An additional, not immediately obvious meaning or association attached to the main meaning of a word or phrase. Connotations can be reflections of specific cultural or historical context, thinking patterns, value judgements, etc. In German: die Konnotation / die Nebenbedeutung.

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21
votes
9answers
36k views

Does “Jawohl” carry Nazi connotations?

Would answering "Jawohl" to an order or request be associated with Nazi Germany? What about "Jawohl, mein Kommandant"? Can it be used (jokingly) without people finding it tasteless?
14
votes
8answers
2k views

Is “selbstbewusst” a negative word?

Sometimes I see translations of selbstbewusst as confident, arrogant or selfish. I would like to know if this word has a negative or positive denotation. If I call someone of selbstbewusst, is it a ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

International interpretation of “Public viewing”

The phrase "Public Viewing" was created and established during the world championships in 2006 in Germany. It describes the viewing of an event (like a football match) in a public crowd. As ...
13
votes
3answers
186 views

How colloquial is “Er ist in Schwung”?

I have heard this a few years ago, meaning someone is in very good shape, very active, very fit. But I wonder if it is still said and which connotation this phrase has.
11
votes
5answers
1k views

4711, 08/15 and other numbers with some flair in German?

This weekend I played a detective mystery party game in German called "Im Irrenhaus". The action of the game takes place in a mental health hospital. Every patient has a number and a name, both are ...
11
votes
2answers
335 views

Is the word “simpel” negative or positive?

I am planning to use the word simpel in my technology product. I have found two contrasting definitions on the web: simple, easy to use stupid, dumb What is the more popular meaning of the word? ...
10
votes
2answers
460 views

When to use “Weltanschauung” vs. “Ideologie”? Do they basically have the same meaning?

Is Ideologie just a foreign word/scientific term for Weltanschauung? Where do you see nuances in meaning? Would you use Weltanschauung in an academic discussion? What is the correct context? For ...
9
votes
3answers
233 views

Ist “Quereinsteiger” eine abwertende Bezeichnung?

I war heute bei einem IT-Vortrag, wo der Referent unter anderem meinte, dass man im Marketing-Bereich das Wort "Quereinsteiger" meidet, da es eine abwertende Konnotation habe. Ich persönlich finde ...
8
votes
6answers
247 views

Is there a difference in usage of “Klassenkamerad” vs. “Schulfreund”?

Both "Klassenkamerad", and "Schulfreund" are used for a classmate in school. Are there different connotations, regional differences, or social differences when using one or the other?
8
votes
3answers
297 views

What's the difference between “instabil” and “unstabil”?

Question What's the difference between instabil and unstabil? Elaboration I always use instabil, but hear other people also use unstabil. I assumed unstabil was wrong, but Duden has an entry for ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Unterschied zwischen “Klamotten” und “Kleider”?

Mein Lehrer sagte, dass Klamotten ein anderes Wort für Kleider ist - aber gibt es einen Unterschied? Wann kann ich das Wort Klamotten benutzen, aber nicht Kleider? Beispiele für Klamotten und Kleider ...
5
votes
2answers
670 views

Did “Frohes Schaffen!” originate from Nazi propaganda?

At work I often hear the greeting: "Frohes Schaffen!" Some time ago I was told that I should not use "Frohes Schaffen" as it is supposed to come from Nazi propaganda. Ever since then I feel ...
5
votes
3answers
138 views

Did the connotation of “emsig” change?

When looking up the meaning of "emsig" (assiduous, diligent) it seems it has an entirely positive connotation unausgesetzt fleißig, ununterbrochen tätig DWDS The first that come to mind with ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Ungeziefer and its meanings and connotations

Reading Kluge's Etymological Dictionary (published 1881, translated into English 1891) the word Ungeziefer has this description: Ungeziefer, noun, 'vermin', from the equivalent late Middle High ...
5
votes
1answer
400 views

War “auf meinem Mist gewachsen” ursprünglich positiv oder negativ belegt?

Der Ausdruck "Das ist auf meinem Mist gewachsen" wird heutzutage m.W. eher negativ aufgenommen und häufiger als eine leichte Entschuldigung verwendet. Vermutlich liegt das an der negativen Wahrnehmung ...
4
votes
3answers
430 views

Is there any difference between “ein bisschen” and “ein wenig”?

As far as I knew, "ein wenig" is mostly used in written German (usually somewhat official language), and sometimes comes off as a bit old-fashioned when used in every-day speach. It at least appears ...
4
votes
2answers
301 views

Does “frech wie Oskar sein” have a negative connotation to it?

Does the following sentence have negative connotation? If it does, is there an equivalent without the negative connotation? „Du bist ja frech wie Oskar!“ As I searched, none of the following ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

Wann kann man “Sachen” für “Kleidung” sagen?

In manchen Situationen kann man "Sachen" für Kleidung sagen, in anderen nicht. Gebräuchlich (?): a) Ich bin beim Baden, meine Kleidung liegt irgendwo, ich will sie anziehen, entdecke aber, dass ...
3
votes
6answers
519 views

Connotation of the word “Mischling” for Germans

Back story: A few months ago, my school hosted some German exchange students. I don’t know any German, as I chose French classes, but anyhow an American female friend of mine in my math class was one ...
3
votes
2answers
321 views

What is the difference between “belehren” and “lehren”?

I realize many verbs add the "be" to the beginning, which fundamentally changes the meaning, e.g., kommen and bekommen, or stehen and bestehen. However, it seems as though the "be" in belehren doesn't ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Difference between “den ganzen Tag” and “den ganzen Tag über”?

Both "den ganzen Tag" and "den ganzen Tag über" means "all day". Is there any difference in connotation? Is it perhaps that "den ganzen Tag über" gives an impression similar to "all day long", i.e., ...
3
votes
1answer
641 views

Word list/book for political/historical terms/phrases one should avoid?

Due to german history (Nazi Germany, Stasi) there are alot of terms and phrases which can cause a very negative connotation. A simple invented example would be Der totale Sommer-Ausverkauf ...
3
votes
1answer
304 views

“Selbständig” or “Selbstständig”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Selbständig vs. selbstständig Both "selbständig" and "selbstständig" exist, being used in the same context in German. Still, I am not sure if there is a ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Suggeriert “brauchen” unterschiedliche Aussagen, wenn es als Pseudo-Modalverb verwendet wird?

Zusätzlich zur Frage Wann fungiert “brauchen” als Modalverb? eine weitere. Wie dort erwähnt, ist es für mich in manchen Fällen akzeptabel, dass "zu" fallen zu lassen, während ich in anderen dies als ...
2
votes
3answers
79 views

“Wo hast du dich herumgetrieben?”

I would like to know if this expression's an offense Wo hast du dich herumgetrieben? Is it used to scold somebody?
2
votes
2answers
132 views

Accurate translation of “bildungsfern”

I have the feeling that all dictionary entries are not really cutting to the core of bildungsfern, because it is a more neutral, descriptive term to show that someone did have the privilege to receive ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Style and name of this kind of conditional: “Erfolgt die Zahlung nicht bald, so sind wir berechtigt …”

It's kind of basic, but I don't find the name of that construction. I've never learnt it, just pops up very often in newspapers and contracts. The formula is something like: Verb (oft in ...
1
vote
0answers
163 views

When EXACTLY can/do you start calling one an “Experte” [closed]

Im pretty much annoyed by this term and its imho mis-use for many pseudo-experts. Experts for terrorism, amok, climate, babysitting... you probably all know this phenomenon of people designated in ...