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Guten Tag! Every year, the Langenscheidt dictionary selects a word it calls the Jugendwort des Jahres – the Youth Word of the Year. People have the opportunity to vote from a selection of shortlisted teen slang, and then the winner is picked by a jury. The Jugendwort des Jahres for 2018 was revealed recently, so today we’ll be looking at that and some of the other contenders who were in the running for the title. This is a great way to get an insight into the German spoken today by young people – it’s not something you would find in a textbook, for example!
The Jugendwort des Jahres 2018 is:
This literally means ‘man of honor’ or ‘woman of honor’. You would call someone an Ehrenmann/frau if they were very polite, kind and/or reliable, and always did nice things for you. This is similar to how you might call a man ‘a gentleman’. However, the term is also used sarcastically, if someone is quite the opposite of polite and never does anything for you.
Breaking the word down into its components, it consists of the word die Ehre (honor) and der Mann (man) or die Frau (woman). Because compound nouns always take the gender of the last word- in this case, that of either Mann or Frau- it means this word is either feminine or masculine:
Der Ehrenmann (male)
Die Ehrenfrau (female)
These words are not to be confused with the German words der Ehemann and die Ehefrau, which mean husband and wife respectively.
Der Ehemann – husband
Die Ehefrau – wife
These words are often shortened to just ‘Mann’ and ‘Frau’. The word die Ehe is the German word for marriage.
The full list of words that made it (and didn’t) can be read here on the Langenscheidt website (in German).
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