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'Stresstest' is German word of the year

The Local · 16 Dec 2011, 12:48

Published: 16 Dec 2011 12:48 GMT+01:00

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The winner of the organization’s Word of the Year contest was picked by an expert jury that sifted through roughly 3,000 proposals, according to GfdS.

European officials use Stresstest to refer to tests of the financial strength of banks.

But German rail operator Deutsche Bahn also performed a stress test on the controversial Stuttgart 21 rail infrastructure project, and in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in Japan, German officials used the word to refer to tests they did on the Germany’s nuclear facilities.

Its selection received immediate plaudits from one of the year’s big newsmakers, Stuttgart 21 arbitrator Heiner Geißler, who called it a “very good” choice.

Second place was taken by another word with connections to the European financial crisis, hebeln,, which means "to leverage." That term is used to refer to efforts to increase the size of the European rescue fund while avoiding pouring in more capital.

Meanwhile, the third place word was Arabellion, referring to the pro-democracy rebellions which have swept the Arab world this year.

Fourth place was taken by another word related to the European financial crisis. The term Merkozy, which refers to the tight partnership between German and French leaders Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy in tackling the eurozone debt crisis.

Rounding out the top five was Fukushima, which not only refers to the nuclear disaster that befell Japan following an earthquake and tsunami earlier this year, but can also be used to describe the consequences of nuclear catastrophe in general.

Story continues below…

Previous words of the year include Wutbürger (enraged citizen) in protest-filled 2010, Abwrackprämie (wreck premium), which was coined in 2009 to refer to a government premium for scrapping old cars and buying new ones, and Finanzkrise (financial crisis) in 2008.

The Local/DPA/mdm

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Your comments about this article

00:52 December 17, 2011 by EinWolf
I like Wutbürger ... I think I'll add that to my English wordstock!
04:03 December 17, 2011 by kevinbac
So, the Germans take two English words, jam them together, and that makes it a German word. I thought the Germans were smarter than that.
13:34 December 17, 2011 by twisted
Well said, kevinbac.
16:03 December 17, 2011 by berfel
Fukushima either describes a nuclear non-catastrophe; OR tenuous justification for embarking on a stupid mission that is self-destructive.

e.g. "The Fukushima Euro has been introduced to prevent a repetition of the genocides of WW2"

"Googleberg" didn't rate a mention.
12:26 December 18, 2011 by MichaSeifert-Weiss
Kevinbac and Twisted - 'stress' is derived from the Latin 'strictus,' to compress. And in case it failed to take your attention, 'Stress' and 'Test' are also German language words - certainly they didn't come to German from the English. ;-)

I like 'Wutbürger' too. Wütend is a good word with some onomatopoeic quality, I think.
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