Our No. 1 Gift to German Language in '11: 'Shitstorm'

Yep, really. A jury of German language experts picked it
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2012 1:24 PM CST
Germany's new word: shitstorm.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Germans are better off because of America's pottymouth, at least according to a group of language experts who have named the biggest English contribution to the German language in 2011: "shitstorm." Yep, the "Anglicism of the Year" is a word that the experts say "fills a gap in the German vocabulary that has become apparent through changes in the culture of public debate." After all, Germans would previously have had to turn to more toothless terms like kritik (criticism) to express their emotions.

So what, exactly, is shitstorm trying to get across? According to the experts, it's a public outcry, in particular one occurring on the Internet, that blends threats and insults until the arguments reach a tipping point, and force some kind of reaction. The Local indicates that it can be appropriately used in connection with the mess in Greece and Germany's plagiarism scandal. The runners-up: "stresstest" (ie, banks) and "circlen" (ie, Google+).

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