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LEARNING GERMAN

German word of the day: Die Quasselstrippe

Today’s word of the day is one that really tests your patience.

German word of the day: Die Quasselstrippe
Sometimes a 'Quasselstrippe' dominates the conversation. Photo: depositphotos/innovatedcaptures

Everyone probably has that one friend that likes talking. And I don’t mean just talking, but talking. A lot. Chances are high that this friend has the nickname Quasselstrippe.

Quasselstrippe literally translates to “jabber string,” but the actual English equivalent is “chatterbox” or “babbermouth.”

The noun Quasselstrippe is a combination of the words quasseln and Strippe. Quasseln comes from the Low German word quassen, which means “to jabber”. Therefore it not used positively, but usually if a person is actually talking a lot about nothing.

Strippe is a word, which describes a piece of string or the cable of a telephone. It also has its origins in the Low German, where the word strupfe described a leather sling.

Calling a person a Quasselstrippe comes from the use of that word for the telephone. Back in the days, when phones were still attached to their station via cable, these phones were called Quasselstrippe – A device on a string which talked to you.

Over the years, the original notion died away up to the point where Quasselstrippe started to be used either derogatory or to tease someone in a loving manner.

Photo: Depositphotos

Examples:

Ich kann mich nicht mit ihr unterhalten – sie ist so eine Quasselstrippe.

I cant talk to her – she’s such a chatterbox.

Hey du Quasselstrippe, amch mal einen Punkt.

Hey you babbermouth, come off it.

Es ist schwer, zu Wort zu kommen, weil er so eine Quasselstrippe ist.

It’s hard to get a say, because he talks so much.

Do you have a favourite word you'd like to see us cover? If so, please email our editor Rachel Stern with your suggestion.

Member comments

  1. I think ‘blabbermouth’ means something slightly different: someone who is careless what they say, revealing secrets about a third party

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GERMAN WORD OF THE DAY

German word of the day: Rücksicht

Here's how to take this thoughtful word into consideration.

German word of the day: Rücksicht

Why do I need to know Rücksicht?

Because it’s a commonly used word and knowing what it means – and practising it – will make you a better person.

What does Rücksicht mean?

Rücksicht is a feminine noun which means “consideration” or “regard”. It’s made up of the shortened form of the word zurück meaning “back” and Sicht – which means view. So literally, it means, back view, or looking back.

This literal meaning tells you something about how the word is used in German – if you look back to see what’s happened to your friend, you are taking them into consideration.

How to use Rücksicht

When using Rücksicht, bear in mind that it is usually paired with specific verbs and prepositions.

The most commonly used set phrase is Rücksicht auf etwas/jemand nehmen, which is used to mean “to be considerate of” or “to take care of” someone or something. For example:

Radfahrer müssen auf Fußgänger Rücksicht nehmen.

Cyclists must be considerate of pedestrians.

Er nimmt Rücksicht auf die Bedürfnisse seiner schwangeren Frau.

He takes care of his pregnant wife’s needs.

Rücksicht is usually followed by the preposition auf, but it can be preceded by a number of prepositions to compose different phrases. 

Mit Rücksicht auf for example, means “in view of” and ohne Rücksicht auf means “without consideration for”, while aus Rücksicht auf means “out of consideration for.” 

Here are some examples:

Führungen dürfen aus Rücksicht auf die Teilnehmer nicht aufgenommen werden.
Out of consideration of the participants, tours may not be recorded.
 
Er will tun, was er möchte, ohne Rücksicht auf die Anderen.
He wants to do what he wants, without considering other people.
 
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