German word of the day: Der Schattenparker

Always thought that parking your car in the shade was the best thing to do? The German language seems to disagree.

German word of the day: Der Schattenparker
Photo: Depositphotos/janefromyork.

This word is made up from 'shadow' or 'shade' (der Schatten) and der Parker. So a Schattenparker is literally somebody who parks their car in the shade in order to avoid it heating up in the sun.

While this may sound like a sensible idea and not one worth criticizing, this word is used to dismiss someone as a wimp. Parking in the shade to avoid the sun is seen as a sign of weakness.

This criticism definitely contradicts the stereotype that Germans normally favour sensible behaviour.

In fact, it would seem the Germans look lowly on a number of behaviours as there are a vast number of similar German compound words which also mock habits seen as weak.

READ ALSO: Nerdy flowers to alcoholic birds: The 12 most colourful German insults

Here are a few other German compound nouns which are used to insult others…

Der Sockenschläfer- sock sleeper

Der Warmduscher– warm showerer

Der Frühbucher- early booker

Der Chefwitzlacher- someone who laughs at their bosses’ jokes

Der Jeansbügler- jeans ironer

Der Teetrinker -someone who drinks tea

Der Sitzpinkler- (a man) who wees sitting down

Das Weichei– soft egg

Der Handschuhschneeballwerfer- the glove-snowball-thrower (someone who needs to wear gloves when throwing snowballs because the snow is too cold for their hands)

Meanwhile, in case you're wondering, der Schwächling is a non-compound noun that means weakling.


Er macht es nicht, weil er seine Hände nicht schmutzig machen will – Er ist so ein Schattenparker!

He isn't doing it because he doesn’t want to get his hands dirty- he is so weak!

Ich bin kein Schattenparker!

I am not a weakling!

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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.