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LEARNING GERMAN

German word of the day: Das Fettpolster

Almost everyone knows those kilos you gain over the holidays too well. But how do Germans describe them?

German word of the day: Das Fettpolster

What does it mean?

“Das Fettpolster” is composed of the words “das Fett” (the fat or grease) and “das Polster” (the padding, cushion or pillow).

READ ALSO: 10 ways of speaking German you'll only ever pick up on the street

Put together, it refers to the excessive fat padding and accumulation on the body, such as on a person's hips for example.

Sometimes, more colloquially, it is also called “das Speckpolster”, because fat in general, as well as bacon, is referred to as “der Speck”.

How is it used?

The term “Fettpolster” can be used in three ways.

The first is more colloquial and often comes with a humorous connotation. Here, “Fettpolster” or “Speckpolster” expresses that someone has a few too many kilos on them.

READ ALSO: German word of the day: Der Kummerspeck

In the second sense, it is a biological term that explains certain occurrences. For example, “Fettpolster” would be used to describe the animals that live in Antarctica have them to endure cold temperatures day in and day out.

Lastly, “Fettpolster” can also apply to economics or business, if you want to express that a company, for example, has financial reserves.

Examples

“Deine Speckpolster sind aber über die Feiertage größer geworden!”

“Your fat reserves have gotten bigger over the holidays!”

“Die Fettpolster bei Pinguinen sind stark ausgeprägt.”

“The fat layers of penguins are very pronounced.”

 

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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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