From Pokemon Schwarz:

Dein Pokemon-Team ist wieder topfit!

I can't find any reference to 'topfit' so I'm guessing 'top-' is just a prefix meaning 'sehr' or maybe something like the English 'tip-top'. Is this a colloquial German prefix that can be added to words, does it occur only in 'topfit', or is this a word they just made up in the game?

3 Answers 3


Yes, this one way to express the superlative. Duden calls it umgangssprachlich emotional verstärkend. It doesn't work with all adjectives, but there are a handful: topgesetzt, topgepflegt, topqualifiziert. Again, Duden has more.

It can be used with nouns as well:

Der Teilnehmer erzielte eine Top-Platzierung in der Wertung. Das Büro befindet sich in einer Top-Innenstadtlage.


I think it originated from English and is used sparingly in German. From what I can tell by looking at beolingus and wiktionary it is a word originating from English, used as an adjective in German. Therefore you should be able to prepend it to German words, but since it's originally English I would assume it not best practice to do so liberally.

Literally "top-" means Top in German, and in this context "topfit" simply refers to "top-shape" or better translated to "well rested/healed" in the Pokemon world.


In my opinion, "top" is first and foremost an adverb.

top gepflegt, top erhalten

As @Ingmar mentions in his answer, the Duden lists these words as one word but I think this is... nonsensical, Duden or not. Duden is just A dictionary after all.
In some (very rare) occasions the "top" can be fused with the word but "topfit" is the only one I can think of right now, which by the way would be written as two words in English.

"Top" also shows characteristics of an non-declinable adjective.

Das Auto ist in einem top Zustand.

I see no reason why to write that with a hyphen. First of "top" is clearly answering the question "what kind?", which is what adjectives do, but even more important: a sentence like the following (a blue print predicate adjective) is perfectly valid.

Das Bier war top.

I think the hard to pin down nature is indeed due to its English origins.

So... is it a prefix? In my opinion ... no. Can it be used freely? Again, no. It is more flexible as an adjective but as an adverb (superlative-maker) it is really rare. Hard to say when it works and when it doesn't but if it doesn't it will sound really out of place.

Das Auto ist top schnell... what?

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