Category Archives: meaning of

Word of the Day – WitD – “verwirren vs. verwechseln”

verwirren-verwechseln-diffeHello everyone,

so a couple of weeks ago we had a poll as to when you’d like a new post to come out and I just wanted to date you up on … I mean update you on the result. And they show how cool and awesome and relaxed you all are because a clear majority¹ says.. .drumroll

Surprise me!

(¹ People who didn’t vote for “Surprise me”are just as cool and amazing and relaxed as the others.)

So random days it is :)
All right.
With that out of the way, welcome to another Word of the Day, or to be more precise a What is the difference special. And today we’ll look two words that both mean to confuse. Today, we’ll look at the difference between

verwirren and verwechseln

And since that difference isn’t a big deal at all we’ll also take a look at how to say confusing and confused because there’s a lot of …  confusion.
So… are you ready to untangle some hair, to descramble some eggs, to unravel some Debussy?…. (man… that was so clever)….
Are you ready for all this?
Cool. Continue reading

Word of the Day – “mit”

mit-prefix-meaning-germanHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning of


Mit means with. Let’s do an example.

  • Kaffee  mit Vollmilch.
  • Coffee with whole milk.

And that’s that. Just good ol’ literal translation. Hooray. And what’s even better is that we don’t have to worry about what case to use because… they all are equally correct with mit… okay they’re not. Mit needs Dative. But at least it’s easy to remember.. mit dem…  starts with “em” and ends with “em”. So, bottom line… mit  – simple, honest, literal.
Best preposition ever!
Now, of course mit wouldn’t be a Word of the Day if there wasn’t anything interesting to say about it. Mit is a really really cool prefix. There are so many uber common mit-verbs that are used every single day, and yet all those dumb text books miss out on them. Hey… hey beginners-book, I don’t care what bell pepper means!
Anyway…so, today we’ll take a look at some of the most common mit-verbs and along the way, we’ll discover the 2 main aspects mit can add to a verb. Sounds good?

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Word of the Day – “annehmen”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will take a look at the meaning of


Hmmm… a verb that consists of the two parts to take and on. Will logic prevail and the translation be something reasonable like to take on? Or are we in for some crazy, wayward meaning like … pfff.. to blow-dry or some nonsense like that. Let’s look at an example and find out.

  • Ew… the milk has taken on the taste of the fridge.
  • Ihhh… die Milch hat den Kühlschrankgeschmack angenommen.
  • Sein Gesicht nimmt einen verschmitzten Ausdruck an.
  • His face takes on a roguish look.

Yeay, looks like we’re in for some logic today :). Annehmen actually does translate to to take on. Not always though, and if we look closer, we’ll find that to take on is not the best translation. Annehmen has much more of a passive vibe. If you take on a problem for example, that means that you  tackle it, you work to overcome it. Annehmen is more like…

“Hey, here’s a problem. I think it has your name on it.”
“Ugh, fine … I guess it’s mine then. I’ll have it.Continue reading

German Word of the Day – “trotzdem”

trotzdem-germanHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we will look at the meaning of


Trotzdem is a super super important word, and in my opinion, it should be among the first 50 or so words that we learn in a new language. What makes it so important? Well, just like weil or dass it is one of these essential function words. Imagine, you don’t know a word for becausein the language you’re learning. That would suck! I mean, how would you express reason then? You definitely can’t use your hands to somehow point out because or sign it the way you can sign arm or apple or even hammer. So it makes complete and utter sense for a textbook to pages of food vocab and body parts right in the beginning and do the impo… oh wait.
Maaan, I really am a textbook hater :)
But anyway… so trotzdem is super important and we’ll learn all about it today. Continue reading

Word of the Day – “mäßig”

maessig-picture-germanHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day.  This time we’ll take a look at the meaning of


It seems only moderately interesting when you look it up in a dictionary but … it’s a colloquial powerhouse. … whatever that is :).
But before we get to that, let’s take a look at some boring things first. Sounds average?

Mäßig is a combination of the noun das Maß and the super common adjective ending -ig…. and an umlaut. Of course.
Das Maß (pronounced with a loooong a.. like in massaaaaaage) comes from the ancient Indo-European root *med. The original idea of this root is some sort of measuring,  and this idea is still visible in all the words that comes from it… sometimes, like for meditate or medium it’s a bit abstract; for other like it’s pretty obvious like for meter, metricsmeasure, yard or foot… oh wait, I think the last two actually have nothing to do with measuring 
etymology-wise of course  ;)
There is also a verb in that family: messen, which means to measure.

  • Ein Einhornoskop misst die Coolheit von Tieren.
  • A Unicornoscope measures the coolessity of animals.

Continue reading