Category Archives: Word of the day

This section brings you the German word of the day and a round up on how to use it.

Word of the Day – “schieben”

schieben-aufschieben-verschHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at another random, boring verb that you’ll never use and its super lame cousins.
On the edge of your seat yet? Perfect :) . Then let’s dive right in and talk about

schieben

Schieben is related to the English word to shove. They both come from the same root as words like  shoot, shut, shun, scoot or shuttle:  the mega turbo uber kind of ancient root *skeub- which meant as much as  making something move quickly by applying a force from behind. So … it’s kind of what I do with the interns, when I kick their lazy ass for being on Facebook all day. Hmmm… I wonder if the Indo-Europeans had lazy interns too. Like… some Intern-Europeans… meh, anyways.
Seriously though… the core of the root was probably just broad idea of  to (make)  move quickly. But this whole notion of a pushing force (as opposed to pulling) was definitely in there very early on and it’s  totally part of words like shove or shootContinue reading

Word of the Day- “der Reiz”

Hello everyone,

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

der Reiz

A gentle balmy wind on the skin, the slight fragrance of cherry blossoms in the air, the refreshing bitterness of a cold beer on the tongue, the pollen induced itching in my nose, the first sting of a mosquito on the arm, the sound of birds going crazy at 5 in the morning in the ear.
Besides being all very “spring”-y these things have one thing in common… each one is something we perceive with our senses. Or put in one word – a Reiz.
Reiz  comes from an  old Germanic root that was at its core about carving or scratching a surface with a sharp object. This root evolved into words like to write and to scribe in English and reißen (to rip) or schreiben (to write). And there was reizen, which in the beginning was very true to the core meaning of carving or scratching a surface. But soon the meaning broadened, people started using it in an abstract sense too. What abstract sense? Continue reading

Style Special – “Fridge”

rottenfood-specialHello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day…. well, actually it’s German Words of the day because it is time for another style special. And after we’ve talked about walking, facial expressions and noise, this time it’s gonna be all about

Refrigerators

Now you’re like “Really? Fridges?!”. And I’m like “Yeah, fridges!”
Because they’re the coolest home appliances ever…. get it? Get it?  It’s funny because cool can mean cold and awes… meh anyways, so today we’ll look at fridges or better we’ll take a look inside fridges. And in case you’re worried that this going to be some boring list of stuff that can be in the fridge – worry no more. We’ll look deep inside the fridge at the stuff in the rear. That black, wrinkly banana, that forsaken piece of brie, that thriving culture in the half eaten yogurt. You’ve probably figured it out by now… today, we’ll look at all the words you need to describe such treasures. And we’ll learn the vocab for what happens if we eat it.
So… are you ready to take a mouthful of rotten food? The words for it anyway?
Cool. Then let’s start with one of those awesome compounds.

Continue reading

Word of the Day – “eigentlich”

eigentlich-meaningHello everyone,

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

eigentlich

Eigentlich is super tricky. Many students use eigentlich the way they use actually.

  • Actually, I like beer.
  • Eigentlich mag ich Bier.

I mean, why not, right. That’s what it says in pretty much all dictionaries. But … dictionary shmictionary! The two sentences do not express the same thing. You should not use eigentlich the way you use actually in English. Seriously! Stop it! Eigentlich is not the  actually we love so much. Like… it looks right on paper, but in practice roughly 87,21 percent of the eigentlichs non-native speakers use are out of place (source).
Why is eigentlich such a “faillite epique”?
Well, that’s what we want to find out today. So are you ready to dive in and look at how eigentlich is used? Cool.

Continue reading

Word of the Day – “die Schranke”

Hello everyone,

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

die Schranke

Schranke as well as its brother der Schrank are great examples for the harsh beauty of the German language. I mean just look at it. Schrank!  it sounds like a gearbox failure, and yet it means something like loving caress, as tender as a as a butterfly’s wi… okay of course this is crap. Schranke and Schrank are rather worldly things. And Schrank is actually pretty common.  In fact, most of you probably have a Schrank at home and if you’re one of those people who put little post its on stuff to learn vocabulary, then you’ll know that a Schrank is a wardrobe. Or a cabinet. Or a cupboard. Or an armoire. Or a locker…. basically it’s a huge-ish piece of furniture that you use to store stuff in and – and this is the crucial part – Continue reading