Feeds

Language-mangling Germans fling open Handygate to selfie-snapping whistleblowers

Nixon-inspired suffix crowned 'Anglicism of the Year'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The suffix "-Gate" has been honoured as the German language's "Anglicism of the Year", having recently resurged in Germany more than 40 years after the Watergate scandal spawned the popular, if awkward, English tack-on.

-Gate saw off strong competition from "Whistleblower", "Hashtag", "Fake" and, inevitably, the celebrated "Selfie" to secure the jury votes down at Anglizismus des Jahres.

The press release says the suffix's use was "sluggish" until recently, when it "exploded" with examples such as "Handygate", in reference to the US spook Merkel mobe-tapping outrage.

"Handy", The Local points out, is another Anglicism used for "mobile phone", meaning a double whammy for English in the inexorable slide of German into the Denglisch linguistic mire.

While whistleblower, selfie and hashtag need no further explanation, "Fake" - already a standalone borrowing, meaning, er, "fake" - now also operates as a prefix with an "abstract meaning component of 'spurious, fake, insincere'".

One example is "Fake-Preußentum" ("fake Prussianism"), which might be better rendered in English as "pseudo-Prussianism".

The Anglicism of the Year was established in 2010 by University of Hamburg linguist Anatol Stefanowitsch. Previous laureates include the magnificent "Shitstorm", and borrowed verb "leaken", the latter a product of the WikiLeaks rumpus. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'
Spooks ask Dabbsy to suggest a nice hotel with pool
Russia sends SEX-CRAZED GECKOS to SPAAAAACE!
In space... no one can hear you're green...
Indian techies-in-training face down MAN-EATING LEOPARD - and WIN
Big cat causes big trouble at Mumbai college
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.