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German word of the day: Die Schwärmerei

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German word of the day: Die Schwärmerei
Photo: depositphotos
This content was produced independently by The Local and contains advertiser links.
10:08 CET+01:00
Today’s word of the day describes an obsession with something – or a group of fish.

When you notice that you started checking out your work colleague a little too often or find yourself thinking about someone much more than you originally intended – you might have a Schwarm.

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If this Schwärmerei leads to something is up to you.

Schwärmerei literally translates to “swarmery,” which I have to admit doesn’t make any sense. To explain it a bit simpler, it means to fancy somebody – so to say the step before falling in love with someone.  

The word Schwärmerei is related to the word Schwarm, which is primarily used in the German language to describe a group of fish, birds, or insects – a swarm or a flock. But it also has a different, older meaning.

In the 16th century, the notion of a Schwärmer was used to derogatorily describe spiritualists. The word Schwärmer evolved to the verb schwärmen to describe “to be enthusiastic about something, far away from reality”. 

As language is an evolving thing, this notion has changed once again in the earlier years. The word Schwärmerei or schwärmen isn’t used for describing spiritualists that often – it’s more used to describe a slight obsession with a person.

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One of these girls likely has a 'Schwarm' on the guy they're secretly talking about. Photo: Depositphotos

Verhalt dich normal, da kommt mein Schwarm!
Act normal – my crush is approaching!

Ich verfalle ständig in irgendwelche Schwärmereien.
I keep fancying people.

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Do you have a favourite word you'd like to see us cover? If so, please email our editor Rachel Stern with your suggestion.

This article was produced independently with support from Lingoda.


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