This week on Twisted History, Chief and I thought it would be a good idea on the week of Veterans Day to spend about an hour-and-a-half breaking down World War I. We could easily do a Part II tomorrow because we barely scratched the surface of a war that is rarely discussed and yet was still a global conflict involving more than 70 million military personnel.
At one point in the pod, we talked about an incident in August of 1914 when zee German army orchestrated a mass execution of Belgian civilians in the city of Liege.
Long story short: The inhabitants of Liege and a handful of nearby villages were rounded up and shot by the Germans. Any person who survived the firing squads' bullets were then killed with bayonets... Real brutal shit.
Then I asked and answered the question- Why did it happen, Chief?
It happened primarily because many members of the German army believed that the locals were actually civilian snipers who were picking off kraut soldiers one-by-one. But another reason was the German troops were executing a war policy known as Schrecklichkeit, which is German for "frightfulness", and was a policy of terror that was intended to frighten the civilians in the occupied areas to prevent rebellion.
I hear words like Schrecklichkeit, and it reminds me of just how much I hate german war policies but love the German language, so I thought I would throw in a few more popular German sayings...
Ohrwurm (earworm)- Describes a song stuck in your head as if it wriggled itself into your brain through your ear.
Fernweh (distance pain)- Is the opposite of homesickness (which is "heimweh" in German). Instead, fernweh is a longing for a place that isn’t where you are right now and is often used as the reasoning for people in Germany to go on vacations.
Kummerspeck (grief bacon)- It is the excess weight put on by emotional overeating… The thought that Germans call "the freshman 15" (the weight that every girl I went to college with gained their first year) "grief bacon" just makes me smile.
Innerer Schweinehund (inner pig dog)- That's the tiny voice in the back of your head which tells you to be lazy.
Fremdschämen (exterior shame)- It describes the feeling of shame when seeing someone else in an uncomfortable or embarrassing situation… I call it a 'douche chill'.
Sprïngen Tittën (chest bounce)- Describes a woman riding a horse.
Weichei (soft egg)- Means someone who is weak and cowardly… is often replaced with the term "Würstchen", which means "little sausage".
Dreikäsehoch (three cheeses high)- Describes a short person and implies they’re only as tall as three wheels of cheese placed on top of each other.
And finally… Schattenparker (shadow parker)- This one is part of a series of insults for men that accuse them of unmanly behavior. In this case, of parking in the shadows to avoid heating up the interior of their car (which is something a soft egg or little sausage would probably do). Alternatives to schattenparker include Warmduscher (someone who showers with warm water) and Sitzpinkler (a man who urinates while sitting down).
So… For the record… I am a weichei who recently put on some kummerspeck. My würstchen is dreikäsehoch which causes my wife to have fremdschämen and gives her intense fernweh to sprïngen tittën somewhere far away.
Whenever I go to the mall, I am a schattenparker who enjoys a warmduscher. And I am also a sitzpinkler because my innerer schweinund is constantly telling me to relax.
Nimm einen Bericht. (take a report)
I obviously made up the word "Sprïngen Tittën".
You can hear the whole episode of The Twisted History of World War I right here…