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German Words of the Year
Wörter des Jahres


Complete Lists by Year
with English definitions/explanations

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Ger. Words 1 > Ger. Words 2 > Word List 1 > List 2 > List 3

Below you'll find the top-ranked words and expressions for 1998-2001 with an English explanation for expressions that may not be obvious to English-speakers. Each year's words are selected by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (GfdS, the German Language Society) and are listed by rank in their respective years. (See the full article for more about the GfdS selection criteria.)

Also see the Swiss-German Words of the year

Die Wörter des Jahres 2001

WORT des JAHRES 2001
der 11. September

Anti-Terror-Krieg (der, "war against terrorism")
Milzbrandattacke (die, anthrax attack)
Schläfer ("sleepers," i.e., covert terrorists who blend in)
Stammzellenimport (stem-cell importation)
Schlafmünzen (old DM coins no longer in circulation)
Homo-Ehe (die, short term for a legalized gay partnership)
Agrarwende (die, term referring to new agricultural policies in response to mad-cow disease, or BSE, a word selected in 2000)
Luderliga (die, slang term for a group of sexy German women who constantly appear in magazine stories and the German party scene - making them Party-Luder.)
Riester-Rente (die, slang term for privatized pension plans - see this insurance company Riester-Rente Web page.)
simsen (to send an SMS message on a mobile phone; see our article on this topic)
"Und das ist auch gut so!" ("And that's just fine that way!" - phrase used by Klaus Wowereit, the SPD candidate for Berlin mayor, admitting he's gay. He won the election.)

Die Wörter des Jahres 2000

Schwarzgeldaffäre (die, the Helmut Kohl political slush-fund scandal)
BSE-Krise (die, mad-cow crisis)
Greencard (English term borrowed to apply to allowing foreign IT people to work in Germany)
gegen Rechts (anti-extreme-right-wing/neo-Nazi slogan)
SMS ("short message service" - See article on this topic)
Kampfhund (der, dangerous "attack" dog)
Leitkultur (die, a controversial term referring to an anti-multicultural tendency, in which the dominant German "guiding culture" is viewed as a preferred model)
Big-Brother-Haus (das, from the TV show)
basta (enough, done - from Italian)

Die Wörter des Jahres 1999

das Millennium (largely replaced the Germanic Jahrtausend =year+thousand)
Kosovo-Krieg (der, the war in Kosovo)
Generation @ (die, spoken GHEN-ah-RAHT-cee-ohn "at" - the young generation that has grown up surrounded by the new media and computers; derived from the title of the book, Generation X. - See our Computer and Internet Glossary for more related vocabulary.)
Euroland (das, for the countries that introduced the euro currency in 1999)
nachbessern (politicians pointing out inaccuracies)
Doppelpass (der, dual citizenship passports)
Anderkonten (das Konto, connected to the controversy over special bank accounts by German political parties)
feindliche Übernahme (hostile takeover)
Sofi (short for die Sonnenfinsternis, the 1999 total solar eclipse)
(das, also won a special award as the longest German word of 1999) - See: The Longest German Word?

Die Wörter des Jahres 1998

Rot-Grün (political coalition of the red SPD and the Green party, die Grünen)
Viagra (die Potenzpille)
neue Mitte ("the new middle" was a German campaign slogan)
"Ich habe fertig"
Event (an Anglicism disliked by the VDS)
Jahr-2000-fähig (Y2K compliant)
Euroland (das, the 12 EU countries that use the euro currency)
Ökosteuer (die, "ecological tax" on petroleum products)

MORE > Wörter des Jahres 1971-2003 (GfdS Web site)

MORE > The Longest German Word?

Ger. Words 1 > Ger. Words 2 > Word List 1 > List 2 > List 3

BACK > German Words: 2002-2004

DAILY > German Word of the Day - Wort des Tages

MORE > Swiss-German Words of the Year

MORE > GfdS/Links > Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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