German word of the day: Piesacken

German word of the day: Piesacken
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Today’s word of the day is not a very positive one, so we apologize: We don’t intend to 'piesacken' you with this.

Piesacken is a word that hasn’t lost any of its meaning in the last centuries of its use.

According to the Duden, it is a colloquial way of saying “to torment someone willingly over a longer period of time.”

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In this case, to torment someone doesn’t mean in a physical, but in a mental way.

A good example for this are bullies. They usually take small measures first, just to make you feel really uncomfortable.

So if they, for example, repeat everything you say in a mocking voice, it’s fair to start calling them your Piesacker when talking about them.

The word piesacken probably comes from the Low German word ossenpesek, which is called an Ochsenziemer nowadays and which means “pizzle” or “bull whip.” Ossen in this case means “bull”, pesek is the Low German word for “whip.”

Hence, an Ossenpesek is a whip made from the twisted sin of a bull’s penis, which was used to punish humans and animals alike.

It is believed that the verb piesacken was derived from this notion. And if you think about its meaning, it fits.


Ich möchte nicht zur Schule, weil dort meine Piesacker auf mich warten.

I don’t want to go to school because my bullies are waiting for me there.

Ich weiß, du hast nur Witze gemacht, aber habe mich schon ziemlich gepiesackt gefühlt.

I know you were just kidding, but I actually felt pretty tormented.

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