Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Monday Miscellany: A Collection of Odds, Ends and Personals

I am aware that today isn’t Monday but the explanation is that I lost a day when I came down with a bout of gastro. Except for some small waking periods I slept for 36 hours and still feel lousy. But that’s enough of me.

Some Monday Miscellany items . . .

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From son Thomas:

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The Germans have words that in most cases do not have an English equivalent. Instead they have to explained in a number of words.  Here are some of them:

1) Weltshmerz: mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state

2) Kummerspeck: excess weight gained from emotional overeating

The literal translation is “grief bacon” although in our culture I believe “grief chocolate would be more appropriate.

3) Torschlusspanik: the fear, usually as one gets older, that time is running out and important opportunities are slipping away.

The literal translation is “fear of the gate closing”.

4) Fremdschamen: the almost-horror you feel when you notice that somebody is oblivious to how embarrassing they truly are.

Watching someone else make a fool of themselves.

5) Backpfeifengesicht: a face in need of a fist.

I have posted about this previously and used Adam Sandler as my example.

6) Erklarungsnot: the state of having to quickly explain yourself

Caught in the act or, to use an expression when I was young, “sprung red hot”. What to say?

7) Treppenwitz: the things you should have said but only occur to you when it is too late

Remember the Seinfeld episode about George Costenza coming up with great responses after everything was done? 

8) Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung: the struggle to come to terms with the past

Who better to have a word for this than the Germans?

9) Handschuhschneeballwerfer: a coward willing to criticize and abuse from a safe distance

Talking behind someone’s back instead of to their face.

10) Allgemeinbildung: everything that any adult capable of living independently can reasonably be expected to know.

The meaning is approximately equivalent to our words “common sense" but how much more is expressed?

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