Occasional musings, Geistesblitze, photos, drawings etc. by a "resident alien", who has landed on American soil from a far-away planet called "Germany".

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Word of the month: Schnapsdrossel

Schnapsdrossel Word of the Month: Index

Another addition to the KrautBlog aviary: Schnaps (one p!) should be known to English speakers—it's a generic term for any hard liquor; a Drossel is a thrush; and Schnapsdrossel is a colloquial moniker for a boozer. I do not know how the term originated, but it remains a fact, in Germany and elsewhere, that alcohol leads some people to song.*

*Addendum: I learned today (3/14/2012) that the Drossel in Schnapsdrossel has nothing to do with birds. It's an old name for "throat", which survives in modern German only in the verb erdrosseln (to strangle)—must have the same Germanic root as "throttle". So, a Schnapsdrossel is really a throat through which liquor flows freely.

[Source: Wild Things in the German Language: Kindle version | iBook version]