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

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Words of the Month: Hausdrachen, Pantoffelheld

So far, I have resisted posting WoMs that could be viewed as sexist—I briefly alluded to this when, in a discussion about maulfaul, I was asked about an antonym, i.e. a word referring to someone who can't shut up, and I had to answer that these words do exist, but tend to be clearly aimed at women and therefore could be considered sexist. I do not intend to feature such words, but today, I'm making an exception. It was simply too tempting to illustrate the word in question, sexist as it may be. But in order to be an equal-opportunity sexist, I paired it, upon the suggestion of Laraine, with a word that's sexist w.r.t. the opposite gender.

So, here goes: Haus means "house" or "home", and a Drachen is a dragon. A Hausdrachen is a woman who tyrannizes her family, especially her husband—she's a shrew. A Pantoffel is a bedroom slipper, and a Held is a hero (as in Heldentenor). A Pantoffelheld is a guy who talks tough, but takes to his heels at the first sign of danger—he's a hero only in the safety of his own home, unless, of course, he meets a Hausdrachen there. One could say that a Hausdrachen and a Pantoffelheld are a perfectly matched pair, in more than one respect.

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


Laraine Flemming said...

Love the new drawings, particularly the dragon, but isn't she wearing exactly the kind of apron I favor for cooking. This is surely a coincidence. Deine Frau

mac said...

Wonderful drawing! Pantoffelheld is exactly the same in Holland, even the spelling. Hausdrachen I didn't know but it's easy to get!
Great work, Ulrich!