In a chat room, someone sent a link to this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqAdxN1IWQQ . In the video they use the word


I have never heard the word, even though I believe I know German reasonably well. Can anyone please clarify? Apparently, some Germans are ashamed when they hear the word?


7 Answers 7


This is a video that displays inaccurate stereotypes of German people, probably done by and for people who "know" Germans only from bad World War II movies.

Words with too many "en"s are often a sign of English satire of German, because they are based on the misconception that the infinitive is always the root of a word, just because this is usually the case in English.

  • 2
    Not sure why this got downvoted? Sounds about right.
    – Pekka
    Jun 20, 2011 at 3:51
  • ah now I understand! any chance you know from what movie that stereotype is taken from? thanks a bunch Jun 20, 2011 at 10:51
  • 2
    That's not from a particular movie, but basically one set of stereotypes for Germans that you'll find the world over since World War II. It's especially often found in English-speaking countries. According to those stereotypes, Germans are very accurate (hence the game with the right angle), they live in dull surroundings (look at that room) and are also merciless and/or nazis (look at those nazi officers beating up the contestant) - as a result, this set of stereotypes makes Germans appear more like machines than humans. I still find that video funny as hell :-)
    – Jan
    Jun 20, 2011 at 13:10

This video is a satire - there is nothing like this in Germany nor does this word exist.

  • 3
    plus: the actors do not speak German. They say just fictitious syllables that might sound German to someone who doesn't more German words than Eins, zwei drei, Deutschmark and Sauerkraut. Sep 10, 2016 at 19:39

I'm German and I promise that neither does that word (or similar words) exist, nor are the actors in the so called game show Germans. They have an American accent.

  • 1
    Ich musste gleich an "steckenbleiben" denken. Dec 11, 2012 at 17:43

The word is completely made up by Conan Obrien (the comedian/host of the show) and his people to combine the English words "stack" and "block" into a pseudo-German word, as in the game being about stacking blocks, a task used in psychiatric evaluations among other things. There are a lot of directions you could take this. This is typical humor by Conan.


Old traditions die hard, see this 1961 educational video featuring Messrs. Cagney and Lothar...


I think it was made up from the words "stack" and "block" or something, but there is no German word like it... I know, because I am German. But after my wife and me watched the video it really IS an actual word we use. :)


Sounds like a fish: "Stachelrochen" which seems to translate to "stingray".

  • If somebody wrote Stackenblochen but meant to say Stachelrochen I would in no way be able to connect the two. So: Sorry, but I don’t think this answer is valid.
    – Jan
    Sep 9, 2016 at 21:22
  • I am german. There is no valid answer at all. Stackenblocken does not exist in the German language, nor does stacken or blocken. So we can only name words that sound similar, and/or are written similar, and this is what this post is about. Stachelrochen is close. It's a substantive too. Sep 10, 2016 at 5:50
  • Yes to your second and third sentence. No to the fourth. I typically don’t go casting my mind around for words that could look similar — stacken doesn’t sound like Stachel and blochen has no resemblance at all to Rochen except for the oche sequence — and try to base an educated guess on those. Also, ‘equally close’ guesses could be Starenkochen, Sachenlocken, Mackenrocken. (Granted, you need to assume the last two be nominalised verbs, das Sachenlocken, das Mackenrocken.)
    – Jan
    Sep 11, 2016 at 12:59
  • Again, it sounds not so different in German as it might sound in English. But of course that's your choice. Sep 25, 2016 at 10:10

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