German Word of the Week Outsourced

…to the inestimable Futility Closet, a blog that does one thing perfectly:

  • Feierabend: a festive frame of mind at the end of a working day
  • Drachenfutter: (“dragon fodder”) a peace offering to a wife from a guilty husband
  • Fachmensch: a narrow specialist
  • Fingerspitzengefühl: (“fingertipfeel”) intuitive sensibility, confident sureness of touch
  • fisselig: nagged and flustered to the point of incompetence
  • pomadig: “like hair oil,” able to slip through difficulties
  • Verschlimmbesserung: an intended improvement that has made things worse
  • Stammplatz: a favorite usual spot, as a table at a café
  • Torschlusspanik: (“gate closing panic”) fear that time is running out to act
  • Zivilcourage: courage to stand up for what is right
  • Zwischenraum: the space between things

The contraceptive pill is the Antibabypille. “I can understand German as well as the maniac that invented it,” wrote Mark Twain, “but I talk it best through an interpreter.”