You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘German’ tag.

An order or decree imposed by someone in power without popular consent. German “Diktat”=imposition, command, order < Latin “dictatum”=something dictated < “dictare”=to say, speak, express.

A bad chess player. Uncertain origin but perhaps German “Patzer”=a bungler < “patzen”=to bungle.

A double-dot mark (¨) used over a vowel to indicate that a vowel is pronounced differently that the same vowel without that symbol e.g “Mann” versus “Männer” is “a” versus “eh” sounds. German “um”=about + “laut”=sound.

Artificial and not as good as the real thing; a substitute of inferior quality. German “ersatz”=replacement, compensation < “ersetzan”=to replace.

A region lying inland from a coast and/or remote from urban areas. German “hinterland” < “hinter”=behind + “land”=land.

The practice of deliberately stopping ideas and facts from being known. German “obskurant” < Latin “obscurare”=to hide + “-ism”=suffix meaning the action or process of doing something.

A recurring theme in a musical or literary work, focused on a particular person, idea, or situation. German “leitmotif”=”leiden”=to lead + “motive”=drive, will, motivation.

A type of song from the German Romantic period (late C18th-early C19th). Pronounced “leet.” German “lied”=song < Old High German “liod” < Proto-Germanic “*leuthan.”

A type of dry white wine from Germany. An abbreviation of “Hochheimer Wein”=wine from Hocheim.

A syndicate, combine, or trust formed especially to regulate prices and output in business. German “Kartell” < Italian “cartello”=paper, letter, or bill < Latin “carta”=card.

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