Sitzpinkler: a man who pees sitting down

by Toby Manhire / 01 October, 2012
And other delights of the German language.
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
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