I am in Portland for a conference and went to Powell's Book Store tonight. I bought a great book, "Schottenfreude" by Ben Schott. He highlights German words he has made up "on the human condition," as he calls it. I can't believe some of these great words - most of them are concepts that definitely I feel, but I had no idea there were actual words for them in other cultures. The author includes this quote from Charles Follen in "A Practical Grammar of the German Language" (Hilliard Gray, 1835): "The German language is sufficiently copious and productive, to furnish native words for any idea that can be expressed at all."
From time to time I'll post some.
Herbstlaubtrittuergnϋgen - "Kicking through piles of autumn leaves." Perfect for this time of year!
Gastdruck - "The exhaust of being a good houseguest."
Here's a great one:
Kraftfahrzeugsinnenausstattungsneugerurhsgenus - "New car smell."This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kalleh,
Okay - here are three more:
Brillenbrillanz - The sudden innervating clarity afforded by new glasses.
Schuldaufdeckungsangst - The fear that you will be found out.
Tantalusqualerlsöung - The relief and delight of perfectly slaked thirst.
Are these real? None of them are in this dictionary
I think I've said this before, but the reason German can make words like this is because it doesn't spell compounds with spaces. English can form compounds like this too, but we spell them with spaces.
"Gast" is "guest" and "Druck" is "pressure": guest pressure
"Schuld" is "guilt", "Aufdeckung" is "exposure" and "Angst" is "fear": guilt exposure fear
"Herbstlaub": autumn leaves
"autumn leaves kicking pleasure"
"Kraftfahrzeugen" is "car exhaust"
"Innenausstattung" is "interior decoration"
"neu" is "new"
"Geruch" is "smell"
"Genus" is "gender"
Anyway, English has a word for it: "new car smell"
Some of these might sound better in English as prepositional phrases, for instance "fear of exposure of guilt". But some don't, like Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän, which some sources says is a real German word, and which translates perfectly as the English word "Danube steamship company captain".This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
Of course, I am not a German language scholar - I'm far from it. While they aren't real, this book seems to be well referenced with footnotes, cross references, quotes and citations. It does not just have the words and that's it. He does acknowledge that there are a few words with no explanatory notes, and he has marked those. I will mark them as well from now on. I will also include the German word compound construction, as well as the English translation of the German word's meaning. Also, he is using the German letters, so I am figuring out, to the best of my knowledge, how they compare to English letters. I could be off sometimes.
Today's words are:
Ludwigssyndrom - Ludwig's Syndrome or discovering an indecipherable note in your own handwriting.
Fingerspitzentanz - Fingertips dance or Tiny triumphs of nimble-fingered dexterity.
Geheimgangsverlockung - Secret-Corridor-Seduction or The conviction that all old houses must contain secret passages.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kalleh,
Here are the next three:
Genital Area Clenching or reluctance to enter cold water, felt progressively at each erogenous zone.
Railway Illusion Motion or the false sensation of movement when, looking out from a stationary train, you see another train depart.
Well Wrapping Pleasure or the uncomplicated delight of a perfectly wrapped parcel.
With the last one there is a bonus word. In the explanation the author talks about the highly intricate tradition in Japan of gift-giving. With this tradition they use a cord that employs a variety of symbolic color combinations; this cord is called mizuhiki or 水引.
Cognition-stroll or a perambulation taken with the specific intention of contemplation.
moron-driver-eyeballing or the urge to turn and glare at a bad driver you've just overtaken.
pig's-head-aspic-desire or a shameful love of bad food.
Russians do it too.
престолонасле́дник: Successor to the throne
лесопромы́шленник: Timber merchant
The other day, I wrote a list of things we needed at the store and then forgot I had it in my pocket. We shopped and later I found the note and checked it to see if we had forgotten anything. We had bought all on the list except for one item, which I wrote, but which I still have not translated into acceptable English. If anyone knows what "morhven" is, I'd appreciate the help.
Not sure, proof.
Thanks for those, Geoff, and it's such a pleasure to see you back.
I think what I love about these German words is that they relate to feelings, emotions, etc., that we've all had from time to time.
Today's fun German words - and again, I've definitely felt this way about all three words:
Void-Stepping or Stepping down heavily on a stare that isn't there.
Day-Light-Show-Shock or Being startled when exiting a movie theatre into broad daylight.
Thwarting-Fear or Fear of missing out (on a social event).
Why would you kick someone in the face?
And today's selection:
Key-Scene-Eagle-Eye or Knowing from memory where a specific passage is located in a book. (Happens all the time with me.)
Book-Eagle-Eye or Knowing from memory where a specific book may be found on a shelf.
Gemini-Standard or Reading horoscopes you don't believe in.
Aren't these fun?
Nonbuchadlerdgerbook: Being unable to find a book you know is in your library somewhere.
Proof, what would we do without you here?
Friendship-Calculus or The ever-changing complexity and diplomacy of friendships.
Poo(p)Leasure or Private enjoyment of your own unsavory bodily functions.
Aviation-Origami-Despondency or The sense when your diligently folded paper airplane beaks immediately to the floor. (Geoff, this one reminded me of you because of the airplane reference.)
Something like this?
And tonight's selections:
Immortality-Death or Intimations of mortality when your last surviving parent dies.
Digger-Truck-Spyhole or The urge to peek into boarded-up construction sites.
Summer-Holidays-Eternity-Feeling or Childhood sensation that the summer vacation will last forever.
And today's words:
Intimacy-Contentment or Articles and affections worn comfortably smooth by time.
Mad-Monkey-Tits-Turbo-Super-Duper-Guy or Simpatico (A long word for a short concept.)
Fear-Desire or Inexorable attraction to something you fear or find unpleasant.
Is there a German word for the happiness you feel when you realize you've invented a new perversion/
I am sure I could put something together for you, Proof.
And today's words:
Meal-Envy or Coveting thy neighbors restaurant order.
Newspaper-Ignorance or Consternation that people read a newspaper that you disapprove of.
Ha(i)rmony or Reassuring your hairdresser.
I kinda miss Proof's kibitzing...
Here we go for today's fun words:
Joke-Insistence or Unashamedly repeating a bon mot until it is properly heard by everyone present.
Thorny-Lingerie-Sleep or Feigning sleep to avoid unwanted sexual intimacy.
Mother-In-Law-Bend-Long-Neck or The morbid urge to slow down and stare at a road accident.
Aren't these all concepts we've seen or experienced from time to time? I just love these words, even if, as goofy says, they just made them up by putting German words together. It's the concepts that are so perfect.
Heh, heh! I knew that one would bring a response.
Schnapps-Number-Obsession or A preoccupation with certain numbers or numerical phenomena.
Fingernail-Blackboard-Squeal or The visceral hatred of certain noises.
Energetic-Queuer or One skilled in the various techniques of queuing.
Tonight's lovely German words:
Saliva-Stoicism or Pretending you haven't been accidentally spat on in conversation.
De-Listsing-Joy or The sense of satisfaction afforded by crossing things off lists. (I knew there was a word for that! )
Zeuxis-Laughter or Laughter so prolonged and intense it causes physical pain.
Usually reserved for the boss's jokes.
When I get the giggles, I definitely laugh until it hurts.
Liquor-Action or The incidents and accidents caused by alcohol.
Being embarrassed by, bored with, or otherwise diliking your name.
Prattle-Plague or The pressure to make bantering small talk with people you interact with every day.
I was thinking "kurvenlanghals" would be sufficient for rubbernecking, but I gather 'schwiegermutter' is German cultural shorthand for someone who needs to butt out & give people some privacy!
My sister used to laugh until she peed.
At least I know Proof is reading these fun words.
Pagoda-Vanity or The smug self-satisfaction of those behind the wheel of a vintage car.
Rollei-Flasback or The flood of memory released when looking at old photos.
Winter-Storm-Bliss-Moon-Turning or Delight in the changing of seasons. [This is a personal favorite of mine.]
Fanta -- Just learned this is a German word, not an American brand name (originally). Here is what Wiki says about it.
Fanta originated as a result of difficulties importing Coca-Cola syrup into Nazi Germany during World War II due to a trade embargo. To circumvent this, Max Keith, the head of Coca-Cola Deutschland (Coca-Cola GmbH) during the Second World War, decided to create a new product for the German market, using only ingredients available in Germany at the time, including whey and pomace – the "leftovers of leftovers", as Keith later recalled. The name was the result of a brief brainstorming session, which started with Keith exhorting his team to "use their imagination" ("Fantasie" in German), to which one of his salesmen, Joe Knipp, immediately retorted "Fanta!"
The plant was effectively cut off from Coca Cola headquarters during the war. After the war, the Coca Cola corporation regained control of the plant, formula and the trademarks to the new Fanta product—as well as the plant profits made during the war.
Fanta was discontinued when the parent company was reunited with the German branch. Following the launch of several drinks by the Pepsi corporation in the 1950s, Coca Cola competed by relaunching Fanta in 1955. The drink was heavily marketed in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.
Wintersturmvonnemondclockenresetten- the delight in turning back the clock after Daylight Saving Time ends
Ruin-Pornography or A morbid fascination with photographs of contemporary urban decay.
Sunday-Emptying or Sunday-afternoon depression
Dream-Restart-Experiment or The (usually futile) attempt to return to the plot of a dream after having been woken.
Who needs pictures? I just look around the living room. Bad furniture and derelict relatives.
Good point, Proof! We seem to be humoring each other with these. Oh well.
Here are today's:
Surprise-Party-Surprise-Hypocrisy or Feigning surprise at a surprise party.
Pre-Calm-Storm or the fugue state between a death and the funeral.
Ebenmäsigkeitsentzϋckung (I cannot tell for sure what that letter is after the ä; I don't think it's an s, but the pronunciation is: eh-ben-mess-ig-kites - ent-tsuu-koong)
Well-Proportion-Delight or The profound sense of satisfaction afforded by symmetry.
Hey do you live at my house? No wait. Mine is derelict furniture and bad housekeeper...
Saliva-Stoicism or Pretending you haven't been accidentally spat on in conversation.
Happens when you have a Witzbeharrsamkeit among the guests...
Challenge: what would the German word be for this?
Aren't these fun?
Vernissage-Temptation or The urge to test whether paint marked "wet paint" really is still wet.
Multiplication-Table-Reproduction-Impairment-Pride or Pride in your innumeracy.
Maze-Ment or The surge of pleasure experienced as you solve, say, a crossword clue.
Party-Eavesdropping-Attack or Tuning in and out of a number of conversations at a party.
Zeigarnik-Frustration or The gnawing sense of incompleteness knowing there is a partially eaten snack lying around somewhere.
Dunderhead-Esteem or The respect conferred on those who are conventionally wrong rather than unconventionally right.
Interesting, goofy. Thanks!
Here are today's:
Confessional-Impulse or The urge to confess.
Now that's a word!
Inn-New-Opening-Downfall-Certitude or Total confidence that a newly opened restaurant is doomed to fail.
Document-Loss-Panic or Anxiously patting every pocket to locate a vital document you had just moments ago. [Surely we all do that, right?]
Or the thrill attained when a wad of cash you thought you'd lost turns up unexpectedly in the pocket of a coat. Based on an actual experience yesterday.
One of Shu's an my favorite words is the Yiddish word, Torschlusspanik , which means the sense of panic in middle age that life is passing you by.
More from my book:
Villain-Pusillanimity or Cowardice in the face of malevolence
Small-Child-Regression or Returning to your old school and finding everything feels so small. [I remember returning to the home I grew up in and thinking that.]
Fridge-Freeze or Staring at the refrigerator, hungry but not sure what to eat. [I've done that!]
I remember when I was younger trying to look over the top of a snowdrift and failing because it was too high. Last winter we had about the same amount of snow but, now that I'm bigger, I had no trouble with my viewing.
My husband remembers walking under the windows of his house when he was a boy, and then being so proud the day he hit his head on them!
Flughafenbegrϋsungsfreude (that first s is really not an s, but I don't know what it is)
Airport-Greeting-Joy or Childish delight at being greeted at the airport. (Likely this was before 9/11!)
Cacophony-Bone-Fracture or Minor, yet unreasonably painful, self-inflicted injuries.
Dirty-Word-Search or Looking up rude words in the dictionary. (I remember doing this!)
I was ecstatic the first time I could actually peer in and watch my neighbor undress. He wasn't pleased.
The NYTimes has an excerpt from this book. These aren't real words. These are "proposed new German words for the human condition." Ben Schott made them up.This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
Ah, yes, a Schottfraud.
Yes, you are correct, Goofy. However, they are no different from our portmanteau words that we see evolving every day. What I like about the book is that the author comes up with these "human conditions" that we've all experienced. Having a word for them would be great, even if many of them aren't real. I am just not as indignant about them not being real or not as you are, goofy. I guess that's why I like "epicaricacy," too. Besides, language evolves, right? Some of these just may make it into the mainstream.
Lip-Stick or The lingering sensation of a first kiss.
Divorce-Chalk-Circle-Trial or The distribution of friends after a divorce.
Abyss-Attraction or Toying with the (non-suicidal) idea of jumping from a height.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kalleh,
I am really enjoying this thread, Kalleh. What I'm getting from it is that the German language allows one to express a complex experience by synthesizing disparate concepts into a single word.
Which ones have been used? As far as I know they were all made up by Ben Schott for this book.
I'm not indignant that they are made up. Everyone should make up all the words they want.
In your first post you implied that these words are real German words, used by German speakers in German culture, and I'm pointing out that they are not.
Then you wrote
I assumed this meant he had evidence that these were real German words. But he doesn't, the references are to what people have written about the concepts that he has created words for.
It allows Ben Schott to express a complex experience by synthesizing disparate concepts into a single word. Who knows if the German speaking community would actually use these words.
But none of this means I think you should stop talking about them!This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,