Sorry! Search is currently unavailable while the database is being updated, it will be back in 5 mins!

German Pseudo-Anglicisms

A pseudo-anglicism describes a word borrowed from English but used in other languages in ways that native speakers may not easily understand. For a native English speaker learning German, these pseudo English words can be a common source of misunderstanding, and German has more than its fair share of them!


Most people would think of a "cutter" as someone in the clothing trade who cuts cloth, or a cutting machine or a boat, but in German der Cutter (or in this case, die Cutterin) has a different primary meaning:


Es gibt eine Regie, es gibt einen Tontechniker, es gibt eine Cutterin.

There is a director, there is a sound technician, there is an [female] editor.

Caption 32, Christian Brückner - Synchronstimme von Robert De Niro

 Play Caption


If somebody offers to play Flipper with you in German, they aren't talking about playing with a talking dolphin:


Früher, da stand in jeder anständigen Kneipe ein Flipper.

There used to be a pinball machine in every decent pub.

Caption 19, Flipperautomaten - Kunstwerke für flinke Kugeln

 Play Caption


If a German speaker ever asks you to find out about an Oldtimer, he doesn't mean an old man:


Sie sammelt sämtliche Informationen über Oldtimer.

It gathers all the information about classic cars.

Caption 39, Porsche 356 - Der erste Porsche

 Play Caption


In English news, a Shooting would be a tragic event, but in German:


Ich nehm' euch mit auf die coolsten Shootings.

I'll take you along to the coolest [photo] shoots.

Caption 10, Palina Rojinski - News for Original Girls

 Play Caption


The German word Shooting is short for Fotoshooting, whose meaning should be pretty obvious by now!



Further Learning
Das Happy End, das Handy, das No-Go, das Public Viewing, der Smoking — the list of German words based on misconstrued English is a long one. Take a look at German Wikipedia and see if you can find some "fake English" words used in context on Yabla German.


You May Also Like