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Today I saw some advertisement on television, which promoted “Zitronenlimonade”.

If Limonade is drink made of lemon, what does Zitronenlimonade mean?

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Originally, a "Limonade", just like the English equivalent "lemonade" was a drink made of (sometimes sparkling) water, flavoured with lemon juice and sugar.

The term has broadened its meaning to refer to all types of (carbonated) sweet drinks, often lemon / lime / orange flavoured, but not necessarily so.

Explicitly stating the "Zitronen-" in Zitronenlimonade seems to be a pleonasm, but actually clarifies the meaning. Also note that in English "lemonade" and "lemon" have the same stem, which "Zitrone" doesn't.

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  • When my cousins were smaller, they would often order gelbe Limo(nade) and weiße Limo in restaurants instead of saying Fanta and Sprite. I’ve forgotten which one of the two ordered which, though (it was always the same distribution of both). – Jan May 10 '15 at 11:22
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In German, Limonade can refer to any non-alcoholic sparkling fruit-based drink. It's not restricted to lemon-based ones.

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Like @Uwe said, but you would normally not use it for "Cola" or "Sprite" just as some examples, if you know the name of the drink you just use this instead of Limonade :)

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  • 1
    I would consider Sprite the archetypical Limonade. – Gerhard May 9 '15 at 22:34

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