Shitstorm Voted Top English Contribution to the German Language in 2011

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

The Anglicism of the Year contest is organized by the University of Hamburg linguist Anatol Stefanowitsch to recognize English’s contribution every year to the German language, and this years winner was “Shitstorm”.  This word was widely used by Germans in reference to the messy financial crisis in Greece and the Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s plagiarism scandal.  Its official definition is being listed as “a public outcry, primarily on the internet, in which arguments mix with threats and insults to reach a critical mass, forcing a reaction.”

In a statement released by the jury for the award, it was stated that Shitstorm filled a gap in the German language and no existing native word was descriptive enough.  The closest German word would be Kritik, which translates to criticism.

The runner-up for 2011’s Anglicism of the Year was Stresstest, as it refers to the analysis of the various European bank’s financial strength during the financial crisis.

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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