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German word of the day: Das Herzblatt

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German word of the day: Das Herzblatt
Photo: depositphotos
12:54 CET+01:00
Today's word of the day is one that you can use if you want to celebrate Valentine's Day in a more old-fashioned manner.

Das Herzblatt is one of many German pet names to give your significant other. While it literally translates to “heart leaf,” its figurative translation is something like “sweetheart.”

SEE ALSO: 10 beautiful ways to express your love in German

The origins of the word aren't quite clear. There is a plant whose German name is Herzblatt, while in English it's called Parnassia, "Grass of Parnassus" or simply “bog stars”.

They grow in arctic and alpine habitats and produce white flowers. It's unclear whether that plant started the pet name Herzblatt or if it's the other way around.

Herzblatt seems to have existed in the German common parlance for quite some time, most notably as a TV show. The so-called “flirt show” Herzblatt was broadcasted on Das Erste between 1987 and 2003 and on the channel BR Fernsehen from 2003 to 2005.

A YouTube clip from the old dating show Herzblatt.

In the show, a man and a woman (called “picker”) would each pick three contestants to be their Herzblatt, based on a short interview with them. The pickers and their candidates were separated by a wall and would see each other for the first time when the picker had made their choice.

Nowadays, Herzblatt isn't as commonly used in the German language anymore – many people find it to sound old-fashioned.

SEE ALSO: Ten words that sound prettier in German than in English

Examples:

Du bist mein Herzblatt.

You are my sweetheart.

Mein Herzblatt und ich hatten gestern ein romantisches Date.

My sweetheart and I had a romantic date last night.

 

 
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