Word of the Week: Katzenjammer

©Colourbox

Katzenjammer literally means “cat yowling or wailing” and is certainly not a pleasant sound. If you’ve ever heard a cat yowling during mating season, you may know what we mean. Many would say it sounds more like discordant music.

The word’s origin is somewhat ambiguous. However, many believe it was used during the second half of the 18th century among university students to describe the discomfort and ill feeling after a wild night of partying and excessive drinking, otherwise known as a hangover. Since the 19th century, it is also known as a general term to describe regret, disgruntlement, or misery. Some Germans even use the word to describe an uproar or bewilderment.

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The word is sometimes used in English as well. Have you ever heard someone say, “I recommend you take some aspirin for your Katzenjammer,” “I do hope your Katzenjammer has gotten a bit better since last night,” or “the speech last night caused an outright Katzenjammer.”? The word is not as popular today as it was in the mid-20th century, but you can still find it in the English dictionary.

By Regine Poirier, German Embassy

Word of the Week: Mutterschutz

Maternity Leave concept ©Colourbox

Mutterschutz is the German term for maternity protection or maternity leave.  Mutterschutz in Germany is based on the Mutterschutzgesetz (Act on the Protection of Working Mothers) which provides for paid leave four weeks before and eight weeks after the birth of a new child. If you are expecting multiples or have a premature birth, the time period extends to 12 weeks.

Pregnant woman is walking in the city or make shopping. Maternity leave. Fashion and pregnancy. Urban lifestyle. ©Colourbox

Mothers in Germany also enjoy protection from being terminated during their pregnancy and up to four months after giving birth. Furthermore, each parent is entitled to stay at home for the purpose of raising the child without pay for up to three years.

We are thrilled that one of our colleagues has been able to enter Mutterschutz recently and we can’t wait to see the new arrival in a few weeks. We wish her all the best for the coming weeks and months.

By German Embassy