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German word of the day: Der Erbsenzähler

The Local Austria
The Local Austria - [email protected]
German word of the day: Der Erbsenzähler
Photo: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

'Erbsenzähler' literally means ‘pea counter’ and denotes a pedantic person obsessed with precision and fine details.

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An English equivalent is ‘nitpicker’, which itself literally refers to picking out nits. But the original meaning of the word was slightly different. Until the 20th century, Erbsenzähler described someone who was stingy and thrifty.

The word has been in use in the German language since at least the 1600s.

Examples:

Der Mann ist ein echte Erbsenzähler und interessiert sich nur für die Kleinigkeiten

The man is a real nitpicker and is only interested in small details.

Erbsenzähler sind sehr anspruchsvoll.

Pedants are very demanding.

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