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Came across the following social media post and wondering what is the gek** * word being censored? And overall context translated to English, given that translators don't translate asterisked words.

Gestern Mittag hat unsere jüngste den kompletten Boden voll gek*****. Nun habe ich ein komisches Gefühl im Bauch. Bringt es etwas Schonkost zu Essen, um gar nicht erst in die Lage zu kommen?

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    Note that it will help to understand that post correctly by fixing some spelling and grammar mistakes: Bringt es etwas, Schonkost zu essen, ...
    – mkrieger1
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 15:17
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    I might add that there's quite some fair share of people on social media (especially above certain age thresholds in my personal observation) that use certain communication techniques in an (from average users perspective) odd way. In German social media, one if these techniques is excessive punctuation or this kind of censorship. Usually, one would either just write out the word or use a different one, since there's a plethora of other options to describe the same thing. The stilistic choice of going with the word but censoring it is fairly uncommon and imho not necessary/justified.
    – kopaka
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 15:14
  • what other commonly censored words like gek** * immediately come to mind?
    – user610620
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 21:09
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    @kopaka: "Usually, one would either just write out the word or use a different one" - maybe the writers feel another (less drastic?) word might not accurately convey the "harshness" of the event. With that said, funnily, it is actually somewhat ambiguous what happened here, for strictly speaking, both "gekotzt" and "gekackt" would make sense concerning the context. Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 0:19
  • @user610620 In German, censoring is not common - either you choose a word and stick with it or you just go with another option. So basically nothing comes to my mind immediately. But as mentioned by the previous comment, it could be used as a stilistic device to convey or evoke certain emotions and to emphasize on one certain description for the event, while not feeling comfortable writing out the whole word, even though everbody knows or is supposed to know what it means (this is where I don't really understand this approach). On second thought, one example could be f---- / ficken (to fuck)
    – kopaka
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 7:51

2 Answers 2

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The word in question is probably gekotzt (vomited). Not a swear word, but vulgar. There are some less-vulgar expressions that mean the same, e.g.

Sie hat sich übergeben.

but they're only used in formal language, and the vulgar variants are (in my opinion) much more common, even though people avoid writing them.

Using a less vulgar term in the above sentence also somewhat removes the disgust from the sentence:

Gestern Mittag hat sich unsere Jüngste auf den Boden übergeben.

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    English vomit and puked aren't considered vulgar though. Are there some popular conventions surrounding the censorship of certain German words I'm not aware of?
    – user610620
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 8:18
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    @user610620 Vulgarity in German is traditionally a bit more connected to body excrements than in English, where vulgarity is a bit more connected to sexual stuff. Of course, this is changing over time and nowadays there is a strong impact of English on German in this regard.
    – user6495
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 8:54
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    @user610620 But you would probably agree that there is a difference between “puked” and “thrown up” in level of politeness? With the former being colloquial, bordering vulgar, and the latter perfectly acceptable?
    – Stephie
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 9:02
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    Compare also "Das stört mich" vs "Das kotzt mich an!" Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 10:40
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    I'd say the most common expression that's neither too vulgar nor too formal is brechen. It doesn't work very well in this sentence though. »Gestern Mittag hat unsere jüngste gebrochen, den ganzen Boden voll.« Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 20:05
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For completeness reasons (even though I'm quite sure that was not the meaning): gekackt could be an equally valid statement, which means

she shat on the floor

instead of

she vomited on the floor

(in the case of gekotzt mentioned in another answer)

and provide a more reasonable explanation as to why it was censored.

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    Just from the sentence with gek*** this seems a valid interpretation but with the context of the two phrases afterwards this looks fairly unplausible to me.
    – quarague
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 12:40
  • Why would gekackt imply defecation here instead of vomiting? Are these meanings frequently used as perfect substitutes for the same German word?
    – user610620
    Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 21:13
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    @user610620 It does not imply defecation, that's the literal and only meaning of the word - the meaning of vomiting refered to the word "gekotzt" from the other answer. I will edit my answer to clarify!
    – kopaka
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 7:41

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