12 Illnesses You Can Only Catch in German
by Matthew Gilligan
There are illnesses that you can only catch in German…
If you try to explain these illnesses in any other language, people are going to cock their heads in confusion or outright laugh at you.
But say it in German and you’ll get what you need in the blink of an eye!
Take a look!
Putzen means “to clean” and fimmel is a mania or obsession. You can put them together, and even though people go through it elsewhere, in Germany it’s a common occurrence (possibly because it’s fun to say).
Despair or world-weariness, but literally “life tiredness,” Germans use it to describe people taking stupid chances with their own life.
A föhn is a wind that cools air as it draws up one side of a mountain, then warms as it compresses coming down the other side. The winds are believed to cause headaches and other feelings of illness.
Werther, the main character in Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, is a lovesick lad whose affections ultimately go unrequited (after which he decides to commit suicide). Now, the term translates to “Werther’s fever” and is used to describe a miserable crush.
This “civilization sickness” is a blanket term that can encompass any illness brought on by living in the modern world (anxiety, carpal tunnel, type 2 diabetes, etc).
This is a super long word that technically means “circulatory collapse” but actually means “feeling woozy.” That’s it.
It means “time sickness” or “illness of the times” and is used to describe whatever backward mindset and/or practices are attached to a particular era.
This “gate closing panic” describes the anxiety that comes with the awareness that your opportunities wane as the years of your life slip by and the “gates close” forever. Uplifting, right?
You can actually only contact hörsturz in Germany, because the sudden, stress-related hearing loss pretty much only happens there. Or so they say.
It means “world pain” and is a sadness brought on by the reality that the world will never be as you wish it.
Like the term above, but to describe dissatisfaction with yourself rather than the world.
If you’ve got the opposite of homesickness – a longing for travel or wanderlust, this is the word for you.
Language sure can be fun, don’t you think?