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LEARNING GERMAN

German word of the day: Der Vokuhila

Today's word is a haircut that is 'short in the front and long in the back': VOrne KUrz, HInten LAng.

German word of the day: Der Vokuhila
Photo: Depositphotos

It includes bangs, the sides may be shaved, and the hair in the back reaches down to the shoulders or even below.

The Vokuhila is (or was) mostly worn by men, and can look similar to the British hockey hair mullet. It's a rare flexible German word which can be either Der or Die Vokuhila.

Indeed, the Vokuhila connects British and German pop culture in a subtle way: In the 1970s, David Bowie sported an early version with a quite bushy top head and not-so-long back.

In the 1980’s, the Vokuhila started its career amongst popular German musicians: Peter Maffay wore one, as did Matthias Reim, Wolfgang Petry and David Hasselhoff.

The latter is, of course, not German, but Germans pretty much see him as one of them due to his Berlin gig around the time the wall came down, when he sang “I’ve been looking for freedom”.

Today, after almost three decades spent in the abyss of total un-coolness, the Vokuhila is being re-adapted by hipsters around the world.

Advanced learners combine theirs with a moustache (Oberlippenbart), earning it the full name of Vokuhila Oliba.

German football player Rudi Völler sporting a 'Vokuhila' in 1990, along with a model in the same year. For some people, the Vokuhila is again in vogue in 2019. Photo: DPA

Examples:

Bitte schneiden Sie vorn etwas mehr ab. Aber Vorsicht, ich will keinen Vokuhila!

Please cut off a little more of the front. But be careful, I don't want a mullet hair cut!

Wenn du nicht bald zum Friseur gehst, hast Du einen Vokuhila.

If you don't go to the hair dresser soon, you will have a mullet.

Ich mag die Achtziger – ich lasse mir jetzt einen Vokuhila schneiden.

I like the 80s – I'm getting a mullet now.

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GERMAN WORD OF THE DAY

German word of the day: Rücksicht

Here's how to take this thoughtful word into consideration.

German word of the day: Rücksicht

Why do I need to know Rücksicht?

Because it’s a commonly used word and knowing what it means – and practising it – will make you a better person.

What does Rücksicht mean?

Rücksicht is a feminine noun which means “consideration” or “regard”. It’s made up of the shortened form of the word zurück meaning “back” and Sicht – which means view. So literally, it means, back view, or looking back.

This literal meaning tells you something about how the word is used in German – if you look back to see what’s happened to your friend, you are taking them into consideration.

If you want to really make sure you don’t forget what Rücksicht means – you can watch the following video of Germany’s 1983 Eurovision song contest entry. The catchy ballad – called “Rücksicht” – came in place 5 of the competition that year. 

How to use Rücksicht

When using Rücksicht, bear in mind that it is usually paired with specific verbs and prepositions.

The most commonly used set phrase is Rücksicht auf etwas/jemand nehmen, which is used to mean “to be considerate of” or “to take care of” someone or something. For example:

Radfahrer müssen auf Fußgänger Rücksicht nehmen.

Cyclists must be considerate of pedestrians.

Er nimmt Rücksicht auf die Bedürfnisse seiner schwangeren Frau.

He takes care of his pregnant wife’s needs.

Rücksicht is usually followed by the preposition auf, but it can be preceded by a number of prepositions to compose different phrases. 

Mit Rücksicht auf for example, means “in view of” and ohne Rücksicht auf means “without consideration for”, while aus Rücksicht auf means “out of consideration for.” 

Here are some examples:

Führungen dürfen aus Rücksicht auf die Teilnehmer nicht aufgenommen werden.
Out of consideration of the participants, tours may not be recorded.
 
Er will tun, was er möchte, ohne Rücksicht auf die Anderen.
He wants to do what he wants, without considering other people.
 
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