About @GermanyinUSA

GermanyinUSA is the home of the monthly newsletter “Germany for Americans”, produced by the German Embassy in Washington, DC. For the embassy’s official website, visit Germany.info.

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Word of the Week

  • Word of the Week: Luftikus

    A masculine noun coined by students in the 19th century from the word air (“Luft”) and by adding the Latin ending -kus. Originally used to describe an airhead, i.e., a…

  • Word of the Week: Treppenwitz

    The “staircase joke” or “staircase wit” possibly gets its name from the witty retort or clever comeback that comes to mind when you are on your way out, walking down…

  • Word of the Week: Kummerspeck

    Many of us seem to believe that food is a solution to our problems. We have all seen the romantic comedies with someone heartbroken sitting on the sofa drowning their…

  • Word of the Week: Innerer Schweinehund

    Do you know the feeling of laziness that just keeps you from reaching your goals? The lack of motivation, will power or the force inside us that makes us stay…

  • Word of the Week: Katzenjammer

    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.…

  • Word of the Week: Mutterschutz

    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…

  • Word of the Week: Plattenbau

    If you’ve ever visited East Germany during the Cold War, you probably saw a lot of grey, cheaply-built apartment buildings that might have made you feel depressed. This sort of…

  • Word of the Week: Bratkartoffelverhältnis

    A Bratkartoffelverhältnis,  which literally means “fried potato relationship,” is not about how much Germans love fried potatoes, but it is about finding a meal ticket, or at the very least…

  • Word of the Week: Schneidersitz

    When you’re sitting cross-legged, what do you call that position? In English, you might say you are “sitting Indian style”, but in German, that is the so-called Schneidersitz (“tailor’s sitting…

  • Word of the Week: Sauregurkenzeit

    With four or more weeks of vacation per year, many German workers are out of the office during the summer months – especially in July and August, when schools are…