Home Tell-a-friend

German Words in Contemporary Am. English


This page presents examples for German words that have been assimilated into the English language. It is maintained by Dr. Gottfried Feistner, a professional English-German translator, who runs a small business with the name ALSC. New entries are made as the workload and other commitments allow. Although links are validated each time a new entry is made, it is impossible to guarantee that they will work in the future because Internet files are frequently moved (in which case you might want to try the respective server's search function) or deleted. However, enough context is always given that this page should remain useful even without external links. Happy browsing!

Copyright 2000-2002 Gottfried Feistner - Please do not plagiarize. - Feedback to ALSC


angst

Webster's: a gloomy, often neurotic feeling of generalized anxiety and depression.

Examples:

John Biggs: Gnat or Parasite? Angst Over Adware.
The New York Times, June 6, 2002
"... Known as adware or spyware, programs like the ones that slowed Ms. Pazdan's computer are popping up on the Internet ever more frequently. Mike Healan, 26, curator of an anti-adware site, www.spywareinfo.com, said that the programs are designed to lure users to e-commerce sites and in rare cases pornographic sites, and are churning up debate as more companies use them..."


Brendan A. Maher: Lasker Ceremony: Homage Amidst Angst.
The Scientist 15[20]:10, Oct. 15, 2001
"Shaken but not disheartened by events 10 days prior, some of the world's leading biomedical scientists gathered in New York, Sept. 21, to honor scientific achievement at the 2001 Lasker Awards ceremony. As James Fordyce, chairman of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, welcomed attendees, he asked that they view the World Trade Center wreckage 'as a reminder of the precious value of life' and that they 'not be deterred' from the life-saving mission of research. Echoing these sentiments through the decorous Cotillion Room of the Pierre Hotel, ABC News co-anchor Dianne Sawyer offered, 'Although the audacity of the skyscrapers has been obliterated, the audacity of the ability to soar has not.'"


Nuclear Power: Energy angst may resurrect controversial industry."
Title page of Chemical & Engineering News, September 3, 2001.


Usha Lee McFarling: Planet Search at 67 and Counting.
Los Angeles Times 6/5/2001

"After toiling for five years, Marcy claimed to have found the magnetic fields. But many scientists were unconvinced. One Harvard astronomer dismissed his findings entirely. Although the work earned him a two-year fellowship at the Carnegie Observatories in 1982, Marcy was despondent.
'I was feeling so bad about my abilities as a scientist,' he recalled, 'I wondered if I was edging toward being suicidal.' One talented colleague did take his own life. Another dropped out of the graduate program.

How to Find a Planet
Find a planet

Click 1x to see full graphic.

Depressed as he was, Marcy didn't quit. Instead, his anguish carried him back to the search that had preoccupied him as a child. His breakthrough came in the shower. It all became clear. He should start looking for planets.
'I was standing there, with water running down my back, thinking I can't go on like this,' he said. 'I didn't have anything to lose. If I was going to be gripped with angst, at least I was going to do something so monumental, it was going to be worth it even if it failed.' "


Debora Vrana: Workers Share in Angst About Plunging Stock.Los Angeles Times 10/30/2000

Linda Holland: The Online Angst of Full Disclosure. The New York Times 1/14/2001

Paul Ames (AP): EU attempts to quell panic from mad cow disease. Daily Bulletin 1/17/2001
"In Germany, the almost daily discovery of new cases of mad cow disease has provoked intense consumer angst."

Robert Koenig: New Money to Lure Talent From Abroad. Science 291, 1876a (2001)
"Bulmahn and others in Germany's science establishment have plenty of reason for angst. Several German scientists have won Nobel Prizes for research done in U.S. labs, including physicist Horst Störmer in 1998 and cell biologist Günter Blobel in 1999. Compounding the problem, a recent study found that about 14% of German science students land graduate or postdoc positions in the United States, and up to a third of them don't return."

Claudia Rosenbaum: Prescribing Penmanship. Los Angeles Times 6/5/2001
"Having gotten the doctors' attention, it was time to train them. Enter Barbara Getty and Inga Dubay, two former Oregon elementary teachers who arrived with their lined handwriting booklets and a bit of angst about teaching to a tough crowd."

Ray Richmond: My son is flunking pre-kindergarten. Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2001
"So when exactly was it that insanity took hold in the world of early education? When did it become standard procedure to fill parents with insecurity and apprehension over the fact that their 5-year-old might not have what it takes to qualify for the Big K?
Aren't these teachers who were expressing such illogical angst supposed to, like, teach him how to shape letters correctly?"



autobahn

Webster's: a course, a highway; in Germany, an automobile expressway.

Examples:

Nancy Rivera Brooks, Dan Morain, Los Angeles Times 02/15/2001: Creditors Chafe at State's Pace on Power Crisis.
"The California energy crisis is hurtling along two tracks--one the slow lane of legislative politics, the other the hyper-speed autobahn of high finance."



berg

Webster's: probably via Dutch "ijsberg" (lit. ice mountain) or Danish "isberg": a great mass of ice broken off from a glacier and floating in the sea.
While "Berg" surely is a German word meaning "mountain", according to Webster it may have entered American English via Dutch or Danish rather than German. In American English "berg" is short for "iceberg"; it does not refer to any other "mountains", but see the entries for bhergh and inselberg in the American Heritage Dictionary.

Examples:

Robert Lee Hotz, Melting Releases Riddles on Global Warming. Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2001: "Wedged against Ross Island near McMurdo Station, the main National Science Foundation base in Antarctica, the berg is a leviathan of ice. As large as the state of Rhode Island, it contains enough frozen fresh water to supply the United States for three years."



blitz

Webster's: any sudden, overwhelming attack; also used as verb: overwhelm and destroy; football: to charge (through gaps in the line).

Examples:

Helen Jung: Blitz targets living rooms. Daily Bulletin/AP, July 22, 2002
"Microsoft Corp. has been trying to enter your living room for years. Despite its most aggressive effort yet, it will be lucky to get to the door.
This fall, the Redmond-based software giant plans to blitz the market with dozens of new consumer-oriented products made for or by Microsoft."

Rosie Mestel: The Wonders of Saliva. Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2002
"Tangible breakthroughs on the saliva front can't come too soon for Nancy Ross-Flanigan, 52, a Detroit area writer who's been pretty much spitless for 11 years, ever since her salivary glands were blitzed during radiotherapy for tongue cancer ...
Instead of mimicking saliva, some scientists want to fix the faucet and get fluid flowing again, using gene therapy. Ross-Flanigan has heard of that: She's even got some clippings about it in her "saliva" file. She'd do it in a flash if she thought it would work.
So far, though, only rats have really had their dry mouths cured...
The rats (whose glands were first destroyed with irradiation) didn't grow spanking-new glands. Instead, tissues that don't normally ooze fluid were genetically changed into oozers.
The approach: infecting those watertight tissues with a harmless virus carrying a special gene, called aquaporin. Aquaporin directs the formation of a protein that muscles its way into the membrane and forms a pore through which water can pass.
Rats may be curable, but Ross-Flanigan won't be able to get the blitzed remains of her glands studded with water pores any time soon. The strategy hasn't yet been shown effective in pigs and primates, let alone tested in human trials."


Kevin Elliott, your Guide to Web Search: Life During the Blitz; referenced in SearchLight, Issue No. 31, September 21, 2001:
"Last week, New York seemed like a city at war. But it's not the first large metropolis to be attacked. British History Guide James Appleyard remembers the German blitz on London in 1940.":

"Around the world and particularly in Britain, people have been astounded by the way the people and the city of New York have responded to the crisis with their defiance to be beaten and resolve to show the terrorists that they have not succeeded; their belief in the democratic way of life that New York has stood as a beacon for has not been destroyed. More than one person, including New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, has compared this reaction to the way the people of London coped with the Blitz in 1940. This was when the German Luftwaffe looked to crush Britain's industrial heartland, destroy its resolve, crush its morale, and weaken its fighting spirit through a continous bombing campaign. Yet, the onslaught had completely the opposite effect. The people of London bonded together in sheer defiance; they refused to be beaten and despite the destruction and the rising death toll, continued to live life as normally as possible. Just as September 11, 2001 will be a day the people of New York never forget, September 7, 1940 - the day the Blitz began - is a day those who lived through it have also never forgotten."


Kathy Lewis, The Dallas Morning News (October 30, 1996): "President Clinton's campaign on Tuesday telegraphed plans for a media and travel blitz before Election Day while Bob Dole's mapped out its closing strategy almost on an hour-by-hour basis."

Apple Springs For G3 Blitz

The arctic express has heralded into the region when a series of 2-3 ft. snowstorms blitzed the region.

U.S. Warns of Possible New Year's Computer Blitzes (distributed denial-of-service attacks)

Disney football site blitzed

NetZero, however, has considerable brand recognition these days, the result of an advertising blitz that ...

Arms Trade Launches All-Out Sales Blitz On New NATO Members.

Jake Ulick, Wall St. sidesteps loss. CNNfn.cnn.com, March 1, 2001: "A late blitz of bargain hunting Thursday saved U.S. stocks from losses that nearly handed Wall Street its first official bear market in more than a decade."

Stuart Silverstein, S. California Foreseen Escaping U.S. Recession. Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2001: "Leamer said the technology spending boom from 1996 through last year was driven by an "Internet rush" mentality, highlighted by companies scrambling to establish corporate Web sites. Now that the Internet blitz is over, he said, businesses will invest in new technology more conservatively."

Chris Nguyen: CHP cracks down on drivers of big rigs. Daily Bulletin, June 15, 2001: "The California Highway Patrol on Thursday launched a statewide blitz targeting truckers in an effort to reduce truck-involved collisions and deaths on the region's highways."

Melissa Pinion-Whitt: Street racers stick to the script. Daily Bulletin, June 26, 2001: "Blitz of 400 traffic tickets issued after release of hit movie 'Fast and Furious'."



blitzkrieg

Webster's: sudden, swift, large-scale offensive warfare intended to win a quick victory.

Examples:
Richard Pyle, Associated Press/Daily Bulletin, January 14,2001; Saddam's error led to war: "The fast-moving desert blitzkrieg was terminated by U.S. commanders after four days (hence the term "100-hour war"), having routed the Iraqi army."



bratwurst

Webster's: highly seasoned, fresh sausage of veal and pork, for grilling, frying, etc.
Examples:

Martin Enserink, FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE: Barricading U.S. Borders Against a Devastating Disease. Science 291, 2298 (2001): "Although local foot-and-mouth outbreaks have occurred almost yearly in Europe for most of the 20th century, the United States, where it's often called hoof-and-mouth disease, had its last epidemic in 1929. (Mexico had outbreaks until the 1940s, and Canada had one in 1952.) Similarly, classical swine fever breaks out in Europe regularly; in 1997 it forced Dutch authorities to massacre almost 10 million pigs. The same disease, often called hog cholera here, was eradicated from the United States in 1978. Similarly, no sign of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), has been detected in the United States, although it has spread over the past decade from the British Isles to at least a dozen other countries.
Part of the credit goes to the strict importation rules by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Beef from the United Kingdom has been banned since 1989 because of the BSE crisis. And after FMD gained a foothold in France last week, the U.S. government temporarily banned the import of all European animals and many animal products. At the borders, Quincy [a 7-year-old beagle trained to sniff out meat, cheese, and other contraband] and his human co-workers keep the pressure up on individual travelers who may be tempted to smuggle some bratwurst or salami in their suitcase. But the health of U.S. livestock is also a result of the country's geographic isolation, says Martin Hugh-Jones of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. 'We have to be very grateful for two things,' says Hugh-Jones: 'The Atlantic and the Pacific.' "


Crankshaft - Brats



John Wollner, Brats & Beef - How Wisconsin Loves to Do Its Wurst. Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2001:
"In Wisconsin, the bratwurst is not a sausage. It's a regional ritual.
Every August since 1953, Sheboygan, Wis.--the self-proclaimed Bratwurst Capital of the World--has celebrated Bratwurst Day. It's far from alone in its allegiance. This summer, as every summer, Wisconsin grills are being fired up from La Crosse to Manitowoc, from Kenosha to Lac du Flambeau, all to celebrate the legacy of the Badger State's favorite grub: the bratwurst.
In Wisconsin the bratwurst is not just a staple food item but the centerpiece of a vibrant cultural esthetic. Like the Texas barbecue and the New England clam bake, the Wisconsin brat fry has its own traditional set menu, rich folklore and strictly observed rituals. Wisconsonites are nuts about their bratwurst, and once you've had the brat experience, you will understand why. The hot dog pales in comparison to the stalwart, meaty brat.
For a genuine Wisconsin brat fry, it's important to get the right kind of brat. The various breeds of bratwurst can quickly confuse the uninitiated. There are any number of recipes, but the main spices usually include sage, mace, rosemary, thyme and celery seed.
You may have seen fleshy, white brats in your local grocery. These are the Nürnberger variety, also known as veal bratwurst, and are made of a mixture of veal and pork. Münchner veal bratwurst is similar in appearance but has a slightly spicier flavor. Veal brats, like hot dogs, are sold fully precooked and need only to be browned on a grill.
But for our Wisconsin Brat Fry, the brat we want is all pork. This is the Thuringer bratwurst, named for Thuringia, the central German region where it originated. You will recognize it by its mottled appearance, like Italian sausage. Thuringers, in contrast to the veal types, are sold raw...
Before grilling, bratwursts are poached in a broth of beer, flavored with onions, butter, black pepper and maybe a little garlic. The simmering beer cooks the meat, while the subsequent grilling contracts the sausage skin to give it the snap that is characteristic of a great bratwurst.
The practice of cooking brats in beer before grilling isn't as traditional back in the Old Country as it has become in Wisconsin. Gary Troub, bratwurst maker and proprietor of the European Deluxe Sausage kitchen in Beverly Hills, believes it to be an American innovation. He only heard of the method upon moving to Los Angeles 11 years ago from his home near Koblenz in the Rhineland.
'Cooking in the beer, that's more something they do more in Milwaukee. Germans, we like to put the beer here,' says Troub, pointing to his mouth with his thumb."



burg

American Heritage Dictionary: 1. Informal: A city or town: 'There are no more opportunities for you in this burg' (Damon Runyon). 2. A fortified or walled town in early or medieval Europe.
Probably from -burg in place names such as Harrisburg, from Middle English burgh, town, from Old English burg. Only in sense 2 ultimately derived from Germanic burgs, hill fort - watch out for false friend!

Examples:

Sense 1:
Cecilia Rasmussen: Aunty Lane--as Unsinkable as Molly Brown. Los Angeles Times, November 18, 2001.
"In the remaining years of her life, Lane opened a rooming house in the Colorado mining burg of Georgetown. In the winter, miners boarded with her."


caffein(e)

Webster's: from German Kaffein, now coffein; coined by its discoverer F. F. Runge, a German chemist (1795-1867).



dachshund

Webster's: a small dog of German breed, with a long body, short legs, and drooping ears.

Examples:

John Schwartz, A Robot That Works in the City Sewer. The New York Times, March 9, 2001: "The robot was created to fulfill a dream: laying fiber-optic cable within city sewer systems. Owned by CityNet Telecommunications Inc., a new company in Silver Spring, Md., the device, which looks a little like the unlikely offspring of a dachshund and an Electrolux vacuum cleaner, is on its first American mission. If all works as planned, efforts like this promise sweet relief to Americans nationwide who have sacrificed their shock absorbers, wheels and lower backs to streets turned into washboards by companies cutting and repaving streets to lay the "last mile" of fiber-optic cable."

Can you see the similarity between the sleek body of the sewer access module and that of a dachshund?

Sewer Access Module Dachshund
Dachshund According to the American Kennel Club the dachshund was developed in Germany more than 300 years ago to hunt badgers. Click here for more detailed information.

These days Germans call the dachshund "Dackel" or "Teckel". For a German web site on dachshunds click here.

P.S.: The robots may also be useful for laying cable in abandoned pneumatic mail tubes; see: Robin Pogrebin: Underground Mail Road. The New York Times, March 9, 2001



doppelgänger

Susan Stellin: New Economy: Privacy Concerns for Google Archive. New York Times, May 7, 2001
"People can be rightfully mortified when they come back five years from now and see a post that they made," Mr. Koball said. "And now it's enshrined in magnetic media for time immemorial."
He described the data trail a person now generates as a digital doppelgänger -- a record of information about an individual's activities and behavior. In the past, that type of record might have been compiled by the government or a law enforcement agency for some deliberate purpose, he said. But now, "what we have is people essentially creating their own dossier -- just through their everyday activities."



diktat

Webster's: an authoritarian decree, order, or policy

Examples:

William Safire: J. Edgar Mueller. New York Times, June 3, 2002.
"To fabricate an alibi for his nonfeasance, and to cover up his department's embarrassing cut of the counterterrorism budget last year, Attorney General John Ashcroft -- working with his hand-picked aide, F.B.I. Director 'J. Edgar' Mueller III -- has gutted guidelines put in place a generation ago to prevent the abuse of police power by the federal government.
They have done this deed by executive fiat: no public discussion, no Congressional action, no judicial guidance. If we had only had these new powers last year, goes their posterior-covering pretense, we could have stopped terrorism cold.
Not so...
But under the new Ashcroft-Mueller diktat, that necessary hint of potential criminal activity is swept away. With not a scintilla of evidence of a crime being committed, the feds will be able to run full investigations for one year. That's aimed at generating suspicion of criminal conduct -- the very definition of a 'fishing expedition.' "



ersatz

Webster: substitute or synthetic: the word usually suggests inferior quality.

Examples:

"The replica [of the Lucas 1 derrick] also includes a hydraulic system that will push 2,500 gal of water per minute 130 to 150 feet in the air in an ersatz gusher" Chemical & Engineering News 78, 96 (2000).

Reed Johnson, Weekend Escape: Las Vegas. A Casbah That Rocks. Los Angeles Times 11/19/2000
"While the entrance to Paris is plainly marked by its ersatz Arc de Triomphe, the Aladdin's subterranean garage is harder to spot than Al Gore's punch hole in a Palm Beach ballot."

Annette Kondo: Red-Legged Frogs Get a Leg Up on Survival. Los Angeles Times 6/15/2001
"Measuring up to 5 inches long, the California red-legged frog is the largest native frog in the western United States. Its red or salmon-colored hind legs have contributed to the amphibian's lore, and its demise. They are believed to be the same celebrated hopping legs immortalized by Mark Twain in his tale about a Calaveras County frog jumping contest.
But those sinewy hind limbs were also such a highly sought gourmand's delight that the species was practically wiped out in the 1800s and early 1900s. Bullfrogs that were introduced as an ersatz gourmet item wound up preying on the red-legged frog, exacerbating its decline."



fest

Webster's: a celebration; -fest: a combining form used in forming colloquial and slang words, meaning an occasion of much [funfest].

Examples:

Tracy Reynolds: History of Halloween. Daily Bulletin, October 29, 2001
"Do you ever wonder why Halloween came to be? For a lot of people, this autumn fright fest has become synonymous with candy, costumes and creepy characters. Why are symbols like ghosts, pumpkins, witches and black cats used in conjunction with this ghoulish celebration? How did traditions like trick-or-treating and bobbing for apples come about?
We have a few answers for you..."

Ellen Melinkoff: Frogs Race to the Finish Line in Arkansas. Los Angeles Times 4/15/2001
"The Preakness is more than a horse race; it is the middle jewel in the Triple Crown. Preakness Celebration 2001 is a festival, from May 11 to 19, that attracts half a million people. The hot-air balloon fest offers five launches from different Baltimore locations plus an illuminated balloon finale with more than 30 balloons lighting up the night sky. The 28th annual Preakness Parade, on Pratt Street in downtown Baltimore, features marching bands and floats. Also planned: a frog jumping contest, crab derby, schooner race to and from Ft. McHenry and kids' hobby horse race."

News from Costa Mesa, Newport Beach: Los Angeles Times 4/16/2001
"Orange County Market Place will kick off the Strawberry Sunday Fest from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa."

Don Heckman: Overshadowed USC Fest Deserves a Closer Look. Los Angeles Times 4/13/2001

Robert Burns: A Prelude to Ant War: Los Angeles Times 5/10/2001
"In one corner is the Tiny Tormentor, the Argentine ant that in the last hundred years or so has managed to spread as one giant colony throughout California's coastal areas. In the other corner is the Texas Terror, the imported red fire ant whose recent arrival here could mean the featherweight--OK, extreme featherweight--fight of the century.
Which will be the victor in this mandiblefest?"



foehn

Webster's: a warm, dry wind blowing down into the valleys of a mountain, esp. in the Alps.

Examples:

William J. Kole: Europeans obsess about an ill wind. Associated Press/Daily Bulletin, February 18, 2002
"It's a postcard-perfect February day in the Tyrolean Alps - and Erika Jost couldn't be more miserable. It's not the flu, it's the foehn - the infamous ill wind that Austrians love to hate...
The unusually warm, dry gusts - a touch of spring in the middle of winter - are blamed for tension headaches, backaches, hot flashes, nausea, and sleepness nights...
Meteorologists call a wind a foehn ... when it blows warm and dry from the south, compressing the air as it sweeps down the slopes.
The alpine foehn, which originates in the Sahara, is a cousin of the Santa Ana winds that fan fires in southern California, the Chinook winds that rage across the Rockies, and the dreaded mistral known for fouling French tempers...
Temperatures can soar from freezing to 60 degrees in as little as two hours, and gusts have been clocked at 100 mph, enough to rip off roofs and topple trees..."



fraudmeister

This is an interesting bilingual composite word consisting of the German word "Meister" ("master" as in "master baker") and the English word "fraud". Example: Savings & Loan fraudmeister Charles Keating", who was a "master of fraud" and caused one of the costliest S&L failures in US history.
Webster's: no entry.

Examples:

.



fritz

Webster's: orig. a German nickname for Friedrich; used for cheap German goods exported to the U.S. before World War I; Slang for a broken or non-functioning state: only in the phrase on the fritz, not in working order.

Examples:

Blondie - On the fritz



gestalt

Webster's: gestalt = German for shape, form; gestalten in Gestalt psychology: any of the integrated structures or patterns that make up all experience and have specific properties which can neither be derived from the elements of the whole nor considered simply as the sum of these elements.


Gestalt psychology

Webster's: a school of psychology, developed in Germany, which affirms that all experience consists of gestalten, and that the response of an organism to a situation is a complete and unanalyzable whole rather than a sum of the responses to specific elements in the situation.

Want to know more about the Gestalt therapy? Visit The Gestalt Therapy Page, the International Society for Gestalt Theory and its Applications or the electronic journal Gestalt!

Examples:

Karen Stabiner: A Great Restaurant's Secret Ingredient. Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2002
"The front of the house always has a personality, just like the kitchen does. For a while, in the '80s, front rooms were full of ingratiating waiters. (Hi. I'm Bob. I'm going to help you chew your food.) In the '90s, there were the power waiters and wine folk who could keep pace with the most can-you-top-this demands. These days, restaurants aspire to a more restrained, but ever-helpful kind of service: attentive but not overbearing, informed but not about to tell you which side of the road the tomatoes grew on, concerned from a respectful distance about he customer's contentment. If there is one consistent indicator of the current dining gestalt, it is the music that plays in otherwise very different dining rooms around the city:
'World music,' says Bonnie Beck, who has been the manager at Jar for three months.
'World music,' says Styne.
'World music,' says Dana Caskey, co-owner of the House, in Hollywood, which feels like a boho graduate-school cousin to the other, sleeker spots. No matter what the trappings, the message, these days, is cosmic calm."

Reed Johnson: So Far Out, His Music Had to Come Back In. Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2002
"A handful of neo-retro bands like Combustible Edison, Love Jones and the Swamp Zombies have lent an inspired, contemporary twist to the Lounge Movement's swizzle-stick gestalt."

Michael Harris: GORGEOUS LIES: A Novel, By Martha McPhee. Los Angeles Times, October 6, 2002
"Martha McPhee's previous novel, 'Bright Angel Time,' thrust us back into the countercultural promise and chaos of the 1970s. Narrated by 8-year-old Kate Cooper, it described the merger of two broken families in a van driven cross-country by her mother Eve's new boyfriend, a Texas-born ex-Jesuit and gestalt therapist named Anton Furey..."

Nick Madigan: A 60's-Style Retreat Faces Modern-Day Challenges. The New York Times, September 16, 2002
"When a winter storm four years ago sent a hillside crashing into the mineral baths at Esalen, the coastal healing retreat that became synonymous in the 1960's with California's New Age consciousness, Eastern mysticism and self-awareness, the damage nearly doomed a way of life...
...Esalen could not afford another disaster. Its near-death experience forced the institution, now in its 40th year, to jettison its legendary laid-back style. Taking a cue from an Aikido martial arts admonition to 'take the hit as a gift,' Esalen's leaders adopted a corporate ethos that includes long-term strategic planning, tighter security and a $25 million fund-raising campaign run by highly paid professionals.
The lurch toward Wall Street thinking has rattled Esalen traditionalists, some of whom are all but crying heresy.
'It's bizarre that it's moving in that direction,' said Neil Baldwin, 49, a teacher at Esalen's preschool for nine years. ''People used to come here to deal with issues that they couldn't deal with easily in society. Now, there's a yoga studio or a Gestalt center on every corner...
Esalen's leaders take some credit for inspiring pioneers and adherents of myriad philosophies and therapies -- including Gestalt, Feldenkrais and chakra integration -- to spread their messages to the outside world. Esalen also attracted the vanguard of the age. Seminar leaders and visitors in the early days included Henry Miller, Ansel Adams, R. Buckminster Fuller, Ida Rolf, Ken Kesey, Jack Kerouac, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Joan Baez, Joseph Campbell, George Harrison and an armed Hunter S. Thompson, who handled security duties.
In the 1980's, Esalen gave birth to the term ''hot tub diplomacy,'' after Soviet diplomats and their State Department counterparts were observed soaking in the mineral baths, discussing world affairs."



Gesundheit

Webster's: (your) health: spoken as a toast or as an expression of good wishes to someone who has just sneezed.


Born Loser - Gesundheit




Gewürztraminer

Webster's: a variety of grape grown near the town of Tramin (German name for Tremeno, a town in Northern Italy); a dry, fruity white wine, with a spicy flavor, produced in Northern Italy and Alsace.

The following picture and text were found at GermanWine.de:

"As far as ampelography (the description of vines) is concerned, Traminer and Gewürztraminer are one and the same variety. The distinct differences in maturity and bouquet are obviously based on slight variations whithin one variety. In the Ortenau district, Traminer is also called Clevner. Those wine connoisseurs who favour the fragrant wines are enthusiastic about Gewürztraminer. Traminer makes harmonious wines. Gewürztraminer wines are fragrant and of great complexity."

Gewürztraminer


A more detailed account on Gewürztraminer can be found at Oz Clarke's Wine Guide

Here is SutterHome's description of Gewürztraminer:
Sutter Home's 2000 Gewürztraminer, perhaps the winery's finest to date, displays a varietally true, delightfully fresh, fragrant aroma of white peaches, lichee fruit, and rose petals, with a complexing hint of allspice. It's rich, lush, medium-dry flavors, echoing the wine's aromas, are beautifully balanced between sweetness and acidity and culminate in a dry, spicy finish. This superb California Gewürztraminer is an ideal accompaniment to a wide range of foods, including chicken, turkey, ham, pork, and spicy Asian, Latin, Southwestern, and Caribbean cuisines."



glockenspiel

Webster's: a percussion instrument with chromatically tuned, flat metal bars set in a frame that produce bell-like tones when struck with a hammer.

Examples:

Ed Leibowitz: Vital Organ. Westways Jan/Feb 2001, p. 86-88:
"An explosion of sound fills the hall -- not only routine organ notes, but oboes, flutes, fifes, strings, and English horns. The Wurlitzer's valves, cymbals, reeds, and glockenspiels, painted in vibrant colors, shift strangely in the dark. For effect, Coffman plunks down on a key that sounds like a thunderclap, and an ersatz lightning flash from a lamp high above the stage illuminates our faces."



hinterland

Webster's: 1. the land or district behind that bordering on the coast or river; 2. an area far from big cities and towns; back country; 3. the inland trade region served by a port.

Examples:

Random Samples: Wolves Return to Germany. Science 294, 1649 (2001) (Issue of 23 November 2001)
"The land of the Brothers Grimm is once again home to wolves. A century and a half after hunters first wiped out Canis lupus, the species is again breeding in Germany's eastern hinterlands."

hinterland synapses.
Synapses Shout to Overcome Distance, Science (2000). In this article "hinterland synapse" is synonomous with "synapse far from the cell body", "distant synapse"; the counterpart would be a "close-in synapse".

Tyler Marshall and Alissa J. Rubin: Pushtun Leaders Hold Talks on Peaceful Surrender of Kandahar. Los Angeles Times, November 25, 2001
"Hundreds of fighters loyal to influential southern tribal chief Hamid Karzai and another force under a former Soviet-era commander and tribal leader, Gul Agha Shirzai, were engaged in heavy fighting against Taliban forces along the main road that connects Kandahar with its southern hinterland, Karzai's brother, Ahmed, said early Saturday."

Andrew Kramer (AP): Three hundred years in Oregon, Russian Old Believers hang on. The Daily Bulletin, January 5, 2002
"The Old Believers, whose faith developed in the forsts and swamps of Russia's hinterlands, opposed the subordination of religion to the increasingly powerful secular government in Russia as the country became an empire."



inselberg

American Heritage Dictionary: A mountain or rocky mass that has resisted erosion and stands isolated in an essentially level area. Also called monadnock; after Mount Monadnock, a peak of southwest New Hampshire; Etymology: German : Insel, island (from Middle High German insule, from alteration of Old High German isila, probably from Vulgar Latin *sula; see isle) + Berg, mountain (from Middle High German berc, from Old High German berg).

Examples:

Dictionary of geography:
"A steep, isolated peak rising abruptly from a pediment; Ayers Rock, Australia, is perhaps the most famous example. There is some debate about the origin of inselbergs. Some writers attribute their formation to parallel slope retreat; others believe that they are the revealed remnants of the deeply weathered rock typical of tropical climates."



jaeger

Webster: 1. any of several sea birds (genus Stercorarius), which force other, weaker birds to leave or give up their prey, 2. a hunter, 3. a rifleman in the old Austrian and German armies.

Examples:

Kim Murphy: Caribou's Plight Intersects Oil Debate. Los Angeles Times, July 5, 2001
"On the bank of the river, Richard Spener, a salesman from St. Louis, was assembling a canoe to carry his wife and 11-year-old daughter down the river toward the plain. It was his third trip to the refuge. 'There are no roads, there are no picnic tables, there's nothing except the way this world was 2,000 or 3,000 years ago,' he said. 'In our short time here today, we've seen caribou, we've seen jaegers, we've seen eagles, we've seen Arctic terns and ptarmigans. And we've only been here a few hours. That's awesome.' "



kaput

Webster's: German "kaputt"; lost ruined, broken.

Examples:

David Coursey: Why Napster must die. AnchorDesk Mailing List 2/22/01
"Where some of you see a peer-to-peer pioneer, I see something closer to a criminal enterprise. And it's time to put a stop to it--period. Napster must go kaput, and its investors' money should go down the drain with it."

Karen Kaplan and Alex Pham: Industry Downturn Hasn't Killed Tech's Big Appetite for Top Talent. The Los Angeles Times, December 9, 2001.
"The losers in this harsh equation of supply and demand have been the troops in the e-revolution: rank-and-file Web site designers, marketing experts whose services now are considered a luxury, and consultants whose dot-com clients have gone kaput, among others.
The winners are specialized engineers who help wring out costs and salespeople who can inject revenue. Other industries scrounging for technical workers include biotechnology, aerospace and defense and petroleum, headhunters say."



kindergarten

Webster's: a school or class of young children, usually four to six years old, that prepares them for first grade and that develops basic skills and social behavior by games, exercises, music, simple handicraft, etc.

Examples:

Kindergarten Terror. absnews.com 2/2/01.
"A man wielding a machete and a baseball bat terrorized a Pennsylvania elementary school today, chasing and injuring three women and six children, police said."

Martha Groves: Legislation Seeking Compulsory Kindergarten Faces Budget Obstacle. Los Angeles Times, July 11, 2001
"Kindergarten is no longer child's play.
By the end of their kindergarten year, California pupils are now expected to be able to locate a book's title, table of contents, author and illustrator. They are expected to be able to write about experiences and people, recognize when an estimate is reasonable and use information to make a graph.
Yet, despite having established these and many other standards for kindergartners in the late 1990s, the state does not actually require pupils to attend kindergarten. That sends a mixed message, says Delaine Eastin, state schools superintendent, who is attempting to push through the Legislature a measure that would make kindergarten compulsory for all eligible California youngsters."

Stephan K. Ritter: A lifetime of polymer learning - Akron's online academy will focus on education and training from kindergarten through retirement. Chemical & Engineering News 80 (4), 69 - 71 (January 28, 2002)
"The University of Akron is creating a unique Internet-based initiative in polymer science and polymer engineering that when fully operational will provide a continuous learning experience from kindergarten to college to career online job training. Called the Global Polymer Academy (GPA), the venture will eventually link corporations and school districts with the university for a range of education, training, and team-based research programs."




kindergart(e)ner

Examples:

Maryclaire Dale: Kindergartner Killed. The Associated Press 2/1/01.
"A kindergartner walking out of a school cafeteria after lunch was killed today when he apparently leaned against a folded cafeteria table and it fell on him, a school official said."
Mariah Ashraf Jamal: Today's kindergartners get global perspective. Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2001.
"Think back to when you were about 5 years old. What did you do in your kindergarten classroom?...
Kindergarten now is a whole other ballgame..."



kitsch

Webster's: art, writing, etc. of a pretentious, but shallow kind, calculated to have popular appeal.

Examples:

Kimi Yoshino: Age of Kitsch and Clutter Fading Fast in Anaheim. Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2002.
"When wrecking balls demolish the Rip Van Winkle Motel and circus-tent-styled Melodyland this summer, some will cheer Anaheim's continued transformation into a modern resort city with thousands of hotel rooms, towering palm trees and manicured medians bursting with lush, yellow flowers.
Others long for the city of old and see only what is disappearing, bit by kitschy bit."

Shawn Hubler and Melinda Fulmer: A Monument to the Good Life in Napa. Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2001.
"Copia: The American Center for Food, Wine & the Arts will be the nation's first major museum devoted exclusively to sustenance, in all its variations. What that means isn't exactly clear...
Initially modest in scope, it was conceived by the now-88-year-old Mondavi as a way to raise his region's international wine industry profile. Over time, its mission greatly expanded to include food-related art and movies, outdoor concert-picnics, a rare cookbook collection, cooking classes, wine tastings, heirloom seed collections, state-of-the-art kitchens and more...
Inside, guests can sample wines, take classes or stroll through art installations. Concerts are planned for the 500-seat outdoor amphitheater, and art films will be shown in the 280-seat theater. Chefs will lecture in the 80-seat demonstration kitchen. A standing exhibition, "Forks in the Road," will explore food history, issues and kitsch. Art installations by eight international contemporary artists will explore food production and consumption, including a stunning tile floor by Los Angeles artist Jorge Pardo."

Bob Drogin: U.S. Fears Iraqi Palaces Hold More Than Meets the Eye. Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2002.
"Crystal chandeliers glitter above polished marble floors. Velvet-covered chairs flank gold-topped tables. Bathrooms gleam with gold faucets and pink bidets. Brocade curtains drape plush canopy beds.
Those who have seen the inside of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's many palaces describe a world of opulent kitsch and lavish excess, rooms adorned with busts, statues and portraits of Hussein and protected by bullet-proof windows, 20-foot-high walls and guard towers."



kitschy

Examples:

Susan Spano: In Patriotic Times, Rushmore Calls. Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2002.
"I thought I would never be able to look at Mt. Rushmore without Alfred Hitchcock sitting on my shoulder, reminding me of how Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint dangle from the noses and cheeks of the presidents during the climax of the 1959 thriller "North by Northwest." I thought there was something vaguely kitschy about the massive sculpture. How could anyone improve on the sheer granite cliffs of the Black Hills, shot through with quartz and glinting with mica?"

Susan Spano: Kitschy Keepsakes From Family Car Trips Remain the Stuff of Memories. Los Angeles Times, October 6, 2002.
"I used to have a collection of beaded Indian belts--the kind made in Taiwan, not Navajo country--bearing the names of places I visited when I was growing up: Springfield, Ill., the Missouri Ozarks, Kentucky Lake in the southwestern part of that state. At some misguided moment, I threw them away. Now the only souvenir belts I have are recent acquisitions reminding me that I've been to Santa Fe and Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.
Suddenly and inexplicably, I have grown wistful for the kitschy travel souvenirs I bought and abandoned in my life: belts, tea towels, cedar boxes, silver spoons and the snow globes that produce preposterous blizzards on the beaches of Honolulu and Miami...
Susan Jessup, retail director for Aurora, Colo.-based Xanterra Parks & Resorts, says the gift shops at Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon used to be full of kitschy items, like ashtrays with such lines as, 'Put your butt here.' Now, says Jessup, 'We work to buy gift and souvenir items that are really interpretive of the park...
Stuckey's buyer Chaz Grimaldi says that when gas was cheaper, people paid for their fuel with a $20 bill and used the change for snacks and junk. Despite the increased price of gas, tacky souvenirs remain popular. He has noticed a resurgence of interest in salt and pepper shakers, shot glasses, key chains with pictures of state flowers or birds, bobble-head figures and dashboard hula girls...
Stuckey Jr. says the kitschy keepsakes are all 'part of the American way.'"



kluged

Webster's: no entry. German word: klug = clever, smart.

Examples:

Steve Silberman: Talking to Strangers. Wired 5/2000.
"I've kluged this routine to get around that weird bug, but there's probably a better way." Hacker Jargon Glossary.



kohlrabi

The picture was found in the Vegetable Dictionary

Webster's: a garden vegetable (Brassica oleracea caulorapa) related to the cabbage; the edible part is the bulbous portion of the stem just above the ground.

American Heritage Dictionary: A plant (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes) in the mustard family, having a thick basal part of the stem that is eaten as a vegetable. Also called turnip cabbage.

Kohlrabi

Examples:

This is what the Crescent City Farmers Market has to say about it (the link leads you to nutritional information and a kohlrabi and fennel salad recipe):
"Kohlrabi ("cabbage turnip" in German) is the above ground swollen stem of Brassica oleracea, a coastal plant of ancient origin native to the Mediterranean Basin. This vegetable is mild, crisp with a delicate flavor. Purple and white varieties taste the same, like a very mild cabbage with a touch of sweetness. Raw, it is crisp and crunchy, with an apple-like texture, and when it is cooked, its fine-grained interior retains its integrity or makes a velvety purŽe. Kohlrabi leaves are also edible and are usually steamed, sautŽed, or used in soups or stews. They taste somewhat like collards or kale. In addition to merits of taste and texture, kohlrabi boasts superior keeping qualities. It can keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months."




kugel

In German a Kugel is a sphere - but in American English it has a very special meaning:
Webster's: a crusty baked pudding made of potatoes or noodles.
American Heritage Dictionary: A baked pudding of noodles or potatoes, eggs, and seasonings, traditionally eaten by Jews on the Sabbath. Entymology: Yiddish kugel = ball (from its puffed-up shape).

Examples:

A. O. Scott: 'What's Cooking?': Pass the Turkey, Tamales, Kugel and Criticism. The New York Times, November 11, 2001

The next page (which also includes a recipe for a potato kugel) was found at Chowhound.com
"Everything's been coming up kugel lately. Kugel (literally "potato pudding") is sort of a baked potato pancake. Its ingredients are ultrasimple: grated (using hand or meat grinder, NEVER a food processor) potato--and perhaps some onion--along with egg, salt, pepper, and an optional teaspoon of baking powder.
Like all soulfoods, this is a dish born of poverty. But creativity flourishes under impediment, so destitution frequently leads to deliciousness--and there are few things in this world as delicious as a well-baked kugel. It's a delicacy anyone even remotely fond of potatoes must adore.
I'm nuts about it; though starchy inelegant kugel is the trashy underside of Jewish cooking, it's long been one of my most craved things. Of course, this might not have been the case had I been born a century ago Over There, where potatocentricism stemmed from necessity rather than caprice. There's an old song that goes "Monday, potatoes; Tuesday, potatoes. Wednesday and Thursday, potatoes. Saturday... maybe a potato kugel, then Sunday potatoes again". It's only recently that I've come to understand that this was a blues sung from poverty, not a hopeful song for a future utopia ."

For a noodle kugel recipe click here



kultur

Webster's: civilization; specif. the highly systematized social organization of Hohenzollern or Nazi Germany; now usually ironic in application, with reference to chauvinism, militarism, etc.
The American Heritage Dictionary agrees: 1. Culture; civilization. 2. German culture and civilization as idealized by the exponents of German imperialism during the Hohenzollern and Nazi regimes.

Examples:

Found at Media Relations Department of Loyola University Chicago:
"Loyola University Chicago's Martin D'Arcy Museum of Art, the home of a vast collection of Baroque and Renaissance art and antiques, will host a series of salon-style lectures on varying topics within the humanities. The free Kultur and Kaffee series features experts in art, history and related disciplines speaking informally over coffee and refreshments to students and interested members of the public."


Kulturkampf

Webster's: the struggle between the Roman Catholic Church and the German government from 1872 to 1887, over control of education, civil marriage, etc.
The American Heritage Dictionary also gives a second broader meaning as: A conflict between secular and religious authorities: 'The 1920s proved to be the focal decade in the Kulturkampf of American Protestantism' (Richard Hofstadter).

Examples:

The introduction of a long assay on this topic found in the Catholic Encyclopedia reads as follows:
"The name given to the political struggle for the rights and self-government of the Catholic Church, carried out chiefly in Prussia and afterwards in Baden, Hesse, and Bavaria. The contest was waged with great vigour from 1871 to 1877; from 1878 to 1891 it gradually calmed down. On one side stood the government, the Liberals, and the majority of the Conservatives; on the other, the bishops, the priests, and the bulk of the Catholic people. Prussia was the chief centre of the conflict. The Prussian government and Prince Bismarck were the leaders in this memorable struggle."

Americans apparently also use the term more literally in the meaning of "culture war" without the direct involvement of religous authorities:

Jay Bookman: Kulturkampf will be a dirty business. South Coast Today, May 28, 1996
"Civil wars are terrible things. We learned that the hard way. They rip the fabric of a nation and create wounds that fester for generations, long after the combatants have been laid in the grave.
Some Americans, however, seem to have forgotten what such a war can mean. The latest evidence came in a profoundly disturbing dissent filed by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia this week in a gay-rights case out of Colorado. In his first sentence, Justice Scalia described the debate about gay rights as part of what he called a Kulturkampf.
It was a revealing choice of words. The term Kulturkampf is appearing more and more often these days in right-wing magazines and other media. It is a German word meaning culture war, and its origins go back to the 1870s, when Chancellor Otto von Bismarck launched a Kulturkampf to reduce the influence of Catholics in German society.
Bismarck considered Catholics "less German" than their Protestant countrymen, in part because many Catholics were ethnic Poles. Bismarck's Kulturkampf was an effort to use government to enforce ideas of a German identity, a German way of thinking, a German culture, a more German Germany, so to speak.
Within a century, Adolf Hitler had seized upon the concept of a Kulturkampf and identified a new target: German Jews.
By 1992, the idea of an American Kulturkampf had been kicked around in right- wing journals for at least a year. The concept got its first mass exposure at the Republican National Convention in Houston. In a prime-time speech, Pat Buchanan called out the soldiers to engage in what he called a culture war, a term new to most Americans...
With the disappearance of communism, the far right apparently had to concoct a new enemy, a new cause, and the Kulturkampf is it...
A Kulturkampf is a civil war, an attempt to define "us" by picking on "them." If that's our future, we face deeply troubled times."

Paul Kurtz: The McCarthyites of Virtue. Free Inquiry Magazine, Vol. , No. 1
"So much has been written and said about the Clinton-Lewinsky morality play - what can we add at this late date that is new? Perhaps that the situation vividly illustrates the deep Kulturkampf between two contending conceptions of morality engulfing America...
Humanism expresses the core ethical values of large sectors of life in American and Western civilization. Coming to fruition in the modern world, humanistic morality prizes individual freedom and autonomy. It believes that individuals should be allowed to express their unique talents, needs, and desires without undue repression by the state or society. The goal is the enhancement of the good life: happiness and well-being for the widest number of individuals.
A key humanist ethical principle is "the right of privacy," which states that society should respect the right of an individual to control his or her own personal life. That includes a person's body, possessions, beliefs, values, preferences, and actions - so long as they do not intrude upon or deny the rights of other individuals...
A second conception of morality that contends today is premodern. It has its roots in historical religious traditions. This morality is biblical (or koranic); it is guided by a set of absolute moral commandments. Thou shalt not commit what is considered to be sinful: adultery, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, etc. Some advocates of this morality would call upon the state to legislate moral conduct. They would censor pornographic literature or the arts. They would invade the bedroom and define the physician-patient relationship. They think that some kinds of behavior are so depraved and wicked that the behavior ought to be prohibited by society. Interestingly, social conservatives and left-wing communitarians have often shared a similar agenda about private morality, wishing to codify and confine it. This is given a special meaning today by the emergence of the Christian Coalition in the United States and of fundamentalist religions in other parts of the world. They are intent on overthrowing humanist morality and imposing a puritanical inquisition...
No doubt the underlying ethical issue in the Clinton-Lewinsky impeachment drama is the clash of these two conceptions of morality. The new Puritans insist that the president should have no private life; since the White House belongs to us, he is not permitted to do anything immoral in his goldfish bowl. He must be a Paragon of Virtue. Clinton, for them, has committed two unpardonable sins: adultery and lying...
What we need to make clear in this Kulturkampf is that humanist morality has genuine historic roots within our culture, and that humanism is related to the secularization of values going back to the Renaissance. Central to American democracy is the First Amendment, and the respect for the rights of individuals. To seek to impair these cherished principles would constitute a radical assault on our democracy. Hence a danger signal has to be raised high if we are to defend and preserve our liberties against the McCarthyites of Virtue."


lebkuchen

Webster's: a chewy cookie made with candied fruits and, often, honey.

American Heritage Dictionary: A chewy, usually honey-flavored Christmas cookie containing nuts and candied fruits.

The following is the beginning of a historical review of Lebkuchen by Ruth Reichmann from the Max Kade German-American Center at Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. Indianapolis:
"Lebkuchen (gingerbread) is first mentioned in old German documents approx. 600 years ago, and Gingerbread on wafers appears in a 1395 Zinsbuch (rent-roll) of Franconia. The name Lebkuchen, in the Middle Ages called Lebekouche, possibly stems from the middle high German "lebbe" = sweet or the name "leb" may have been derived from the Latin word "libum," which means "Fladen" or cake. As do the wafers, used for the host during services, honey cakes and wafer gingerbread most likely originated in the monasteries. The wafer, consisting of flour and starch, is edible, and has a natural taste. It holds together the Lebkuchen mass, which contains very little flour to bind it..."
On the same site you also find a recipe for Lebkuchen.

Interested in learning more about German Christmas traditions?
Heike Hasenauer: A German Christmas Soldier Online, December 1996, pg. 14-16 (pdf file).

Need help with your German-English Christmas Vocabulary?



lederhosen

Webster's: short leather pants of a kind worn with suspenders by men and boys in the Alps.

Examples:

David Mchugh: Bavaria thrives despite recession. Associated Press/Daily Bulletin, March 3, 2002.
"The average Bavarian is 15 percent richer than other Germans.
Now that state governor Edmund Stoiber is challenging Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Sept. 22 elections, Bavaria's successful model -- dubbed ''laptops and lederhosen'' after the traditional short leather pants worn in the region -- has people looking at how it's holding up in an economic crisis."



leitmotiv or leitmotif

Webster's: 1. a short musical phrase representing and recurring with a given character, situation, or emotion in an opera: first developed by Richard Wagner; 2. a dominant theme or underlying pattern.

The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music gives the following explanation:
"'Leading motif': a clearly defined theme or musical idea, representing or symbolizing a person, object, idea etc, which returns in its original or an altered form at appropriate points in a dramatic (mainly operatic) work. The term was coined by F.W. JŠhns in 1871, but the device itself has a long ancestry. Its significance for Romantic opera was first appreciated by Weber, and Wagner elevated it to a position of paramount importance as a means of both symphonic development and dramatic allusion. Leitmotif was taken up by Wagner's disciples, including Cornelius and Humperdinck, and by other composers. Richard Strauss's use derives both from Wagner and from Liszt's technique of thematic metamorphosis."

Examples:

Leslie Willson: The Consequences of Revival or A Work in Progress. ATA Chronicle 30 (5), 31 - 32 (2001)
"I have the impression that the leitmotif is misunderstood by many, not only translators but also by reviewers and popular critics, whereas in reality the intent of the leitmotif is simple. Most people associate it with Wagner, who used a musical version in his great Ring cycle and elsewhere in his musical works. But the leitmotif has a long literary history that precedes its adoption by Wagner in music. It can be a subtle device. It was used by Goethe, the Swiss author Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, and by a host of other European writers. In essence, it is a kind of shorthand, a single word or phrase that is used to recall a character or an incident to the mind of the reader of a narrative. Used appropriately, the leitmotif can excite a reader with various emotions connected with the character or event without the author having to recount the event or even mention the character by name."

Reed Johnson, Unraveling Workplace Intrigue. Los Angeles Times, June 26, 2001
"Yet despite her scholarly bent, Stephenson's decade-long UCLA tenure was frustrating. She had come there directly from Harvard, where she was the first person to complete a higher degree in anthropology focusing on a corporation. But she never really fit in at Westwood, possibly, she theorizes, because her unconventional background and aggressiveness threatened too many middle-aged male dons. In her parting e-mail to the dean she declared: 'Even Lincoln freed the slaves.'
'Boy, did I confuse those professors at UCLA,' she says, reiterating a favorite personal leitmotif.
'They thought they were going to get some obedient sociologist from the East Coast and what they got was this wiry, wry Texan who said, 'Hey, let's try this.' It was like one big, dysfunctional family. I burned bridges because I just didn't care.' Still, she's not totally soured on academia: She'll be teaching a course at Harvard this fall."



lumpen

Webster's: designating or of persons or groups regarded as belonging to a low or contemptible segment of their class or kind because of their unproductiveness, shiftlessness, alienation, degeneration, etc. -- n. a person or group that is lumpen.

Examples:

George F. Will: An irrational, but safe, love. New York Post, February 4, 2002
"T he British monarchy is Europe's oldest political institution, but some of its trappings are surprisingly young - presidents had been living in the White House for 37 years before the first sovereign (Victoria, in 1837) lived in Buckingham Palace. And the monarchy has an almost adolescent awkwardness in coping with one facet of the modern age, the publicity industry. The queen has not made a memorable mistake in 50 extremely public years, but her extended and very dysfunctional family is a new phenomenon: lumpenroyalty. Well, not so new. William IV (1830-37), who died in 1837, perhaps of exhaustion, had 10 illegitimate children by one of his mistresses."



marzipan

Webster's: a confection of ground almonds, sugar, and egg white made into a paste and variously shaped and colored.

Examples:

Reed Johnson, Weekend Escape: Las Vegas. A Casbah That Rocks. Los Angeles Times, November 19, 2000
"Decked out in creamy marzipan greens and golds, the room was resort-quality comfortable, if not much in keeping with the Arabian theme."



meerschaum

Webster's:
1) a soft, white, claylike, heat-resistant mineral, a hydrous magnesium silicate, H4Mg2Si3O10, used for tobacco pipes, etc.; 2) a pipe made of this.

Some nice meerschaum pipes were found in Allenbeys Smoke Shop

Allenbeys Tiger Allenbeys Viking Allenbeys Unicorn Allenbeys Capper

together with the following comment: "Meerschaum, translated from German means "seafoam". This name reflects the lightness in weight and whiteness in color. It is considered by pipe smokers as the perfect material for a cool, dry smoke. The pipe itself is a natural filter which absorbs nicotine."

A Turkish tourism page has this to add:
"Meerschaum is a mineral substance found only in Turkey, from which pipes and ornaments have been hand-carved since the 1700's. As few Turks smoke pipes, they are made mostly for export."

However, the Microsoft Encarta On-line Encyclopedia reports that the mineral is also found in "Greece, Spain, and Morocco and, in the United States, in Pennsylvania, Utah, New Mexico, and California."

A possible solution for this discrepancy and a possible explanation as to why of all people the Germans got to name this mineral, were found on the web site of The Tobacco Shop, Fayetteville, Arkansas:
"Meerschaum is a mineral (magnesium silicate). Over many eons, seashells and corals have crumbled, and formed sedimentary deposits that are compressed by wave action and plate movement. Pieces of this material occasionally wash up along the coast of the North Sea. It's name is from the German word meaning sea-foam, which it is said to resemble.
Only the purest meerschaum, mined in a small area in Turkey, is suitable for making pipes. It is a very permeable material, and darkens with use - turning through shades of pink, yellow, brown, reddish brown and eventually black. Pipes made from this mineral have a cool, airy smoking character.
When first mined, meerschaum is the consistency of hard cheese or soft clay. While it is still soft, it can easily be carved into busts, figures, and intricate patterns. Some of the more popular motifs include an eagle's talon holding an egg, Greek gods, Cavalier, Sultan, animals, statesmen, pirates, skulls and dragons. Celtic, lattice, and other ornamental carving patterns are often employed. Many traditional shapes are made as well. After carving, the piece is cured and allowed to dry. It is then dipped in wax to finish. Some say that touching a meerschaum pipe while it is being smoked will leave fingerprints in the wax, causing it to color unevenly. The pipe was made to be smoked, it will eventually color over any impressions and oils left behind by fingerprints."

The Missouri Meerschaum Pipes really are Corn Cob Pipes.

More fine, if not exquisite examples of meerschaum pipes were found at Koncak Meerschaum & Andreas Bauer

Andreas Bauer 1 Koncak Meerschaum 1
Koncak Meerschaum 2 Andreas Bauer 2



milchig

Whereas in German milchig means milky in the sense of cloudy, the American Heritage Dictionary says: Derived from or made of milk or dairy products; Etymology: Yiddish milkhik, from milkh, milk, from Middle High German milch.

Examples:

Another definition from the Dictionary of Hebrew, Yiddish, and Jewish Terms:
"Same as Chalavi: Dairy. Food which has ingredients that are dairy, or was prepared in utensils used for dairy."

Found at the web site of the Jewish Outreach Institute:
"We eat latkes (potato pancakes) because they are cooked in oil and thus remind us of the miracle of the single cruse [pitcher of oil]. Rabbi Solomon Freehof, a great contemporary Jewish scholar, has hypothesized that the eating of latkes may have grown out of an old custom of eating milchig (dairy) foods on Hanukkah. Milchig foods evolved into milchig pancakes and then into latkes, possibly because the main potato crop became available about the time of Hanukkah. No one knows for certain how the association began, but for anyone who feasts on latkes at Hanukkah time, a historical rationale is unnecessary."

And at Ask the Rabbi the answer to a question, only an American could ask: Is mothers milk Milchig?




Neanderthal

Webster's: 1. designating, of, or from a valley in the Rhine Province, Germany; 2. designating or of a form of primitive man (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) of the paleolithic period whose skeletal remains were first found in this valley; 3. a) crude or primitive; b) reactionary; regressive.

American Heritage Dictionary: NOUN: 1a. An extinct human species (Homo neanderthalensis) or subspecies (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) living during the late Pleistocene Epoch throughout most of Europe and parts of Asia and northern Africa and associated with Middle Paleolithic tools. b. An individual belonging to this species or subspecies. 2. Slang A crude, boorish, or slow-witted person. ADJECTIVE: 1. Of, having to do with, or resembling Neanderthals. 2. Slang Crude, boorish, or slow-witted. ETYMOLOGY: After Neanderthal (Neandertal), a valley of western Germany near Dźsseldorf.

Lawrence van Gelder - Film in Review: 'Inbred Rednecks' - directed by Joshua P. Warren. The New York Times, July 13, 2001
"'Inbred Rednecks' is a lumbering slob of a movie, an American Neanderthal comedy about the adventures of a passel of rustic Southern simpletons and the King Kong of fighting cocks."




panzer

Webster's: armored; a panzer division.

American Heritage Dictionary: NOUN: A German armored vehicle, such as a tank, especially of the type used during World War II. ADJECTIVE: 1. Of or equipped with armored vehicles: a panzer division. 2. Of or relating to an armored division .

And the WWII German glossary clarifies that Panzer has been "assimilated into English when referring to German tanks and tank units".

This explanes why in the following example we find both panzer and tank in the same paragraph:
Arvo Vercamer and Jason Pipes: German Military in the Soviet Union 1918-1933:
"German Bases in the Soviet Union 1922-1933: In 1926, the Germans established a Panzerschule named Kama in Kazan. It was to teach both the practical and the theoretical. By 1929, the basic infrastructure had been built at the base and the first Panzers started arriving; six 23-ton tanks (BMW engines; 75mm main gun) and three 12-ton tanks armed with 37mm guns. The Soviet Army gave the Reichswehr a number of British Carden-Lloyd light tanks. In return for those, Germany provided the Soviet Union with a number of industrial and manufacturing tools the Soviets were not yet capable of fabricating."




poltergeist

Webster's: a ghost supposed to be responsible for table rappings and other mysterious noisy disturbances.

Examples:

Terry Carter: Rancho Cucamonga's past tied to elastic land grant. Los Angeles Times Inland Empire, February 21, 2001
"The story of Rancho Cucamonga and its headquarters, the Tapia adobe, has all the makings of a classic California romance: an old family, an elastic land grant, lost treasure, an unsolved murder, a colorful character, a poltergeist and finally a newspaper joke that became an urban myth."

Bill Hillburg: El Niño forecast-Expect a wimp. Daily Bulletin July 12, 2002
"El Niño steers winter storms and moisture toward the California coast and also triggers wetter-than-normal weather across the southern portion of the United States...
Bill Patzert, an oceanographer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, said he stands by his June 27 forecast that El Niño will be anemic at best and should not in any way be compared to the El Niño storms that slammed the region in 1982-83 and 1997-98...
'This El Niño is no poltergeist, it's a dwarf. We'll have a clearer picture in the fall, but I don't think we'll see any impact at all until January.'"



realpolitik

Webster's: practical politics: a euphemism for 'power politics'.

Other definitions:
Realpolitik.com: politics based on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical or ethical objectives ...
Wordsmyth - Words of the Week: politics or national policy governed by principles of power, expansion, and expediency rather than by ideals or ethics

Examples:

William Safire: Of Human Missiles. The New York Times, September 17, 2002:
"Political leaders are weighing the wisdom of invading Afghanistan or plastering other havens of terrorist cells. It may be that a not-so-holy alliance of democracies determined to end this scourge and autocracies afraid of internal terrorist takeover will unite in uncomfortable military collaboration and rampant realpolitik."

Josef Joffe: The Alliance Is Dead. Long Live the New Alliance. The New York Times, September 29, 2002:
"Nor is this the end of what you might call a 'Kissingerian Game.' While Germany will not participate directly in a war against Iraq, France and Britain will in the end go along. These ex-imperial powers have not forgotten their realpolitik.
Meanwhile, the Europeans are anxiously looking at their economies (down) and at the price of oil (up). And they are anxiously peering at the American Gulliver across the sea, trying to figure out what is worse: an America that does go to war, or an America that will go on debating the issue, now and forever."

Kari Huus: in Bush Africa policy. The continent is back on the agenda -- for practical reasons. MSNBC.com/news, September 4, 2002



rucksack

Webster's: a kind of knapsack strapped over the shoulders.

Examples:

Carol J. Williams: A Town's Timely Revival. Los Angeles Times, May 23, 2001.
"Although there was no direct political collaboration, as with almost all German production facilities, the watch- and instrument-making firms of Glashuette supplied the Third Reich with equipment during its campaign for world domination, which made even predominantly civilian industries Allied bombing targets.
Like other owners, the Langes were stripped of their property, and the 20-year-old Walter, Rudolf's son, was about to be sent to work in uranium mines as his "political re-education." He fled the Soviet sector in 1948 with nothing but a rucksack."

Steve Hyman: Earl V. Shaffer, 83; First to Walk Entire Length of the Appalachian Trail (Obituary). Los Angeles Times, May 26, 2002.
"Earl V. Shaffer, the first person to walk the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, died May 5 in Lebanon, Pa., of cancer. He was 83.
Shaffer through-hiked the AT, as hikers call it, three times. In addition to his pioneering effort, he went the distance in 1965--when he traveled north-to-south, the unconventional way of doing it--and again in 1998, at the age of 79...
Even at 79, his methods didn't change. He carried a military rucksack from the '30s, a tarp and sleeping bag. No tent or camping stove. To avoid blisters, he never wore socks."



sauerbraten

Webster's: a dish made of beef marinated in vinegar with onion, spices etc. before cooking.

Cindy Dorn: Gotta have my sauerbraten. Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2001

Sauerbraten recipe
Active Work Time: 30 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 3 hours 10 minutes plus 5 days marinating

MARINADE
3/4 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups vinegar
2 onions, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
2 whole allspice
4 whole cloves
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
Combine the wine, vinegar, onions, carrot, allspice, cloves, salt and pepper in large bowl.

ROAST
1 (3 1/2-pound) boned chuck roast
1/3 cup oil
Flour
1/2 cup gingersnaps, about 10 (2-inch) cookies
1 tablespoon sugar
Place the roast in a large, deep glass dish and cover with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate the roast 5 days, turning every day.
Heat the oil in a deep heavy pot over medium-high heat. Remove the roast from the marinade and wipe it dry. Reserve the liquid. Roll the roast in flour, then add it to the pot and brown it. Add the reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer the roast 2 1/2 hours.
Remove the roast from the pot and skim the fat from the liquid. Strain the drippings and add enough water to make 3 1/2 cups. Return the liquid to the pot.
Crush the gingersnaps in a food processor or blender and mix in the sugar. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the marinade to make a paste, then stir the paste slowly back into the pot with the remaining marinade. Return the liquid to a simmer, stirring constantly until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the roast and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slice the meat and serve with the sauce.
8 servings. Each serving: 637 calories; 1,081 mg sodium; 159 mg cholesterol; 38 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 21 grams carbohydrates; 49 grams protein; 1.02 grams fiber."



sauerkraut

Webster's: chopped cabbage fermented in a brine of its own juice with salt.

Examples:

John Wollner, Brats & Beef - How Wisconsin Loves to Do Its Wurst. Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2001:
"A brat without kraut is like a fräulein without a dirndl. The refreshing nip of good sauerkraut is the perfect compliment to the rich, round flavor of a well-cooked brat.
Finding that sauerkraut, however, can be a challenge. Each brand has a remarkably distinct flavor and texture. Sauerkraut being something of an acquired taste to begin with, a thorough sampling of the available krauts might be more than many of us have the stomach for.
Used as an ingredient, kraut is often drained, even rinsed, and flavored with white wine, caraway, sugar, apples, juniper and a host of other possible ingredients. The results can be delicious. If you're interested, I encourage you to explore and enjoy this wonderful food product.
For your Wisconsin brat fry, however, forget all that. Just find a kraut that tastes good to you, open the can and pile it on."

Quest for Kraut: the Pickled Pride of Oconomowoc. Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2001: "Our testers sampled several brands of locally available sauerkraut. We agreed that Meeter's Wisconsin Sauerkraut was a top pick, with full flavor and zesty kick. Widely available in Southern California, Meeter's is distributed by Stokely USA of Oconomowoc, Wis. A pleasant surprise was Libby's Crispy Sauerkraut, which lived up to its name with a light, snappy texture. A little on the salty side, it nevertheless proved itself a good kraut at a bargain price. And unlike Meeter's, it contains no added preservatives..."



schadenfreude

Webster's: glee at another's misfortune.

Examples:

Jane Fritsch: Or You Could Call It Schadenfreude.com. The New York Times, December 13, 2000.
"Philip Kaplan is another of those annoyingly young dot-com successes that no one with a real job wants to hear another word about. Except that his Web site is so perversely satisfying."

Guy Trebay: Transition in Washington - Republican Joy Overflows at Celebration of an Administration's Funeral. The New York Times, January 19, 2001.
"Will the governing spirit of George W. Bush's Washington be schadenfreude?"

More examples can be found at the corresponding Word of the Day page.


schlafmünzen

Carol J. Williams: Upcoming Euro Change Has Germans Rolling in Old Dough. Los Angeles Times 6/5/2001
"To avoid as much confusion as possible during the two months next year when both deutsche marks and euros will be in circulation, banks are calling on their customers to clean out their closets and piggy banks of all schlafmuenzen--sleeping coins."



schlep(p)

Webster's: via Yiddish from German "schleppen" - to drag; [Slang] (1) to carry, take, haul, drag, etc., (2) to go or move with effort, to drag oneself, (3) an ineffectual person.
Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. 1995: 1. Slang: To move while supporting: bear, carry, convey, lug, transport. Informal: tote.

Al Martinez: One Day a Writer, the Next Day, a Shameless Salesman. Los Angeles Times Inland Empire 3/19/2001
" A book tour is a degrading experience, forcing authors to schlep around town like over-the-hill hookers, trying to convince potential buyers that what they offer is worth the price."

Calvin Woodward: These days, any leader worth his salt is breaking a sweat. Daily Bulletin/Associated Press 4/19/2001
"Government can be fattening for world leaders. They get to eat their nation's best cuisine every day. They are schlepped about in limousines..."

How Five Mac OS Developers Made a Million. Apple Developer Connection
"Starting a company with too much money doesn't seem to work as well. (You need just enough money to buy the latest, most powerful Mac. I had to schlep my Macintosh IIfx computers between home and work for six months until I could afford another computer.) You have to stay lean. It helps you keep your focus. If you need to hire somebody, you make sure you hire a good person. You can't afford to hire some bozo who's going to take three months to learn the ropes."



schnauzer

Webster's: any of three breeds of sturdy, active dog with a close, wiry coat and bushy eyebrows and beard, orig. bred in Germany.
The American Heritage Dictionary: Any of three German breeds of dog of a range of sizes, having a wiry pepper-and-salt or black coat and a blunt muzzle with wiry whiskers. ETYMOLOGY: German, from Schnauze, snout.

Examples:

The American Kennel Club describes the breed as:
"The Standard Schnauzer is a robust, heavy-set dog, sturdily built with good muscle and plenty of bone; square-built in proportion of body length to height. His rugged build and dense harsh coat are accentuated by the hallmark of the breed, the arched eyebrows and the bristly mustache and whiskers."
The picture to the right and the following description were found at dogbiz.com:
Breeders in the land of their origin (Germany) hold the Standard Schnauzer second to none in intelligence and in fearlessness. Used during World War I, as dispatch carriers and Red Cross aides, they were further employed in Germany, in police work. Their total devotion and bravery, coupled with an uncanny perception of approaching danger, render them first class as personal guards and companions. His alert nature combines high-spirited temperament with extreme reliability.
Schnauzer

Think these credits are overblown? Read on:

Barry Siegel: A Father's Pain, a Judge's Duty, and a Justice Beyond Their Reach Los Angeles Times, December 30, 2001:
"By mid-morning Monday, about 150 citizens from across the state were swarming the snow-covered mountains above Coalville. Among them was James Wilkes, 35, the husky proprietor of a self-service pet wash shop in a Salt Lake City suburb.
He brought with him his dog Dino, a giant schnauzer...
It had started to snow, a foot deep in places. Wilkes lost the trail and his bearings. He slid into a gully. It began snowing harder. He couldn't tell north from south. Guessing, he started up a mountain. He stumbled. On his hands and knees, he crawled. Darkness fell. In time, he and Dino settled under a large sheltering pine tree. There he dug a hole, 2 feet by 4, and climbed in, his body wrapped around his dog. They each kept the other warm, the two covered by a blanket of broken branches.
It was the longest night Wilkes ever spent. He feared falling asleep, afraid he'd never wake up. Near 5 a.m, he rose and began to walk. Within minutes, Dino's nose went down. The schnauzer darted up a slope to the base of a pine tree. From below, Wilkes could see his dog licking a mound of snow. Then, as he approached, he saw two little feet..."

Judy Houskeeper: History of the Standard Schnauzer
"The Schnauzer is a German breed, which in the 15th & 16th centuries must have been in high favor as a household companion, for his portrait appears in many paintings of the period. A portrait of a Standard Schnauzer appears several times in the works of Albrecht Durer, an artist, between the years of 1492 and 1504.
As far as can be determined, the Schnauzer originated in the crossing of the black German Poodle and the gray wolf spitz upon wirehaired Pinscher stock. From the Pinscher element derives the tendency to fawn-colored undercoat, and from the wolf spitz is inherited the typical pepper and salt coat color with its harsh wire character. We do not know how many years of breeding were necessary to establish the Standard Schnauzer, but we do know at least 50 years passed before the breed was somewhat fixed. Solid black Schnauzers, although fairly common in Germany, are not as popular as the pepper and salt in the United States.
German breeders have always classified the Schnauzer as a working dog. By using the Schnauzer as a rat catcher, they were able to keep stable or farmyard clear of vermin. Before WWI, Germans used the Schnauzer to guard carts of farm produce in the market place while the farmers rested themselves and their teams at inns. The German tradesman particularly liked the Schnauzer because of its medium size: they wouldn't take up much space on the wagons, and yet was strong enough to do the job of guarding. Breeders in the land of their origin hold the Schnauzer second to none for sagacity and fearlessness. Owing these characteristics, "the dog with the human brain" (as their owners proudly call them) were used by the army during the war as dispatch carriers and Red Cross aides; they were also employed in Germany in police work."



schuss

Webster's: a straight run down the hill in skiing; to ski straight down a slope at full speed.

Examples:

Grace Lichtenstein, Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2001: Schuss! New Mexico's 3 Secrets. In an unusual state, these distinctive resorts are great places to catch a lift.



schusser

Webster's: no entry, but based on the meaning of schuss obviously refers to a skier, esp. one who schusses expertly; see also schussboomer .

Examples:

Laura Bly, Los Angeles Times 1/14/01: "A Blizzard of Web Resources for Cyber-Schussers".




schussboomer

Webster's: echoic of the sudden stop made by an expert skier; a skier, esp. one who schusses expertly.



sitzbad / sitzbath

Webster's: sitzbath: 1. a bath in which only the hips and buttocks are immersed, usually for therapy, 2. a tub or basin used for such bath.

Examples:

Timothy Gower: The Other Prostate Problem Los Angeles Times, January 14, 2002
"Zeitlin and his colleagues at UCLA are conducting a nationwide, multi-center study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, to measure the value of two drugs commonly used to treat chronic prostatitis. One is Flomax, a medication that's better known as a treatment for urinary problems linked to BPH. The other drug--the antibiotic Cipro--became a household word since it's considered the therapy of choice for anthrax infection. Men with prostatitis who participate in the study will be given Flomax, Cipro, a combination of the two drugs or an empty placebo pill for six weeks, then followed for six weeks to determine whether their symptoms improve.Sitz baths (sitting in a tub of warm water) help some men, while some doctors suggest that men perch on a cushion if they plan to sit for a long period. Avoiding spicy foods or alcohol and caffeine--all of which can cause flare-ups in some men--is sometimes recommended."



spritz

Webster's: German "spritzen", via Pennsylvania Dutch & Yiddish: squirt or spray.

Examples:

Marc Burba: It's always cool to visit Palm Springs. Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2001.
"Even in the late afternoon, scores of people are enjoying the art galleries, consignment shops, tourist-trap stores and restaurants. Misters lining the front of most businesses spritz out a constant cloud of cooling water -- just enough to be refreshing, but not enough to get soaked."

Robert F. Service: Searching for recipes for protein chips. Science 294, 2080-2082 (2001).
"In one recent report (Science, 14 September, p. 2101), Snyder's group at Yale and colleagues at North Carolina State University in Raleigh created a protein chip that, when presented with copies of a particular yeast protein, highlights almost all of the other yeast proteins to which it binds. This feat required the researchers to clone as many yeast genes as possible--they succeeded with 5800 out of about 6200--by inserting the genes into other yeast cells, coaxing the bugs to overexpress the proteins, and then laboriously purifying and collecting them. They used a now-standard DNA array robot to dab tiny samples of each yeast protein in more than 200 rows atop a glass microscope slide. To find out what these yeast proteins bind to, the team spritzed the slide with solutions containing various test proteins and labeled the spots where they bound."



spritzer

Webster's: a drink of wine, usually white wine, and soda water.



strafed

Webster's: vt. strafed, strafing [< G. phrase Gott strafe England (God punish England) used in World War I] to attack with gunfire; esp. to attack (ground positions, troops, etc.) with machine gun fire from low-flying aircraft. strafer n.

Examples:

David Rising: Obituary: Traudl Lunge, 81, a secretary for Hitler. Associated Press/Daily Bulletin, February 16, 2002
"Traudl Junge, who was one of Adolf Hitler's secretaries and took his last will and testament, has died, just hours after a documentary on her life premiered at the Berlin Film Festival ...
In 1943, she married Hitler aide Hans Junge, who was killed a year later when a British plane strafed his company in Normandy, France."

Greg Miller: Suspected 'Friendly Fire' Case Disclosed. Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2002.
"The first U.S. soldier killed in Operation Anaconda this month in Afghanistan may have been hit by fire from an American warplane, in an attack that caused a major setback in the battle, the Pentagon disclosed Friday.
The Pentagon also released a report that acknowledges some errors--but largely defends the military's conduct--in a series of 'friendly fire' and other 'incidents that warranted review' in Afghanistan.
Initially thought to be the victim of enemy mortar fire, Army Chief Warrant Officer Stanley L. Harriman of Wade, N.C., may instead have been killed when an AC-130 gunship strafed a convoy in which Harriman was traveling in the early hours of Operation Anaconda on March 2."



verboten

Webster's: forbidden, prohibited.

Examples:

P. J. Huffstutter: Yahoo's Search for Profit Leads to Pornography. Los Angeles Times 04/11/2001.
"Microsoft Corp. allows outside merchants to sell "sensual" products such as relationship books and massage oil through its eShops on the Microsoft Network. But X-rated DVDs are verboten because "we believe there's a difference between healthy sensuality . . . and products that simply exploit sexuality," according to a company spokesman."



wandergesellen

Webster's: an impulse, longing, or urge to wander or travel.

Examples:

Carol J. William: Workers Born to Wander. Los Angeles Times, March 19, 2002.
"With a fresh paycheck in his pocket and his few worldly goods bundled up with his tools, roofer Rene Schroeder is hitting the road again, halfway through his journey along a path blazed during the Middle Ages.
Unable to find permanent employment, Schroeder has joined a society of wandering craftsmen bound by strict codes and traditions that oblige him to remain itinerant for at least three years and one day.
The ranks of the wandergesellen--skilled carpenters, cabinetmakers and bricklayers--have grown in these times of high joblessness and a nationwide construction slowdown after the frantic first decade of reunification, when much of eastern Germany had to be rebuilt. Now, with more than 4 million Germans out of work, artisans such as Schroeder are selling their skills on the street as did legions of their forebears...
The wandergesellen, who now number about 500, usually travel alone, meeting up with fellow wanderers from more than 30 guilds covering crafts such as bricklaying and roofing. Settled veterans of the walz, as the period of itinerancy is known, administer the private society of journeymen and set the rules.
In exchange for their willingness to travel, the wanderers get access to short-term jobs and gain experience working for a respected organization...
Wandergesellen must be single, free of debt and, in the case of men, already through their compulsory military service, unless they have arranged a deferment, says Guenter Grimm, the "old master" for the Berlin-Potsdam veterans group, one of dozens around the country that administer the program....
The wandergesellen are more skilled and often command better wages than homebound unionized workers, Matthias says. But he insists that there is neither resentment nor rivalry between the two groups vying for work in these hard times.
'We play at entirely different levels,' Matthias says. 'Trade unions as representatives of employees focus on the material benefits accorded their members, whereas these are not important at all for craftsmen who have chosen the road over creature comforts.'
Those on the walz are forbidden by the centuries-old code of conduct to come within 50 kilometers--31 miles--of their homes, except in cases of death or serious illness in the immediate family. They also must wear corduroy bell-bottoms and vests, along with heavy felt hats that vary to identify them as members of a particular guild. White shirts, chains of metal badges from previous places of work and a single earring complete the signature garb, a uniform with minor variations for each skill but collectively known as the kluft. The outfit costs a stiff $600.
When traveling between work sites, wanderers carry two items: a walking stick and a belted satchel, which wraps a bedroll, tools, clothes and toiletries in a cloth bearing the guild's symbols.
'You have to decide for yourself how much other stuff you want to carry in the [satchel] besides your second kluft and your work things,' says Jonathan Baum, a 21-year-old from near Frankfurt working on Wiegman's restoration project. 'It would be nice to have a few books for the time you are traveling, but you have to balance that against how much weight you want to carry...' "



wanderlust

Webster's: an impulse, longing, or urge to wander or travel.

Examples:

Cecilia Rasmussen: Aunty Lane--as Unsinkable as Molly Brown. Los Angeles Times, November 18, 2001.
"The unsinkable Molly Brown married into a fortune and survived the Titanic disaster, but she had nothing on California's equally imperishable Aunty Lane.
In fact, for Zerviah Maxwell Lane--the onetime "Backwoods Belle" of the 1850s--surviving an 1854 shipwreck off Santa Barbara was just one more chapter in a dramatic life that found her outlasting blizzards, desert heat, Indian attacks, eight episodes of childbirth and a roving husband...
At 20 ... she hastily married an ironworker and jack-of-all-trades named Nathan Lane.
By 1852, after moving his growing family around Wisconsin and Michigan more than two dozen times in 18 years, he decided to let his wanderlust take him to California three years after the Gold Rush had begun."

Kathleen Doheny: There's no reason for a pacemaker or defibrillator to zap wanderlust. Los Angeles Times, October 13, 2002.



Weltanschauung

Webster's: a comprehensive, esp. personal, philosophy or ceonception of the universe and human life.
American Heritage Dictionary: worldview.

Examples:

Jaroslav Pelikan: Book review of 'Thinking Big, Thinking Free" by Louis Menand. Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2001
"In his Chapter 13, 'Pragmatisms' (note the plural), Menand skillfully embeds the Jamesian brand of pragmatism in a broader and deeper context, so that it emerges as not only the name of a philosophical movement in the technical sense, Pragmatism with a capital "P" alongside Rationalism or Idealism, but also as the description of a distinctive weltanschauung that was shared across philosophical party lines by these four "pragmatists" and many others who would have eschewed the label."

Jonathan Levi: Book review of 'Godthreads and Poetry" by Amos Oz, translated by Nicholas de Lange. Los Angeles Times, November 11, 2001
"In this land of settlers and shopping malls, not only the language but the mythical champions of the Bible are close at hand, chief among them King David, the great chameleonic hero of the Jews, with enough personalities to satisfy the Lubavitchers and the seculars--boy bard, adolescent warrior, teenage masseur, middle-aged adulterer and king. Even Dita, as attuned as she is to popular culture, has ingested enough of David to fit him into her Israeli weltanschauung. For Dita, David is an unlikely king in the ultra-Orthodox city of Jerusalem. 'It would have been more fitting for him to reign in Tel Aviv,/to roam the city like a General [Retd.] who is both a grieving parent/and a well-known philanderer, a loaded high-liver and a king/who composes music and writes poetry and sometimes gives a recital,/'The Sweet Psalmist', in a trendy venue then goes/off to the pub to drink with young fans and groupies.'"



Weltschmerz

Webster's: sentimental pessimism or melancholy over the state of the world.
American Heritage Dictionary: Sadness over the evils of the world, especially as an expression of romantic pessimism; for entymology, click here.

Examples:

Louise Roug: She Begs for the Questions. Los Angeles Times, February 5, 2001
"German chanteuse Ute Lemper--whose performances as comedian, cabaret artist and singer have drawn comparisons to such diverse figures as Carole Lombard, Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf--takes the stage with an evening of cabaret songs Saturday at the Irvine Barclay Theatre...
Today, she lives in New York with her husband and two children. During a phone interview between recording sessions for a new album, she preferred to speak English, acknowledging a certain ambivalence about Germany.
'Sometimes, I'm treated like a German ambassador for [the cabaret tradition],' Lemper said. 'But there's nothing really German going on in my life.'
Still, Lemper has brought Weimar Republic music and theater traditions into American mainstream culture.
Highlighting the satirical elements of the material, Lemper does decadence decidedly tongue-in-cheek. It's a subversive streak that runs through her work. 'I am a vamp/half woman, half beast/I bite men and suck them dry/and then I bake them in a pie,' she croons with glee on one of her many recordings. Weimar and Weltschmerz (sentimental pessimism or melancholy over the state of the world) may go together but Lemper draws out the humor. She 'is a first-rate clown, if not a three-ring circus,' wrote Paul Festa in the San Francisco-based webzine Salon.com. But if Lemper is an unlikely clown in a leather cat suit, her act is balancing melancholy and mirth in a theater that's far from absurd."



wunderkind

Webster's: a child prodigy.

Examples:

Michael A. Hiltzik: Birth of a Thinking Machine. Los Angeles Times 6/20/2001.
"One thing everybody agrees on is that Cyc would never have got off the ground, much less kept aloft for 17 years, if not for Doug Lenat.
A former wunderkind of computer science, Lenat is now 50. Brash, barrel-chested and with an unruly mop of black hair, he has a distinctive way of interrupting his technical explanations with a wide smile, as though delighted by his own perspicacity.
'If I have an idea, he's one of the five people I can expect to understand it and see what's wrong with it,' says Marvin Minsky, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the pioneers of the field."



zeitgeist

Webster's: the spirit of the age; trend of thought and feeling in a period.

Examples:

Marla Dickerson, Stuart Silverstein: New Crises Loom in State's Aging Infrastructure. Los Angeles Times, February 18, 2001
"But the biggest change in the last quarter-century, historians and policymakers say, is the entire zeitgeist surrounding California's spectacular growth. After pouring vast sums into public works well into the 1970s--starting with Mulholland's aqueducts and then Gov. Brown's freeways--Californians saw their state being overrun and became ambivalent about the path it was on. Officials scaled back spending on huge new projects. Postwar optimism that spending on world-class universities and highways would benefit the economy and society gave way to concerns about the population explosion that accompanied it. Now, amid ever-present worries about overcrowding, some see little to gain by promoting costly improvements that will only bring more development."

Steve Silberman: Talking to Strangers. Wired 5/2000.
"It may seem bizarre (or far-out, kooky, off-the-wall, way-out), but there actually is a group of professional linguists (or word geeks) who annually take the time and trouble to select the words that capture the zeitgeist (or spirit of the age) of the vocabularial (not really a word) times."

Susan Spano: A new zing in the Brussels zeitgeist. Los Angeles Times, October 13, 2002
" 'Small country, small people,' said Leopold II, the king of Belgium from 1865 to 1909.
Old Leopold, who was wrong about many things, would stroke his beard in consternation to see today's Brussels. It was never that dull to begin with. It's still the capital of a small country tucked between France and the Netherlands, but it's also the headquarters of the European Union, the collection of 15 European countries that together boast the second-strongest economy in the world. The cloud over Brussels is lifting to reveal a city changed by corporate and political players drawn to the burgeoning EU. These well-heeled, polyglot, cosmopolitan people, who may wish they'd been assigned to posts in London or Paris, are putting some zing in the city's zeitgeist, whether they know it or not."

People, who want to take the Web's pulse, can do that on Google's Zeitgeist page, which, for example, was discussed by Reuters and in the German magazine Der Spiegel.


zwieback

Webster's: a kind of rusk or biscuit that is sliced and toasted after baking.
The American Heritage Dictionary: A usually sweetened bread baked first as a loaf and later cut into slices and toasted.

Examples:

Nabisco¨ Zwieback Toast:
Ingredients:

  • enriched bleached wheat flour: (contains niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin B2], folic acid)
  • sugar
  • lactalbumin (a milk protein)
  • butter: (pasturized cream, salt, annatto color)
  • vegetable shortening: (partially hydrogenated soybean oil)
  • yeast
  • eggs
  • spices: (cinnamon, mace, nutmeg)
  • salt
  • potassium carbonate
  • egg whites
  • mono- and diglycerides (emulcifier)

The Cook's Thesaurus advises: zwieback = rusk
Notes: These are slices of bread that have been baked a second time, making them crisp and dry. Toddlers use them as teething biscuits, while adults add them to soups.
Zwieback



zwitterion

Webster's: an ion carrying both a positive and a negative charge in different parts of the molecule, as in certain amino acids and protein molecules.
The American Heritage Dictionary agrees: A molecule carrying both a positive and a negative charge. ETYMOLOGY: German : Zwitter, hybrid.

Examples:

Found at chemistry.about.com:
"Amino acids contain both a carboxyl group (COOH) and an amino group (NH2). The general formula for an amino acid is given below. Although the neutrally-charged structure is commonly written, it is inaccurate because the acidic COOH and basic NH2 groups react with one another to form an internal salt called a zwitterion. The zwitterion has no net charge; there is one positive (COO-) and one negative (NH3+) charge."



Do you need scientific, technical, or medical translations into German?

Give ALSC a try.

ALSC will transpose your original into German as if it had been composed in German in the first place.


Home
How can we help?
Expertise
Terms
FAQ
Site Map
Contact ALSC