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.


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.



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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