", has unexpectantly revived nostalgia about the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall. The article I read about this was that TV shows have tried to cash in on the ostalgie. The term (new?) is a play on the German words for "east", ost, and "nostalgia", or nostalgie.

I love Fuller's 1845 beer...and the Cubs!
 
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I am enamored now with German words. I found one for which we have nothing similar in English: ohrwurm, translated "as a little animal (which is a symbol for a song) being in your ear and you aren't able to get rid of it". In other words, that song that you just can't get out of your head.
A follow-up, over two years later. While casting around for words for the "bookworm" thread, I found that earworm is now being used in English for the same concept. So says Word Spy.
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh: "Epicaricacy" - According to my source (Novobatzky & Shea) it has been defined in "esteemed" dictionaries. Mr. Shea told us here: To the best of my knowledge the word first appeared in Nathaniel Bailey's Universal Etymological English Dictionary. I think that the first edition was published in 1727 and it went through 20 or 22 subsequent editions.



In 1963 Joseph T. Shipley, a respected linguist, published the same Bailey finding in his Dictionary of Early English (earlier ed. not checked):
    epicaricacy. Rejoicing at, or taking joy in, the misfortunes of others. From Greek epi, upon + chara, joy + kakon evil. Bailey's Dictionary (1751) spells it epicharikaky; the accent falls on the ick. The O.E.D. (1933) ignores the word, but alas! the feeling is not so easily set aside.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: shufitz,
 
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Bailey's Dictionary (1751) spells it epicharikaky; the accent falls on the ick.


I can't find the ick.

Would that be the ich?

Or maybe the ik?
 
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Wow, we now see it cited in 5 dictionaries (I have to count the Wordcraft Dictionary!). Probably more. Jesse, it is time to bite the bullet on this word!
 
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I am doing German words this week on Wordcraftjr, and I came across this word: "traumkeller", which apparently means "dream cellar/basement."

Has anyone heard it before? I don't understand how it would be used.
 
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Kalleh,

I wouldn't place any reliability on a word used by Iain M. Banks in Feersum Endjinn; that's a wonderful literary tour de force, but it uses very obscure words, and mis-spellings, for an almost poetic effect.


Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.
Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes)
 
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i am german and i have never heard the word "traumkeller" before.
 
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Welcome Peter! Smile Big Grin Wink Cool

Do you live in Germany? We have no Germans aboard and would love to have one!

As for "traumkeller," I guess it isn't a legitimate word then. Thanks!
 
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z, I told you in today's chat that I'd finally located the photocopies of the further book in which I'd found epicaricacy. I promised to send you the details.

Well, it turns out that I'd already posted it, last February, in this very thread. I'd said this:
quote:
In 1963 Joseph T. Shipley, a respected linguist, published the same Bailey finding in his Dictionary of Early English (earlier ed. not checked):
    epicaricacy. Rejoicing at, or taking joy in, the misfortunes of others. From Greek epi, upon + chara, joy + kakon evil. Bailey's Dictionary (1751) spells it epicharikaky; the accent falls on the ick. The O.E.D. (1933) ignores the word, but alas! the feeling is not so easily set aside.
Mrs. Bryne lists this Shipley work among her sources. Perhaps that's where she found the word.

I was looking at the 1963 edition of Shipley's book, but it appears to have first been published in 1955. The publisher is Littlefield, Adams & Co., of Patterson, New Jersey.
 
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[quote] Bailey's Dictionary (1751) spells it epicharikaky; the accent falls on the ick.

Oh. Okay.

SWM ISO ICK.
 
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Reviving my favorite thread...
Of all the themes, I believe this is still my favorite because of the deliciously rich German words. I am reading "Harvard Business Review on the Mind of the Leader," which has wonderful essays on leaders and leadership. In a conversation with Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries (written by Diane Coutu) and entitled, Putting Leaders on the Couch, Kets de Vries talks about senior executives being frustrated because they might not be able to reach their dreams as their career ends, and he cites one of the words we talked about here: Torschlusspanik, the panic that strikes because of the closing down of possibilities. That has always been one of my favorite words.
 
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