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

Friday, February 1, 2013

Word of the Month: Pleitegeier

Word of the Month: Index

Pleite means "bankrupt" as an adjective and "bankruptcy" as a noun. A Geier is a vulture. In combination, they may denote a person who has gone bankrupt or the precarious financial situation an enterprise finds itself in, like in the sentence, "Der Pleitegeier sitzt auf dem Dach." (The Pleitegeier is sitting on the roof.)

The term derives from Yiddish plejte gejer—"bankrupt goer," i.e., someone who went bankrupt. Folk etymology turned the gejer into a Geier. [Sick 2012]

[Source: Wild Things in the German Language: Kindle/paperback version | iBooks version]

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