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I just saw a friend write this in Whatsapp:

Ich hab mal wieder Magen Darm

I guess she is trying to say that her tummy hurts, but I do not get why she wrote it like this. Magen is stomach and Darm is intestine. Both together do not make much sense, do they?

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"Magen Darm" is wrong, it needs an hyphen: "Magen-Darm".

That is short and colloquial for all kind of deseases that affect stomach and intestine at the same time (=diarrhea with vomiting/sickness).

The according long names would be Magen-Darm-Entzündung, Magen-Darm-Infektion, Magen-Darm-Grippe or Brechdurchfall.


Comment: Why do I think "Magen-Darm" is better than "Magendarm"?

Duden defines Brechdurchfall as "eine mit Erbrechen und Durchfall einhergehende Erkrankung des Magen-Darm-Kanals"

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    Magen-Darm ist richtig, auch wenn man bedenkt, dass es im menschlichen Körper kein "Magendarm" gibt, nur Magen UND Darm. Dasselbe gilt beispielweise Hals-Nasen-Ohren- und Herz-Lungen-Krankheiten. Im "Arztlateinischen" setzt man die Wörter jedoch ohne Bindestrich zusammen, z.B "Laryngotracheitis" "Rhinosinuitis" "Gastroenteritis" etc – Beta Nov 25 '16 at 8:01
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    Ich verstehe und akzeptiere, dass ihr "Magen-Darm" mit Bindestrich schreibt. Dann fällt mir aber gleich was auf: Rätselhaft ist mir, dass im Folgesatz "Brechdurchfall" zusammen geschrieben wird (Ich weiss natürlich, dass das so "richtig" ist, nach derselben Logik müsste man es aber auch mit Bindestrich schreiben) – tofro Nov 25 '16 at 8:52
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As I recently outlined in my answer to this question, writing Magen Darm is wrong according to the German spelling rules. It should be Magendarm.

Magendarmgrippe is a colloquial term for what doctors would call Gastroenteritis — an umbrella term for a number of infections that cause vomiting and/or diarrhoea. It has nothing to do with influenza, even though the same root Grippe is used. Colloquially, it is common to drop Grippe and just speak of Magendarm.

While I myself am not trained in medicine and thus don’t know what a doctor would actually call Gastroenteritis, I would assume that colloquial usage of Magendarm(grippe) is broader than the original term. It is typically already used for severe unwellness that one attributes to the intestinal tract; whether an infection is the cause or not.

So what your friend wanted to say is that she is unwell, probably vomiting or suffering from diarrhoea.

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  • I get what she wanted to tell. I was just curious at 2 things: 1) The words were separate 2) Grippe was nowhere to be found – Enrique Moreno Tent Nov 24 '16 at 18:01
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    @EnriqueMorenoTent 1) Many peolpe unfortunately make that spelling mistake 2) I added a sentence. I glossed over the issue of the missing grippe. It is now explicit. – Jan Nov 24 '16 at 18:04
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    Magendarmgrippe is not correct in my opinion. Instead I'd say it must be Magen-Darm-Grippe, as the term is not really a composite noun, but a contraction of Magen- und Darm-Grippe. Magendarmgrippe wäre eine Erkrankung des "Magendarms" (whatever that's supposed to be). – Thorsten Dittmar Nov 25 '16 at 8:34
  • @ThorstenDittmar To me, the word has become one. I wouldn’t have known that people consider it a contraction of Magengrippe und Darmgrippe or Magen- und Darm-Grippe although it doesn’t seem illogical per se. I don’t consider the individual constituents of the word to retain any meaning of their own, and the way I pronounce it doesn’t suggest that they should be separated. Thus, I’m sticking with the non-hyphenated variant. – Jan Nov 25 '16 at 22:10
  • @Jan Für mein Sprachgefühl ist Magendarmgrippe ein Wort. Der Duden würde es wahrscheinlich, wie Magen-Darm-Katarrh, als Aneinanderreihung einstufen und mit Bindestrichen schreiben. duden.de/sprachwissen/rechtschreibregeln/bindestrich#K26 – aventurin Nov 26 '16 at 16:23

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