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Great German words you don't find in English

The Local · 19 Apr 2012, 11:02

Published: 19 Apr 2012 11:02 GMT+02:00

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This was not a difficult Local List to compile – Germans have literally hundreds of words that don't exist in other languages.

That's partly because of their wonderfully-logical habit of attaching words to one another like stickle-bricks - to make new, unwieldy creatures like Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän - but also because Germans just have very peculiar, precise notions that they prefer to describe in a single noun.

Top 12 words you won't find in English!

For instance, who knew that a husband who stays out too late might need a particular word to describe the gifts he needs appease the disgruntled wife who threw his dinner away?

Check out our list to find out what that word is!

Story continues below…

The Local/bk

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Your comments about this article

21:42 April 19, 2012 by wood artist
What a great list. I wish I could find a place to use all of them...but, for now, a couple will have to do.

03:31 April 20, 2012 by newsjunkie247
21:15 April 20, 2012 by Ralfsue
What about Schadenfreude? Does this count.
22:28 April 23, 2012 by johnny108
Spannungsbogen. I've heard it defined as the time in between wanting, and reaching for something, or the length of draw on a bow string, or the arc of a story in a movie. Anyone got anything definitive?
14:25 April 29, 2012 by Ocean88

Let me try to describe it.

1. usage: You use it for movies, when there is a scene which causes a very high rate of excitement (Spannung) for the people that are watching it. AND it just doesn't want to stop and come to the point. Like a bow (Bogen) which is streched it keeps you excited untill the moment you know the end of the story (the arrow got shot - so the bow is not under pressure anymore).

2. usage: as a adjective. "Du hast den Bogen überspannt". ( You overstretched the bow).

2.1 Like in a joke. That was simply too much - not funny anymore.

2.2 Or in a situation when you are arguing with someone, for " you crossed the line". (Distroyed the bow with overstreching)

Hope that was helpful :) Gave my best!
15:08 September 25, 2012 by jg.
"Handy", used as a noun.
11:29 October 7, 2012 by leo.friendswc
actually, there is a word for "fremschämen" in Brasilian - Portuguese, my language. It's "vergonha alheia" :D
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