German Lesson of the Day

gr-image-contraceptionI am going to pretend that this is a Roe v. Wade story and share something that I ran across last night on Reddit. The German word for contraceptive is Antibabypille. I was pretty sure this was a joke until I looked it up on a German to English dictionary site.

It is even more chilling when you add “the”: Die Antibabypille.

There are other words for contraceptives but that is clearly the most descriptive.

It is even easier to say that the word for the regulation on beef labeling: Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz

24 thoughts on “German Lesson of the Day”

  1. My German dictionary defines contraception as:1. “die Empfaengnisverhuetung, Schwangershatsverhinderung” or 2. adj. empfaengnisverhuetend

  2. Shouldn’t it be Der Kondom and not Das? All men are not Eunuchs.

  3. @ Mika Tanegashima & annieofwi: both ‘Kondom’ and ‘Präservativ’ are valid (and both are in the normal register — there are a multitude of slang/colloquial words for them) German words for ‘condom.’
    Präservativ is a bit more old-fashioned IMHO.

    Regarding the infamous Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz:
    German statutes commonly have three official monikers:
    – a long one, consisting of a phrase, usually starting with ‘Gesetz zum/für…’
    – a short one in which the most important (i.e. the ones that sets this statute apart from all others) parts of the long one are all smashed together in one compound word, usually ending in “…gesetz”
    – an abbreviation in CamelCase. Sadly German legislators don’t spend much time in making nice acronyms like ‘USA PATRIOT Act,’ so they are usually rather unpronounceable like StGB (the criminal code).

    So the
    Rinderkennzeichnungs- und Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz
    was actually the *short* form of the
    Gesetz zur Übertragung der Aufgaben für die Überwachung der Rinderkennzeichnung und Rindfleischetikettierung
    , abbreviated (well not really) to

  4. In Amsterdam at the Youth Hostels they give you a key, a towel, and a condom when you sign in at the front desk. For some reason, if you are a female they give you two condoms.

  5. CS,

    This being a legal blog, presumably everyone sighs appropriate waivers first. Right? 😉

  6. Randy,
    There may be a bush pilot up there who uses the marque, but not sure. My niece and nephew live in Anchorage and have a small gold mine in Chicken which they work in the summer months. I will try to get details.

    One of the fun things to do in Chicken is the Tire Ride. Insert yourself into the middle of a very large tire while a group of your well-lubricated friends stand it upright, then start it rolling down a hill.

    1. I suppose that one can refer to that as a chicken release. Since I don’t drink any more, I think I would probably have to pass on the tire ride. I have no objection to being upside down in an airplane since I loved instructing aerobatics and competed in it, but I might do it if I could have a stick to control it as it rolls along.

    1. I like the beer insulator. It is probably one of the few places on Earth in which it is used to keep the beer warm enough to drink. I also like the Chicken Air stuff. Is there such an airline?

  7. For a good commentary on the German language, folks should read Mark Twain’s essay on the damned German language. He spent a number of years there and in Austria living and learning the language.

  8. In the late 60’s three of us were traveling Europe, living in a VW van and looking rather like bums on the street, if it weren’t for our youth and exuberance. With language difficulty I asked for film for my camera in a pharmacy in Munich and after much snickering and stumbling on both sides was given a bag that seemed full of film, for a very reasonable price. We then proceeded to a tavern for large steins of beer. Flirting with the barmaid, having already downed one, I dumped the bag full of film on the table to find that it was ‘rubbers’, 4 times 36 of them.

    The word for film was close enough to a trade name for contraceptives. The barmaid looked at the pile and then at the three of us and smiled, saying something we couldn’t understand. It was probably something to do with the expectations of three disheveled kids reflected in the 144 times we would need protection, or good luck with those.

  9. Geburtenkontrollepille is another word for birth control pill, antibabypille sounds kind of anti baby, ask some of those natural family planning advocates out there. 😉

  10. Oops,the Swedish word got truncated. Hyphenated, it’s

  11. Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz wasn’t the word for beef labeling. It was the word for the law for the delegation of monitoring of beef labeling. Anyway, the word is obsolete:

    And the longest Swedish word is: Nordvästersjökustartilleriflygspaningssimulatoranläggningsmaterielunderhållsuppföljningssystemdiskussionsinläggsförberedelsearbeten
    Go look it up in the dictionary.

  12. I have heard that “preservativ” in German, which sounds like a preservative in food, means condom from a scholar who lived in Germany. Is this true, does anyone know?

  13. Reminds me of Tagalog here in the Philippines. The Philippine language is peppered with English words & phrases, mostly American English. Words like ‘foreigner’ (American, European, etc.), ‘hot dog’ & any number of place names like Mall of Asia. I believe you on the anti baby pill but that last ‘word’ is much longer than ‘supercalifragilisticexpialigoscous’!

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