Sitzpinkler: a man who pees sitting down

By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

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Just in time for the mass transit of New Zealand writers (and chefs) to Germany for all the fun of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Guardian has launched a new series on the country, “The accidental empire”.

Among the dozens of pieces is one on German words.

Mark Rice-Oxley picks as his favourites Handschuhschneeballwerfer (a person who wears gloves to throw snowballs) and Sitzpinkler: a man who pees sitting down.

And while there remains doubt as to whether the longest German compound, cited in the Guinness Book of Record , ever in fact existed, it is, surely, too good to check:

Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft, or the association for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services.

A handful more, suggested in the comments under the piece (can’t vouch for them, etc):

Reißverschlusssystem Traffic merging like a zip

Eisenbahnknotenpunkthinundherschiebershäuschen The little cabin where in earlier times the switchman was manually operating the railroad switches

Torfabbaugenehmigung A governmental permission to develop bogland, in order to use the peat for commercial purposes

Sitzriese Somebody who looks bigger when they’re sitting down than when they stand up

More by Toby Manhire

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One Response to “Sitzpinkler: a man who pees sitting down”

  1. PeterNZ Oct 1 2012, 9:33am

    Sorry but this is bollocks. I know as a German living in New Zealand I risk that people might say "Did it hit a sore spot?". And it might even be true but only the spot called "As a Geman I can't stand incorrect information".

    First of all these "jokes" are so old they actually were first written on stone plates.

    Secondly, Words like "Handschuhschneeballwerfer" , "Sitzpinkler" und "Warmduscher" were funny idioms to make jokes about people who were soft i.e. "A real man pees standing up","A tough person throws snowballs without gloves" and "A real man has cold showers". This is completely lost in this article. It was a challenge between people to come up with new expressions like this.

    "Eisenbahnknotenpunkthinundherschiebershäuschen" doesn't make sense and I doubt it is true. Again, maybe a joke. There is no "Hin und her schieber" as such. Same as "Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft". This is actually not a real word but rather the Germans pulling their own leg. "Elektrizitaeten" is not a correct word and there is no "Unterbeamtengesellschaft" as an organizational form in Germany. I think someone used the better known proper expression "Donaudampfschiffahrtskapitaenspatent" and made it more funny. A "Donaudampfschiffahrtskapitaenspatent" actually is a real expression and describes a license for a captain to be allowed to transport people on a steam ship on the Danube.

    So there you go, I still have some German correctness in me.

    Hiermit verbleibe ich mit hochachtungsvollen Gruessen

    Peter Niepel ;-)
    Report Report

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