German Word of the Day: Die Torschlusspanik

German Word of the Day: Die Torschlusspanik
Not as far along in your careers as you’d like to be? Stressed because all your friends are getting married but you don’t have a partner yet? Anxious you’ll never achieve your life goals? You might be suffering from Torschlusspanik.

Torschlusspanik describes the anxiety induced by the feeling that time is running out for you to act. It literally means ‘gate closing panic’, and particularly refers to people as they age, who worry that they have to take the opportunity now, in case they never get the chance again.

The term stems from the Middle Ages, when citizens would run back into the city gates just before they closed at night; otherwise they would be left vulnerable outside in the cold.

Torschlusspanik is the trigger for many people to give up their nice jobs to travel the world, and for people to leave their partners and run away with someone younger. Sometimes the feeling can be a catalyst for good, but other times it can provoke us to make rash and unwise choices.

SEE ALSO: 9 words that perfectly sum up being in your 30s


Sie will künstliche Befruchtung probieren, weil sie an Torschlusspanik leidet.

She wants to try IVF because she worries that her biological clock is ticking.

Du bist zu jung, solche eine Torschlusspanik um deine Karriere zu haben.

You’re too young to feel like time is running out on your career.

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