German Word Of The Day: Meinungskartell

That means “opinion cartel” and was just created by ex-president Christian Wulff when referring to his dealings with Der Spiegel news mafia, I mean magazine.


That’s the cool thing about German. You can just throw words together like that and make up new ones that everybody who speaks German immediately understands. And the thing that’s cool about that is that sometimes, like this time, the new creations hit the nail right on the head.

Der frühere Bundespräsident Christian Wulff hat eine Überarbeitung der Regularien des Presserats gefordert. Auswüchse in der Berichterstattung ließen sich so im Interesse des Ganzen strenger ahnden, sagte Wulff dem Nachrichtenmagazin “Der Spiegel”. Die Medien müssten sich immer wieder kritisch fragen, ob sie mit ihrer großen Macht auch verantwortungsvoll und korrekt umgingen.

Ich wulffe, du wulffst, er/sie/es wulfft…

Not that anybody out there knows who the German President is or could really care less if they did, but a new German verb has just entered the language (in his honor?) referring to, well, referring to what, anyway?

The new German verb refers to the manner in which scandal-plagued President Christian Wulff has sought to manage revelations that he accepted a favourable home loan from a businessman, holidayed at the villas of the wealthy and left a threatening message for the editor of Bild newspaper.

It’s called wulffen and actually has two meanings (at least two), according to the director of the German Language Association in Dortmund. The first is to talk on and on unprompted. The second means to be evasive about a particular issue without actually telling a lie.

Damn. I really had no idea that politicians the world over have actually been wulffen with me the whole time.

“It means something in-between.”