back to article Germans brew up a right Sh*tstorm

Proof of the pervasive nature of the English language comes with the news that "shitstorm" has been named Germany's "Anglicism of the Year". Our German cousins have embraced Shitstorm (capital "S", naturally, as is the local custom for nouns) as a way of describing "a public outcry, primarily on the internet". The term rose …


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  1. andy k O'Croydon
    Thumb Up


    Das ist alles.

    1. tony72

      Re: Ausgezeignet!


    2. smartypants

      Re: Ausgezeignet!

      Oughtn't it to be 'ausgezeichnet'?... or is that a word with a sneaky second spelling?

      1. Christian Berger

        Re: Ausgezeignet!

        It is ausgezeichnet with a ch sound. And although I have to applaud David Mitchell's German, he does have problems with the ch.

    3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: Ausgezeignet!


  2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    The French have pretty much accepted le weekend, which is far better than la fin de la semaine. Not sure how those ended up being opposite genders though...

    However if you go to Calais, they also have the frankly horrible le ferry-boat. Which would be fair enough on a children's program, but really sounds crap said in a sing-song french voice.

    But there's nout like french for making ordinary things sound all posh like. A baker called Pain Quotidien just sounds so philosophical and everything. You just need the packet of Gallouises and to stare out of the window panes of a woman's bedroom into the pouring rain, to appreciate it...

    I don't know why everyone gets so stressed about it. The dominant global language is absolutely full of foreign words, and it doesn't worry us. As a French friend used to tell me, english is just a local french patois... We speak a mongrel tongue of pidgin-french, cod-latin and dodgy german. Surely the way to protect your language is to get the english-speakers to adopt your word for something before it gets big - a sort of pre-emptive strike.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      I'm sure there's a lot more ingredients in the melting pot than that, courtesy of our now-faded colonial and imperial past. Definitely inputs from the Indian sub-continent and all the countries thereabouts.

      Still it could be worse, it could be Esperanto.

      1. Christoph

        Am I really the first with the James Nicoll quote?

        The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Ah, Mr Nicoll. An old correspondent...

          and perhaps the only man in history ever to have been bitten by a butterfly!

          1. Christoph

            Re: Ah, Mr Nicoll. An old correspondent...

            Well, he is ever so slightly accident-prone. But he could have easily retaliated against the butterfly - what else did he invent the Nicoll-Dyson Laser for?

        2. Rampant Spaniel

          Didn't English evolve from a Germanic language anyway? So this is just it coming full circle :-)

          I worked for a while with someone who spoke fluent Urdu and it they would be talking to a friend on the phone and every so often an 'English' word or phrase would be used like VISA card or taxi or 'dirty weekend' which had me cracking up. Languages are evolving, especially in a multicultural environment. Hawaiian has many borrowed words (a practice some people dislike, Japan was recently in the news re this) where they are roughly phonetically translated. As with anything there are people who frown on the practice, most kupuna dole out a slap to the head for using borrowed words, but in an illiterative language they are often quicker to use.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It's nothing new, hence the Fast Show's Chris Waddle sketch.

          2. Nigel 11

            Ancestry of English

            Didn't English evolve from a Germanic language anyway? So this is just it coming full circle :-)

            In general, no. English is actually a relatively recent new language (compared to Greek, German or French).

            It was formed by the amalgamation of the Germanic language spoken by the English Saxons, with the Norman-French spoken by the 1066 invaders. As the communities merged, a creole (technical linguistic term) developed. To see what was happening, get a copy of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" that has the original on one side of the fold and a modern English translation on the other. Chaucer was near the start of the process. The Saxon proto-English used by the peasants, and the French proto-English used by the nobles, are still quite different, but coming together (his pilgrims understood each other without translators). It's a good read, by the way. Then watch a play by Shakespeare (who perfected the unified English Language, or maybe even invented it). You shouldn't need any translation.

            The process slowed down after Shakespeare, but hasn't stopped. In particular, the grammars of Norman French and Saxon were incompatible, and English has been and is progressively jettisoning its grammar. It is quite possible English will evolve into a pure placement-positional language over the next few centuries (more like Chinese in structure, than anything else of Indo-European origins). The collision between two languages may also be the reason why English has voraciously assimilated words it needed to plug gaps real or imagined in its own vocabulary, from any source, or by neologistic invention. (Is neologistic a word? Do I care? )

            Back to "shitstorm", it's no surprise at all that both parts of the word are of Germanic origin. English has preserved a distinction between "polite" words of French (noble) origins, and "rude" ones of Saxon (peasant) origins, which are synonyms or almost so. (e.g. "tempest" vs "storm", "execrement" vs "shit"). Many languages (including, I'm told, Gaelic and Arabic) don't have any rude words, and one has to employ florid combinations if one wishes to offend. "May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits" and suchlike.

            1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

              Re: Ancestry of English

              Thank you Nigel 11 for your great post, both interesting and well written. Have a vote and a virtual beer from me :-)

          3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            > they would be talking to a friend on the phone and every so often an 'English' word or phrase would be used like VISA card or taxi or 'dirty weekend' which had me cracking up.

            I remember sitting with some German customers, and at coffee-break they were chatting in German. Someone was demoing his new shiny toy, and in the middle of a long string of German I heard "Es ist way cool!". Cracked me up.

            1. Joefish

              Likewise, Korean

              I've had meetings with Korean hardware / firmware developers were I've asked a highly technical question, that gets translated into Korean and asked of the developers, and their spoken reply is so full of English technical phrases that I then don't need to hear their answer translated.

              Though more often than not it amounted to 'no', just with a lot of excuses.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      "the frankly horrible le ferry-boat"

      Horrible, indeed. They should use the correct French noun, which is, if I remember correctly, "le paquebot" - no English elements in that, are there?

      1. paulc

        Re: "the frankly horrible le ferry-boat"

        well actually Paquebot is their rendering of our "Packet Boat" :)

      2. Yag

        Re: "the frankly horrible le ferry-boat"

        the word "ferry" in french is only used for a subcase of passenger boats : short-ranged / short duration (few hours) passenger and car services (the horrible term "car-ferry" is often used in later case).

        The larger cruise ships and long distance passenger services are classified as "paquebots".

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: "the frankly horrible le ferry-boat"

          (the horrible term "car-ferry" is often used in later case).

          However horrible, it was in use in Roman times already, as one of the characters in Asterix is called Carferrix.

      3. Mr Spock

        Re: "the frankly horrible le ferry-boat"

        I believe Gainsbourg uses the word 'ferry-boat' in '69 Annee Erotique', and if Gainsbourg uses a word, then it is acceptable French.

      4. cortland

        Re: "the frankly horrible le ferry-boat"

        Ah,. the packet boat!

    3. Daniel B.


      The French are the ones responsible for the horrible 'ordinateur', which then found its way to the equally English-hating Spaniards who turned it into 'ordenador'. That's why Latin Americans talk about computers, but Spaniards talk about Sorting Machines...

      1. Mephistro

        Re: eeeeeeeee

        A Spaniard here.

        If the French and the Spanish 'talk about Sorting Machines', then you're talking about 'persons trained to do calculations by hand, sometimes collaboratively'. My Webster says that the word 'computer' originated in 1646.

        You know, sometimes words change their meanings over time. Another example of this would be the word 'application'.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So is it actually 'Shitstorm' or do they use the German translation 'Scheissesturm?'

    1. andreas koch

      @ murph -

      That would have been "Scheißsturm" in the traditional spelling, or "Scheissturm" modernised.

      Don't use Google translate when trying to sound clever.

      Anyway, the only people who are remotely concerned about 'anglicisms*' are usually short-haired right-arm raisers who tap away in their mum's cellar on a "Klapprechner".

      *wants to mean: "in the language of the Angles"; those being a people from the northern Baltic coast of Germany and Denmark. Excel would generate a circle reference error message.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: @ murph -

        I too was wondering how a combination of two English words both obviously of common origin to the German, could be called an Anglicism? I'd have expected it to be almost immediately back-translated into German. Or would a native German speaker find that "Shitstorm" trips off the tongue more easily than "Scheissturm"?

        1. Sebastian Brosig

          Re: @ murph - Scheissturm

          Scheißsturm. Even in the "reformed spelling" it's still spelled with the sharp s, also known as "that funny beta letter" in these parts.

          Interesting question also whether you'd get a triple consonant in the compound (Scheisssturm) if you translate the ß into ss, as the Swiss do, for example, or where you write capitalised.

          Schönes Wochenende, zusammen.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ murph - You tell 'im Andreas.

        I particular like the 'Don't use Google translate when trying to sound clever.'

        Only thing to have made it better would have been a parting line of 'For you the war on words is over'.

      3. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        Re Scheissturm

        @andreas koch

        Wouldn't the modern German spelling be "Scheisssturm" with tripple s? Otherwise it could be both a shit tower or a shit storm. Both of which make perfect sense.

        1. Christian Berger

          Re: Re Scheissturm

          Actually it would even be Scheisssturm in the old spelling.

      4. Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ murph -

        Bloody hell, Koch by name, Koch by nature!

        I didn't actually use Google Translate Andreas, I learnt German up until Year 11 in school, so am somewhat fluent, though due to the fact your language is essentially unimportant in the modern world, you can't exactly blame me for not being perfect! God forbid anyone ever spell a word wrong, Andreas will be up your arse straight away!

        p.s. - In your first sentence, the comma after 'spelling' is extraneous as it doesn't connect two independent clauses. You also missed a comma after 'short-haired' in your third paragraph.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ murph -

          Also did any of our Teutonic cousins deign to answer the question as to whether they use the actual English word 'shitstorm' or a translated version?

          1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

            Re: @ murph -

            I'm definitely none of our Teutonic cousins but can assure you it's actually the English word shitstorm that is used among them. Check out some German news outlets. And, I think it wouldn't be considered anglicism if it was translated.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ murph -

              Ah OK. Well I guess if they were going to appropriate any of our words wholesale, the scat based ones were the most likely.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. andreas koch
          Thumb Up

          @ murph - Re: @ murph -

          Where you're right you're right. I stand corrected on the comma issues and do apologise for the misplacements. Have a thumbs-up and a nice weekend! ;-)

          Oh, by the way: Koch does not rhyme with cock, as you'll remember from your school days.

          Wtf ever made you take German in school? Spanish or even French I could understand, but German?

        3. cortland

          Re: @ murph -

          It appears SOMEONE is getting a semicolonscopy!

      5. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      According to the Graun article about this the other day, the prefix "Scheiss-" is a positive modifier, so a Scheisssturm would mean "a really good storm", the opposite of the intention.

      I'm willing to be corrected, as I failed German O-level in 1985...

      1. Nigel 11

        so a Scheisssturm would mean "a really good storm", the opposite of the intention.

        I don't know about "opposite". A really good Storm of Shit ... for the observers. Somewhat different for the participants. There's a word for that ... oh yes, Schadenfreude.

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

          No, it's a "forceful" modifier, i.e. "a really fucking good storm" might be an English translation of "Scheisssturm". No actual shit need be involved.

          The Graun article also pointed out that Germans tend to use scatological terms where Anglos would use sexual ones for the same purpose.

      2. jjk

        If the Guardian really printed that, its a Scheissblatt. (Call any German a Scheisskerl and see how he likes it...)

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

          Here's the link:

      3. Mr Spock

        According to the Graun article about this the other day, the prefix "Scheiss-" is a positive modifier

        So, the correct English translation of 'Scheiss-' in this case is 'Fuck-Off'.

    3. PhilF

      I imagine that they do use Shitstorm, but that if it becomes popular enough the English may start using 'scheissesturm' as a jocular / politer version. Then we need to see if the Germans adopt our dodgy translation of their own language as an Anglicism!

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        A lot of American TV uses English swears to get round their own network's guidelines. So you'll often hear "wanker" in a show where they aren't even allowed to say "damn".

        I find this amusing, because surely the people who complain about swearing have access to dictionaries or the internet, and are able to work this stuff out. Even if they're not the brightest brasseca in the patch...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          That's just Hollywood-Brit... it's an idealized West Coast way of how British people might be, for someone who's never met one. Think Gap-Yah doing an impression of Roger Mellie and you're most of the way there.

        2. Naughtyhorse

          people who complain about swearing have access to dictionaries or the internet


          There is but 1 book you need to guide your way...

          (atlas shrugged)

          people who complain about the word 'fuck', and 'able to work this stuff out'... do you see what you did there?

  4. Frederic Bloggs

    Unlike the Dutch, whom nick good words from anyone provided that they sound "right" when pronounced in a Dutch way (possibly having had their endings modified to Dutch norms). It also has to be said the Dutch like to use pure English words (or phrases) for emphasis.

  5. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

    Proof of the pervasive nature of the English language comes with the news that "shitstorm" has been named Germany's "Anglicism of the Year".

    Or is proof simply that they have a "contest" (for want of a better way of putting it) on the subject?

    That said they still have a long way to go to catch up with the French on the subject (especially their dislike of it).

    And also there's a certain irony that whilst they are complaining about the Anglicism (Anglicanisation?) of their languages, our own is being overcome by Americanisms, text-speak (or whatever the trendy name for it is) and other lingo jingo.

    Maybe they should just cut out the middle-man and call it Americanism of the German language?

    1. mike2R

      It isn't all one off traffic with Americanisms in English, quite a few Britishisms go the other way - there's an American linguist to tracks them and has an interesting blog:

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's hope German's, when using the word "shitstorm", remember to follow it by "pardon my french"

    1. Anonymous Coward

      title goes here

      You, sir or madam, win today's prize.

  7. Professor Clifton Shallot


    When Toubon introduced his law banning foreign words if a French alternative existed I was teaching in a school out in the north Paris suburbs.

    In an instant all foreign words, particularly English words, became 'cool' - if it was the sort of thing that a dull, snobby, bureaucrat didn't want then it was absolutely what a bunch of rebellious teenagers (the only proper teenagers) were going to adopt. (Mind you 'verlan' was all the rage too so most of these words got reversed in short order).

    There's no point getting upset if another language was a word yours doesn't or has a better one than yours does - just steal it, use it and make it yours.

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: Toubon

      And my French friends always insisted on referring to M Toubon as Mr Goodall.

  8. Chris G Silver badge

    It goes both ways

    At the expense of the German language purists ire on the adoption of Shitstorm into Deutsche I shall enjoy a little Schadenfreude!

    1. Useless User

      Re: It goes both ways


      Vorsprung durch Technik

  9. Anomalous Cowshed

    Belles locques

    'Telefon' ain't English, neither is 'telephone'. It's a made-up word consisting of 2 Greek bits.

    And there's many examples of words which aren't 'anglicised' in German. Television, for instance. They don't say 'Televizion' or anything like that. They say 'Fernseh'. And we here have a weird game called 'Tennis' which originally came from the French word 'catch'. So it's all give-and-take. But of course, the Anglo-Saxon-dominated film industry and Internet Hollywood makes its mark, and it is very cool to inject English words in conversation. The most popular ones seem to be 'shit' and 'fuck', though.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: Belles locques

      ISTR the standard verb for "to telephone" is "telefonieren", so I'm surprised that the noun would be so (officially) different.

    2. Eddy Ito

      Re: Belles locques

      Of course it ain't English the book was in Russian.

      "The woods are lovely, dark and deep

      But I have promises to keep,

      And miles to go before I sleep,

      And miles to go before I sleep."

    3. Squander Two


      I thought "tennis" came from the French for "hold".

  10. Christoph

    Not scientific words!

    "We believe that linguists should make more effort to develop German alternatives to new English words, particularly in the scientific and technological arena."

    No! Particularly NOT in those areas. There is a reason that science uses Latin and Greek words, and names units after the names of people. It is so that they are the same in all languages, and do not need to be translated. So that science is universally available to everyone regardless of their native language.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not scientific words!

      Did... did you just steal the post I was about to make?

    2. Pedigree-Pete

      Re: Not scientific words!

      Universal units of measure, wot, like gallons!

    3. cortland

      Re: Not scientific words!

      -- There is a reason that science uses Latin and Greek words, and names units after the names of people. It is so that they are the same in all languages, and do not need have to be translated. --

      Jetzt lehrt es richtig.

      (Entschuldigung. Ohne Übung sprecht man schwer; wer rastet, rostet.)

  11. JimmyPage

    "fin de semaine" != "le weekend/le week-end"

    at the risk of being boring, the reason the French (and Italians) had to nick the word "weekend" is because they had no concept of Friday night/Saturday/Sunday being in anyway different to any other combination of an evening followed by two days. "Fin de semaine" translates perfectly as "end of the week". However it means the same in French as English ... "end of the week". Where a "weekend" is a different (cultural) concept.

    1. JonP

      Re: "fin de semaine" != "le weekend/le week-end"

      The French and Italians do so litle work during the week that they probably don't really notice/appreciate the weekend!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "fin de semaine" != "le weekend/le week-end"

        If by work you mean filling in health and safety forms, avoiding anything which could be re-interpreted as sexist and seeing child abuse wherever they go.... then yes the French and Italians are a lazy lot indeed :-)

      2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        Re: "fin de semaine" != "le weekend/le week-end"

        JonP, what it the Joke Alert! icon doing in your comment?!

    2. Useless User

      Re: "fin de semaine" != "le weekend/le week-end"

      No wonder, for the French, Italish and Spanish every day is a Saturday...

  12. Pete 2 Silver badge

    If it's good enough for the Germans

    you'd hope it would be good enough for the british press. Sadly, they all seem to have reported it as variants of "s___storm" or "sh*tstorm" - as if their readers are too stupid to discover what was "beeped" out.

    I now wait for its first occurence on Countdown. No doubt it'll cause a shitstorm when it appears on TV screens.

    1. Not also known as SC

      Re: If it's good enough for the Germans

      You mean it isn't pronounced shasterixstorm?

      (Can't find the joke icon on my phone :-( )

  13. Michael 28

    Does anyone know....

    ....if "Clusterfuck" has made the list yet? ....or is that an Americanism?

    If it hasn't , what does it take to get it nominated?

    1. Anonymous Coward 15

      Re: Does anyone know....

      Trying to think of a translation for "clusterfuck" that wouldn't be misconstrued as "orgy"...

      1. Mephistro

        Re: Does anyone know....

        'Trying to think of a translation for "clusterfuck" that wouldn't be misconstrued as "orgy" '

        Stop corrupting the English language with those filthy latinisms!

      2. Useless User

        Re: Does anyone know....

        Ve ken help ju zer: "Klumpenfick"

    2. Admiral Grace Hopper Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Does anyone know....

      I believe it to be an American coinage, certainly I first heard it while working for an American employer in the phrase "rolling clusterfuck", which has proved to be very useful ever since.

    3. Sporkinum

      Re: Does anyone know....

      That's appropriated from the original Mongolian.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: Does anyone know....

        For anyone who doesn't get the reference:

  14. Crisp

    Ich bin eine Shitstorm!

    Sie müssen die Deutschen lieben! :D

    (lieben die Deutschen? I can never remember where german verbs are supposed to go)

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Ich bin eine Shitstorm!

      Where do German verbs go? It depends whether you're trying to be formal / pompous / incomprehensible or not! Informally, after the subject and before he object, like English. Formally (and almost always so in writing) at the end of the sentence. You can skip ahead with your eyes, but not with your ears.

      1. Chris Miller

        Re: Ich bin eine Shitstorm!

        Like the (fictional?) German professor of literature, who would give an hour's lecture without using a single verb and then end with a string of 35 of them.

      2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Ich bin eine Shitstorm!

        Just keep all the verbs to one side, and put them on the last couple of pages in the book.

        ObTwain reference:

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ich bin eine Shitstorm!

      Modal verb pushes the other verb to the end so the order was right. (Can, must, should, would, want etc).

      Although in this case I think "Man muss" would have been better for the generality and there's probably a better translation.

      Other fun word order things I still remember from German lessons: Time-Manner-Place; special case auxiliary pushers like if (wenn) and although (obwohl).

      (I got the grammar OK, it was the vocabulary that got me: didn't put in enough effort and barely scraped a GCSE A. German's not a good guess-the-word language: zum Beispiel, zum Beispiel.)

  15. Anonymous Coward 101


    In which English speaking nation is this used? Is it just because it has the word 'in' at the end?

    Also, what is wrong with 'Scheißesturm' instead of 'shitstorm'? It is surely more satisfying to say for a German?

    1. andreas koch

      @ Anonymous Coward 101 - Re: "circeln"?

      In which English speaking nation is this used? Is it just because it has the word 'in' at the end?

      Probably none; and neither is "handy" for mobile or cellphone. It just sounds cool to the kiddies.

      Also, what is wrong with 'Scheißesturm' instead of 'shitstorm'? It is surely more satisfying to say for a German?

      The grammar is wrong. It should be "Scheißsturm", and that would make you eat the inside of your cheek.

      1. Anonymous Dutch Coward

        Scheißsturm=eat inside of cheek?

        Not if you're German it won't. I can even manage as a Dutchman... Just emphasize those ess sounds ;)

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: @ Anonymous Coward 101 - "circeln"?

        > neither is "handy" for mobile or cellphone

        "handy" long predates mobile phones, it's an abbreviation for "handheld" and refers to the radios used by army/police, also called "walkie-talkies" (or, as the French would have it, "talkie-walkies" :) )

      3. Squander Two

        "Is it just because it has the word 'in' at the end?"

        That's a lower-case L, not a capital I. (Why on Earth would you think a verb's penultimate letter was capitalised? Who does that?) Anyway, it comes from the English word "circle", which you may have run into once or twice. They don't have to use it the same way as us for it to be an Anglicism; they just have to get it from our language.

      4. Anonymous Cowardess

        Re: @ Anonymous Coward 101 - "circeln"?

        We bend the English words to our will ;) Many verbs end with 'n'. Forgot all my grammar lessons, can't explain any better, why this is. Anyway, we tend to "germanize" verbs taken from English. We also say "downloaden" and "updaten". Makes me cringe sometimes. But "circeln" is really cringeworthy. It means to include into your circle of friends/contacts (on social media). And it gets even worse. "circeln" is the form "to circle". When I want to say "I have added X to my circle" (would you say "I have circled X" in English?), it would be "Ich habe X gecircelt" . I've never seen it before and it looks to me like something only marketing/yuppie/hipster types would say. But then I'm not into social media at all ... But e. g. "Ich habe X gedownloaded" (= "I've downloaded X") is pretty common.

    2. Useless User

      Re: "circeln"?

      Halt! Ze Krauts allso use ze "Handy" - not zellfone like ze Engrish do.

  16. smartypants


    When I was learning german, I enjoyed the fact that the official pronunciation of french-inspired words employs a sort of germanic version of a french accent, e.g.

    information = Inform atz i OHN,

    ...and the english-inspired words employ a sort of 1930s BBC accent, e.g.

    Campingplatz = Kempeeng Platz. (Handy = 'Hendy' etc.)

    I was wondering if we should start doing this more in English too, but then perhaps putting on an indian subcontinent accent for Pyjamas and Bungalow would attract complaints of racism...

  17. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. James O'Shea
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Who cares

      "Who really cares if shitstorm is used, not used, borrowed, stolen , hacked, jacked or forgotten?"

      Paris does.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ve hav vays

    of making you talk shit.

  19. TimBrown

    This'll also show the Germans that they don't have the monopoly on compound words!

  20. Frankee Llonnygog

    Italian for talking about food

    German for swearing

    French pour l'amour

    And English for ... lawnmowers

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Germans have an *award* for this?


  22. Useless User



    Gesendet von meinem Handy

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My OH never quite gets how odd it is to listen to a stream of German with the odd English word in the middle of the sentence. So for this, I got her to come up with a few innocuous german sentences (covering everything from broccoli harvesting to the US snooping scandal) to contain "shitstorm", then recorded her saying them. It took a few goes as her german accent's a bit anglicised, but we got there in the end. Magic! It works even better as her accent is in any case the 'softer' northern sound, and adding a nice crisp delivery to "shitstorm" gives it a bit more force.

  24. Zog The Undeniable

    What's wrong with "Scheissesturm"?

    It's also more alliterative and the extra syllable gives it a nice rhythm

  25. Merton Campbell Crockett

    Die Shadenfreude über Shitstorm

    The English language inherited "Scheiße" from all the Germans flocking to northern England and southern Scotland and we are returning it in an anglicized form. Seems fair to me!

  26. John Savard Silver badge

    Avoiding the Modifier

    If Scheiss- as a prefix is ambiguous, because it's a 'positive' or 'forceful' modifier in German, doesn't the language have a way of indicating that the actual substance is instead referenced? I don't speak German, but my first guess would be Scheißensturm as the proper loan translation.

  27. Fortycoats

    Usage in German: Shitstorm

    Shitstorm is not translated into "Scheißsturm" or anything else, otherwise it wouldn't be an anglicism.

    And yes, it's generally used over here to define an outcry on online forums or social media. Angie caused one when she said the internet was "new territory for us all" during a press conference when President Obama was in Berlin.

    Applying the prefix "Scheiß-" to anything is similar to using "f**king" as a forceful modifier in English. Example: the recently released recordings of Anglo Irish Bank in the Irish Independent has some quotes from David Drumm about "the f**king Germans", and in German media it was translated as "Scheißdeutschen".

  28. Clive Galway

    "Shitstorm fills a gap in the German vocabulary "

    Seriously? There are gaps in German vocabulary? I thought they could bolt whatever the hell they liked together - something like "Astormcomprisedentirelyofexcrement"

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