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I am wondering if there is a germain equivalent for a prepper. didn't "know" this word. Would the average ordinary german person understand the word prepper?

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please explain what a prepper is. I am german nativespeaker and do not know all exotic english words. – Hubert Schölnast Apr 7 '12 at 11:22
Do you mean what used to be called preppies, kind of the opposite of punkers? Guys who dress stylishly and all that? The English word will be used just like with punkers. – Kevin Apr 7 '12 at 17:36
I just noticed the same question (although for English).… – Glenn Nelson Apr 7 '12 at 19:04
up vote 4 down vote accepted

There is a german website about preppers:

They do not translate the word. "Prepper" is used as a foreign word in german, but most people will not know what is meant with it.

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I don't know if I'm an average ordinary German person, but prepper was unknown to me.

I found this definition:

Prepper (noun): An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances or lifestyle without significant reliance on other persons (i.e., being self-reliant), or without substantial assistance from outside resources (govt., etc.) in order to minimize the effects of that change on their current lifestyle.

In German it could be Selbstversorger, but I think that's more general (a self-supporter). contains also no translation, only explanation of the word. They introduce prepper as a new word. So I think there is no translation, German needs a new (foreign) word for it. Prepper seems to become a loanword.

I had another idea: Autarkist. This word doesn't exist in German - but I think it can be understood by native speakers (at least I would). It is a derivasion of Autarkie (autarky) or autark sein.

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Bohnen, blaue Bohnen und Gold. Die Bohnen sind für den Hunger, die blauen Bohnen gegen die Nachbarn, das Gold... wird sich schon 'ne Verwendung finden für. – Eugene Seidel Apr 7 '12 at 15:59
I like the Autarkist suggestion. – René Nyffenegger Apr 7 '12 at 16:55

Prepper is a relatively new word in English as well. Therefore it is of little suprise that there is no German equivalent. Given recent language history I bet this will not come up but instead Prepper will stay an English loanword until it has become out of fashion again.

Closest to the main characterisics of a Prepper, and in case we desperately need to translate this word to a German-only expression we may take


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I am not sure if Überlebenskünstler conveys the meaning of prepper (as I understand it). knut's Selbstversorger seems to be the better alternative. I see an Überlebenskünstler as someone who survives in spite not preparing for anything as opposed to a prepper who wants to survive and prepare for that goeal. – René Nyffenegger Apr 7 '12 at 12:56
Well, prepper is a form of survivalism. I would not recommend to translate prepper but we may need to explain it because it is not well known. Selbstversorger also is something else as knut already ponted out. A prepper may be sort of a mixture from Selbstversorger and Überlebenskünstler. – Takkat Apr 7 '12 at 13:11
Wie wärs mit Verschiebe-nicht-auf-morgen-was-du-heute-kannst-Besorger? (Stupid Microsoft Word spellcheck puts a squiggly red line underneath.) – Eugene Seidel Apr 7 '12 at 15:09
I'm not sure what people think it they hear about a "prepper". In my mind preppers tend to be suspicious of the government and preparing mostly for a state of "without rule of law". This is a thing which is quite rare in Germany (good luck stockpiling guns :3) and the term "Überlebenskünstler" describes more of an Bear Grylls or Rüdiger Nehberg type of person. "Selbstversorger" on the other hand do not prepare for something, but are already living a certain lifestyle. – 0x6d64 Apr 8 '12 at 8:22

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