German word of the day: Der Valentinsmuffel

This person doesn't buy into the whole Valentine's Day thing. So if you're with a Valentinsmuffel, don't expect a card or chocolates.

German word of the day: Der Valentinsmuffel
The Valentinesmuffel might just see the price tag and not the sweets behind it. Photo: DPA

What does it mean? 

Der Muffel means “sour puss” or “grouch.” Therefore, someone who hates Valentine’s Day is sometimes referred to in Germany as Der Valentins-Muffel, or Valentinsmuffel.

How is it used? 

Presumably this word is used quite often, as 40 percent of Germans said they hated Valentine’s Day in 2017, according to a Bild article. 

The Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, decorated for Valentinstag. Photo: DPA. 

It is, after all, not traditionally celebrated in Germany. In fact, most traditions around the holiday were brought to Germany by Americans stationed in the country after World War II.

The first Valentine’s Ball in Germany took place in Nuremberg in 1950 and the holiday has slowly spread in popularity since then. 

READ ALSO: Then and now: How Valentine’s Day has blossomed in Germany

The main beneficiaries of the celebration are the German flower and sweets industries, whose prices increase during the month of February. 

Example Sentences: 

Mein Mann ist ein Valentinesmuffel, deshalb bekomme ich keine Geschenke zum Valentinstag.

My husband is a Valentine’s sour puss, so I don’t get any gifts for Valentine’s Day. 

Wahrscheinlich sind so viele Deutschen Valentinesmuffel, weil der Valentinstag so kommerzialisiert ist. 

Most Germans are probably Valentine’s grouches because Valentine’s Day is so commercialised.


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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.