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I am looking for a good German word(s) for the English "(a)lone wolf". Practically I am looking for not only a simple dictionary translation, but for a secondary/metaphorical meaning as well, if it exists.

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closed as off-topic by Vogel612, Em1, Emanuel, c.p., Hubert Schölnast Jun 3 at 20:30

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Can You elaborate on what you consider the primary and secondary meaning? –  Wrzlprmft Jun 3 at 10:38
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I guess the secondary meaning is not the literal meaning, so in this case lone wolf = a person who depends only on himself and is distant from the other people. –  Jagger Jun 3 at 10:58
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I don't know the English "lone wolf". I don't know what you came up with when doing your research. Did you use a dictionary? I just tried 3 different dictionaries and those agree on "Einzelgänger". At least, now I know what a lone wolf is. -1 anyway. –  Em1 Jun 3 at 14:53
    
dict.cc/?s=lone+wolf –  Emanuel Jun 3 at 20:06
    
@Em1 I didn't asked for a dictionary equivalent, but for a metaphorical equivalent, which I mentioned clearly in my question. It differs mostly a lot from the simple dictionary translation (which I also could translate to f.e. "allein Wolf" or so). Although I had to at least check this in a dictionary, simply I didn't thought it could be found it them. My previous attempts to find metaphorical equivalents were mostly unsuccessful based on leo.dict/google attempts, and I though, native speakers could give much better alternatives. Maybe this explanation is enough for a vote change/hold removal? –  Peter Horvath Jun 4 at 7:40

4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

For the metaphorical meaning, the idiomatic term is Einzelgänger.

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This is also what dict.leo says :) –  Jagger Jun 3 at 11:11
    
@Jagger Thanks :-) I didn't even try it. –  Peter Horvath Jun 3 at 11:59
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Wiktionary lists the (imho) nice alternative "Eigenbrötler" which adds a little pinch of eccentricity if so desired. –  Raphael Jun 3 at 16:14

The literal translation “Einsamer Wolf” is something you could say in German as well.

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Thank for you as well! –  Peter Horvath Jun 3 at 12:00
    
Not only could say, but in fact you do. And it has quite a different connotation than "Einzelgänger" (solitaire), probably exactly the same as lone wolf in English. –  Zane Jun 3 at 13:28

"Einzelkämpfer" and the similar "Einsamer Krieger" are common; they apply to non-competetive settings but do imply that the person is actually doing something (alone), as opposed to just being alone as a general rule.

Examples:

Alle sitzen in der Sonne, aber Klaus mäht den Rasen, der einsame Krieger!

Viele arbeiten lieber in Gruppen, aber Claudia ist eine Einzelkämpferin.

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If you want a somewhat heavy literary allusion, there's "Steppenwolf" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steppenwolf_(novel)).

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Welcome to German Language! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. –  Vogel612 Jun 3 at 17:12

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