• Germany edition
 
Shitstorm 'best English gift to German language'
Photo: DPA

Shitstorm 'best English gift to German language'

Published: 13 Feb 2012 11:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Feb 2012 11:52 GMT+01:00

The “Anglicism of the Year” jury defined Shitstorm as a public outcry, primarily on the internet, in which arguments mix with threats and insults to reach a critical mass, forcing a reaction.

“This new kind of protest is clearly different in kind and degree from what could be expected in the past in response to a statement or action,” said jury member Michael Mann, who runs a language website called Lexikographieblog.

The jury said in a statement on Monday: “Shitstorm fills a gap in the German vocabulary that has become apparent through changes in the culture of public debate.”

It added that established German words, such as Kritik (criticism), were simply not descriptive enough.

Shitstorm came into widespread use last year in connection with the financial crisis in Greece and the plagiarism scandal which forced the then Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to resign.

The second most important Anglicism this year was Stresstest, referring to the analysis of banks’ financial strength during the European financial crisis, the jury decided.

Rounding out the top three was circeln which comes from the new social network Google+ and means to add someone to a contact list.

The Anglicism of the Year contest, organised since 2010 by University of Hamburg linguist Anatol Stefanowitsch, is designed to recognise English’s contribution to German as the language evolves.

"The borrowing of words is a natural process that occurs in any language," the jury’s statement said.

The big winner in 2010 was leaken, which was adopted during controversies such as the sensitive leaking of government information to the Wikileaks website.

The Local/DPA/mdm

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

15:09 February 13, 2012 by Gustav Jung
Whats the point of this being aglicised- I believe these two words must exist in German already - sheiss-sturm or something like that.
17:26 February 13, 2012 by franconia
Young Germans think this is COOL ( dont forget to pronounce the L with your tongue darting out between your teeth and lips ). To an old Kraut like me , living in the US for 50 years, their DENGLISCH conversations sound like Comedy Central to me, amusing and horrible at the same time.
18:03 February 13, 2012 by William Thirteen
indeed, it was the lea ken of the results of the stresstests which caused the shitstorm.
19:33 February 13, 2012 by Englishted
Shitforbrains more like.
21:16 February 13, 2012 by ChrisNHH
Never heard of it! Americanised, not Anglicised. Another group of people in an advertising agency, with nothing better to do. It amazes me sometimes
23:08 February 13, 2012 by Cygnus
I've never heard of "shitstorm"

"Stresstest" is also a German word.

My choise would have been "bailout" and "occupy" ^^
11:08 February 14, 2012 by JenDigs
I laughed so hard at this I nearly cried... of COURSE the word chosen is feces-related...
12:02 February 14, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
As much as I love both the English and the German language, I prefer to keep the two separate, and don't really care much for anglicisms. Particularly not when the original meaning of an English word gets lost in translation, or when anglicisms assume a pseudo-meaning which they do not have in English. And sometimes it just annoys me when people use English words when there are perfectly acceptable German words you could have used instead.

I refuse to tell people in German that I lost my "handy" in the "city" when I want to alert them to the fact that I lost my cell phone downtown, I fail to see much more in a "facility manager" than a janitor with a college degree, and I definitely see no need to call "crazy" or "strange" things anything other than "verrückt" or "seltsam" in German.

Is it just my observation, or does it seem to be mostly uneducated people (and upper management) who see the need to spice up their vernacular with these word droppings (pun intended)?
13:28 February 14, 2012 by Englishted
iseedaftpeople

I don't see your problem with "handy" I have never heard a German use any other word for a mobile phone, and hand is also German is it not?
01:01 February 15, 2012 by B.D. Lundstedt
S.H.I.T. should be defined well during this type of action. I am told that its an anagram for Ship High In Transit after colonial Americans' cattle and dung shipped in a ships hold making methane gas and blowing the ship out of the water cattle dung and all!!
18:16 February 15, 2012 by vonSchwerin
"Shitstorm 'best English gift to German language'"

And now we should Germanize it and give it a new meaning.

I propose: Shitstrom.
03:33 February 16, 2012 by volvoman9
@ Mango Chutney... And that my good chap is precisely why the sun has set on the British Empire. Pip, pip and all that say?
04:01 February 16, 2012 by Jim the good Guy
If you really want to start a shitstorm, just introduce the Germans to "turdwad."
20:27 February 17, 2012 by bolly
There is nothing wrong with borrowing words from another language when the other offers a more descriptive word. For me, "trouble" is one of those. As to "leaken" and "shitstorm", I am most unimpressed. Neither of those are proper english words. So, why not do it right and selectively use the proper english (or other language) term, instead of distorting them. But I suppose that I am suggesting the equivalent of pushing the proverbial uphill.
02:24 February 18, 2012 by brnskin2010
Shitstorm...I like Lil Shithead better.....just sayn....
13:46 February 18, 2012 by floridaboy
This word has been around for years and is nothing new...and most certainly American. My friends and I have been using it since high school. I'm a bit too young to verify, but I think this expression even goes as far back as the Vietnam war. i.e. (we went over the hill and found ourselves in a real shitstorm)

It just means to encounter (or be in) a bad situation. You can use it for anything, and is not limited to anything specific. For instance...

- If I asked my roomie how his date went last night, he could easily reply - "it was a f'ing shitstorm".

- When playing basketball and getting slaughtered by the opposing team, we could comment afterwards, "Well that was a god damn shitstorm".

I'm all for languages influencing other languages, but it's super annoying when the adopting language the butchers the definition. Maybe the "jury" should talk to some Americans (or English if it's an English term) and find out how the term is used before defining it incorrectly.
20:41 March 23, 2012 by wondermonkey
For 2012 I nominate "clusterfuk,"
Today's headlines
'Mad prof' swims length of Rhine river
Photo: DPA

'Mad prof' swims length of Rhine river

A German chemistry professor started on Monday a gruelling four-week solo swim down the Rhine river for the benefit of science and the environment. READ  

Unfair advantage for one-legged long jumper?
Markus Rehm became German champion on Saturday. Photo: DPA

Unfair advantage for one-legged long jumper?

Paralympics gold medallist Markus Rehm triumphed over his non-disabled rivals on Saturday, winning the German long jumping championship. But international athletics officials are now reviewing whether his prosthetic leg gave him an unfair advantage. READ  

Woodcarving champions - in pictures
Photo: DPA

Woodcarving champions - in pictures

Chainsaws, wood planes and sand paper were out over the weekend in Saxony-Anhalt where more than 30 artists competed in the International Woodcarving Championships. READ  

Hamburg could treat infected Ebola doctor
Liberian health workers in protective clothing bury an Ebola victim in early July. Photo: DPA

Hamburg could treat infected Ebola doctor

A World Health Organisation doctor infected with the deadly Ebola virus while trying to help stop it spreading through West Africa could travel to a Hamburg clinic for treatment. READ  

Germany evacuates embassy in Libya
Black smoke billowing from a storage depot of fuel that was hit by a rocket the night before near the airport in Tripoli on July 28th. Photo: EPA/SABRI ELMHEDWI

Germany evacuates embassy in Libya

UPDATE: Germany pulled its embassy staff out of Tripoli on Monday, a day after advising all its citizens currently in Libya to leave the strife-torn country immediately. READ  

Police kill fleeing drug dealer with bad shot
Photo: DPA

Police kill fleeing drug dealer with bad shot

A policeman is being investigated for manslaughter after he shot a fleeing man, wanted on drug charges, in the back of the head. The officer claimed he had aimed for his legs. READ  

Germany's students fail to graduate in time
A German student protests against the Bologna reforms in Mainz in 2010. Photo: DPA

Germany's students fail to graduate in time

Leaked figures show the average student in Germany still takes around four years to complete a bachelor's degree, suggesting controversial reforms to higher education have so far failed to cut down the number of Germany's perpetual students. READ  

Lawmakers earn millions on the side
Bavarian lawmaker Peter Gauweiler made almost €1 million on the side. Photo: DPA

Lawmakers earn millions on the side

A quarter of all politicians in the German Parliament are making additional income on top of their parliamentary salary, a transparency group said on Saturday. Thirteen lawmakers have made more than €100,000 in the last few months. READ  

Schweinsteiger sorry for holiday video
Schweinsteiger has apologized after the video of him on holiday was posted on YouTube. Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger sorry for holiday video

UPDATE: Germany’s World Cup winning star Bastian Schweinsteiger has apologized after a video emerged of him on YouTube leading a chant insulting Borussia Dortmund supporters and players. READ  

Sale stopped of oldest message in a bottle
Konrad Fischer with his find. Photo: DPA

Sale stopped of oldest message in a bottle

UPDATE: A fisherman who found the world's oldest message in a bottle tossed into the sea in northern Germany has failed in his attempt to sell it on eBay. The auction was stopped at the last minute. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Sport
Yoga helped Jogi's boys bring World Cup home
Photo: DPA
National
Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Politics
View from Germany: 'Nobody will win in an economic war with Russia'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,221
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd