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

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Word of the Month: Der Korinthenkacker

korinthenkacker"
Korinthen are very small and dark raisins (named after Korinth, German for Corinth, the town in Greece that gave those special raisins their German name). Kacker is a noun derived from kacken, a slang term for moving your bowels. Taken literally, then, a Korinthenkacker is a person who produces nothing more impressive than raisin-like turds when going to the bathroom. Figuratively, and that's how the term is used exclusively, it's a pedant who hides his inability to see the larger picture behind an obsessive focus on small details. I say "his" because Korinthenkacker is masculine—Korinthenkackerin would be the feminine form.

The most recent time I saw the term used was on a German blog, where a commenter was called a Korinthenkacker because all he or she had to say was to correct another commenter's spelling. And my Facebook friend Richard Caldwell pointed me to a very instructive blurb on the etymology of kacken .

Word of the Month: Index

2 comments:

avidreader said...

How did Corinth offend the Germanic sensibilities to become a symbol of constipation - physical or spiritual?

Ulrich said...

@avidreader: The town did not offend, and its products, those Korinthen, only in the sense that they reminded some Germans of very small turds—the rest, as they say, is history.