Bismarck would be so proud


The Top 5 German words that we use too:

5- Uber - literally meaning "over". It was used by Friedrich Nietzsche to explain his philosophical "overman" or otherwise translated as superman. Technically uber isn't a word as much as a prefix but we use it as a word so it counts. It sounds tough and has scary undertones thanks to the Nazis.

4- Schnitzel - Not nearly as ominous but much more fun to say. mmmmmm schnitzel.

3- Blitzkrieg - Here is another one from the Nazis. Literally translated as lightning strike and used to describe the Nazi attacks of World War II. Now we can use it to describe anything that is huge and destructive, well not anything, but you get the picture. We also get the handy abbreviation "blitz" and that is invaluable in football. The word just might be the best thing the Nazis gave us.

2- Zeitgeist - meaning "in the spirit of the time". This word sounds so cool and menacing but in fact is pretty benign. If you use it you sound educated and it doesn't have a direct translation into English. All of those contribute to it being ranked so high. Even if you are talking about something lame, a dash of "zeitgeist" will go a long way to saving your sentence. For example: "It is unfortunate that Britney Spears has so thoroughly permeated the zeitgeist of the younger generation". Very cool and dumb people everywhere will just agree with you because they can't remember this little gem from their SAT prep classes.

1- Schadenfreude - This word has it all. It is kinda ominous, it is long, no one knows what it means; and yet the best thing about it is the definition: "deriving pleasure from someone else's misfortune". Hell yeah, that is a good word. We all laugh and other people's misfortune and it is too bad we never came up with a word for it. Thanks Germany! You have enabled us to properly label one of the best things about comedy. What does it say about Germany if they have a word for this? It kinda says something about their national character doesn't it? Silly Germans, what will they do next.