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German word of the day: Der Schattenparker

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Ana Dilley - [email protected]
German word of the day: Der Schattenparker
Photo credit: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

Always thought that parking your car in the shade was the best thing to do? The German language seems to disagree.

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This word is made up from 'shadow' or 'shade' (der Schatten) and der Parker. So a Schattenparker is literally somebody who parks their car in the shade in order to avoid it heating up in the sun.

While this may sound like a sensible idea and not one worth criticising, this word is used to dismiss someone as a wimp. Parking in the shade to avoid the sun is seen as a sign of weakness.

This criticism definitely contradicts the stereotype that Austrians normally favour sensible behaviour.

In fact, there's something of a trend among Austrians - and indeed Germans - to create insulting compound nouns in order to mock habits seen as weak or immasculine.

READ ALSO: How to insult someone in Austria

Here are a few other German compound nouns which are used to insult others…

Der Sockenschläfer- sock sleeper

Der Warmduscher- warm showerer

Der Frühbucher- early booker

Der Chefwitzlacher- someone who laughs at their bosses’ jokes

Der Jeansbügler- jeans ironer

Der Teetrinker -someone who drinks tea

Der Sitzpinkler- (a man) who wees sitting down

Das Weichei- soft egg

Der Handschuhschneeballwerfer- the glove-snowball-thrower (someone who needs to wear gloves when throwing snowballs because the snow is too cold for their hands)

Meanwhile, in case you're wondering, der Schwächling is a non-compound noun that means weakling.

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Examples:

Er macht es nicht, weil er seine Hände nicht schmutzig machen will. Er ist so ein Schattenparker!

He isn't doing it because he doesn’t want to get his hands dirty - he is so weak!

Ich bin kein Schattenparker!

I am not a weakling!

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