German Language Blog

German Word Of The Year 2018 Posted by on Jan 2, 2019 in Culture, Language

Guten Tag, und frohes neues Jahr! Hello, and Happy New Year! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to 2019. In this post we will clear up some unfinished business from 2018, and that is discovering what the German Wort des Jahres (Word of the Year) of 2018 is!

Each year, the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (GfdS) – The German Language Association – picks a word as their ‘Word of the Year’. This is often a word related to a prominent topic in the country during the year, and is often interesting from a linguistic perspective, too (as is sometimes assumed, the Word of the Year has nothing to do with how often the word has been used, for example). What’s great about learning the German Word of the Year is that it gives us an insight into Germany’s current events, politics and culture, whilst teaching us some quirks of the language, too. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what the Wort des Jahres 2018 is!

The Wort des Jahres 2018 is: die Heißzeit

Image via Pixabay.

Die Heißzeit is a reference to the extremely hot weather Germany experienced during 2018, and a reference to der Klimawandel (climate change) in general, which was a huge topic not just in Germany, but the world over.

Die Heißzeit literally means ‘the hot age’, which is a play on the word die Eiszeit – the Ice Age.

The runner up for Wort des Jahres was die Funklochrepublik (literally ‘radio hole republic’ – a reference to the amount of places in Germany that don’t have reception), and in third place was die Ankerzentren (literally ‘anchor centres’ – admission centres for refugees). This word in particular is interesting because the first part of it – Anker – is an acronym:

Ankunft – arrival
kommunale Verteiling – municipal distribution
Entscheidung – decision
Rückführung – return

You can see the top 10 words from 2018 and from previous years here !

Bis bald! See you soon!

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About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer.