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Word of the Day: Der Zeitgeist

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Word of the Day: Der Zeitgeist
09:07 CEST+02:00
Also used in English, Zeitgeist literally means 'spirit of the time.'

It pertains to the defining mood and characteristics of a certain epoch, usually as expressed through popular ideas and beliefs of the time.

Modern usage of Zeitgeist also refers to popular contemporary fashions and trends which epitomize the tastes of an era.

For instance, the hippie culture encapsulates the Zeitgeist of the 1960s and 1970s USA - this includes both fashion trend like long hair and flares, and beliefs in notions like free-love and anti-war.

In Berlin after the fall of the wall, the creative Zeitgeist was seen through artists who assembled in cheap spaces, squatters and party goers in former factories.

With rampant gentrification, the Zeitgeist of the city is changing - though traces of Berlin's free-spirited 90s Zeitgeist are still spotted today, our columnist argued earlier this month.

Examples:

Ich bin eigenartig. Ich bin kein Anhänger des Zeitgeistes.

I'm quirky. I don't follow fashion.

Der Zeitgeist wird durch gegenwärtige Überzeugungen ausgedrückt.

The spirit of the time is expressed through contemporary beliefs.

 

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