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LEARNING GERMAN

German word of the day: Ausgelutscht

Something having been “sucked dry” might sound a bit strange in direct translation. Usually, it is applied when something is regarded as outdated, obsolete or too well-known.

German word of the day: Ausgelutscht
Photo: depositphotos

It does not, however, mean old-fashioned (which would be altmodisch in German), which can also be applied to something nice and retro: “Das ist so schön altmodisch!” No, ausgelutscht is a decidedly negative term, similar to 'stale' in English.

It can not be used as an active verb: auslutschen only literally means to suck something dry, not to overuse a concept or idea.

Many things can be ausgelutscht: a storyline, a musical melody, last year’s fashion trends, a political ideology, or the same lame excuse for being late for appointments.

Berlin natives especially love using ausgelutscht and sometimes pronounce it ausjelutscht. They like to imply: We’ve seen it all. And they have, be it any type of strange art, smashing start-up idea or a political system.

SEE ALSO: How to sound like a Berliner in 10 easy steps

People in the German capital know by experience that this, too, shall pass and, one day, be totally ausgelutscht.

But rumour has it that the Berliners also like using the word because they’re generally a bit more on the grumpy side of life.

Examples:

Er erzählt die gleiche Anekdote immer wieder, bis sie total ausgelutscht ist.

He keeps telling the same anecdote until she's completely tired of it.

Ich mochte den Film, aber die Liebesgeschichte kam mir ein bisschen ausgelutscht vor.

I liked the film, but the love story in it seemed a little old to me.

Erspar mir deine ausgelutschten Entschuldigungen!

Spare me your same old excuses!

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

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GERMAN WORD OF THE DAY

German word of the day: Umstritten

Not everyone agrees on everything - and there are some things almost nobody can agree on. If you find yourself dealing with the latter, you may need to make use of this German word.

German word of the day: Umstritten

Why do I need to know umstritten?

Because umstritten is a handy word that can be applied to multiple situations, but is especially useful when chatting about current affairs or the big social issues of our day. 

You’ll likely come across it while reading articles in German newspapers, or hear your German friends use it while setting the world to rights in the pub. 

What does it mean?

Umstritten is best translated as “controversial” or “disputed” in English. As usual in German, you can easily work out – and remember – what it means by breaking it down into smaller components. 

The first is the prefix um, which tends to mean “around”. Think of German words like umkehren, which means to turn around or reverse, or umarmen, which means to put your arms around someone (or hug them in other words!). 

The second component is the verb streiten, which means to argue. So something that’s umstritten is something that there are lots of arguments around, like a controversial new law, a social debate or a public figure. 

Use it like this: 

Die Pläne der Regierung waren hoch umstritten.

The government’s plans were highly controversial. 

Sein Erbe als Fußballtrainer ist immer noch umstritten.

His legacy as football manager is still disputed today. 

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