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Some people use "sitt" to indicate that they are no longer thirsty. It is used in the same way as "satt" if you're no longer hungry. I've also read that this is an artificial word that people are actively looking for to close a gap in the German language since there was no word describing the state of not being thirsty anymore.

So my question is: Is "sitt" actually a real German word? Can I used it in a formal text?

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2 Answers

Short answer: No.

Technical answer: If you really want to, you can use it.

Long answer:

The word is the winner of a contest held by the publishing house "Duden Verlag" and the soft drink manufacturer Lipton in 1999. The aforementioned (German) Wikipedia page tells us that it was included in "the Duden" (a popular orthographic dictionary of the German language) for a while, but has since been taken out after it didn't enter broad use.

An interesting side angle on this is that until 1996, the Duden was normative (for Germany, mind you), i. e. being in it would have made the difference for a word being a German word or not. In 1996, there was a reform of German ortography (English Wikipedia page), which, besides introducing new rules, removed the normative roel of the Duden.

Moreover, the reform sparked a controversy ending in a court ruling (!) that stated that orthography is not a law and therefore everybody can use the language however they want. (This probably seems very funny to native English speakers, who don't even have a normative body for their language.) In particular, that meant that big newspapers (who were important drivers of the controversy) are not required to follow the new rules (I can hear the folks from The New Yorker giggle quietly*).

So technically, when sitt was "introduced", there was no binding normative body defining the German language anymore. It was not added to the definition of German taught in schools. Since it's not seriously used by anybody, we can well consider it a marketing gag rather than a German word.

*see this hilarious article on why

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Sitt has been introduced by the Duden Verlag after some kind of contest about finding the drinking equivalent of satt.

You should not expect anyone to know what the word means. Most people use it either for fun, and I've absolutely never heard anyone it use it for real.

Duden, by the way, does not list it. I'm not sure if it ever did. As noted by Em1, there's an article on Wikipedia about the word.

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Duden did list it for a while, but it has since been removed. –  Hanno Fietz Apr 4 '13 at 11:46
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