Useful German

With respect to Greg Ross’ Futility Closet

  • Feierabend: a festive frame of mind at the end of a working day
  • Drachenfutter: (“dragon fodder”) a peace offering to a wife from a guilty husband
  • Erminenfloh: (“ermine flea”) a sycophant to the powerful
  • Fachmensch: a narrow specialist
  • Fingerspitzengefühl: (“fingertipfeel”) intuitive sensibility, confident sureness of touch
  • fisselig: nagged and flustered to the point of incompetence
  • pomadig: “like hair oil,” resourceful, confident, able to slip through difficulties
  • Schlimmbesserung: an intended improvement that has made things worse
  • Stammplatz: a favorite, usual spot, as a table at a café
  • Torschlusspanik: (“gate closing panic”) fear that time is running out to act
  • Wundersucht: a passion for miracles
  • Zivilcourage: courage to express unpopular opinions
  • Zwischenraum: the space between things