German is often described as "having a word for everything" since it's agglutinative and express complex ideas or things with a single compound word like 'Schadenfreude', 'Kummerspeck', 'Backpfeifengesicht', or 'Torschlusspanik'. My question is whether there is a German word to describe this state of being able to express nearly anything with a single word (idiomatic or not). A dictionary isn't as useful here as I figure it could be idiomatic and may have to look through many different words for state or condition and their combinations e.g I figure I could look up Zustand and search but don't see anything.

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    For me the word you search for is "präzise" but I assume, this is not "präzise" enough for your needs :) Jan 6 at 4:50
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    Ein stark revisionsbedürftiger Gemeinplatz.
    – Carsten S
    Jan 6 at 13:36
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    The fact that English puts spaces within compound phrases and German doesn't is a largely irrelevant accident of contingent orthography development. There is no linguistically relevant difference. Jan 6 at 13:47
  • @KilianFoth I'm not a linguist but it does seem somewhat relevant that in English I would have a breath between words in a compound phrase whereas in German there isn't one. In either case I just wanted to know how I could say that, no need to take offense.
    – Ryan Howe
    Jan 6 at 16:53
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    Then you're probably loooking for "Worterfindenbismanblauimgesichtwirdfähigkeit"
    – tofro
    Jan 7 at 1:46

3 Answers 3


The linguistic term for word construction is

Wortbildung a).

The ability to construct new words is therefore »Wortbildungsfähigkeit«.

In a metaphorical sense this language feature can be called »Baukastensystem« (unit construction system) or even »Wortfabrik« (word factory).


We don't, and the word is die Wortfindungsfähigkeit.

  • Ja - oder auch Wortreichtum", *Ausdrucksreichtum, Nuanciertheit oder tausend andere Möglichkeiten, auszudrücken, daß man auf Deutsch viele Worte einfach erfinden bzw. bei Bedarf zusammenbauen kann.
    – bakunin
    Jan 6 at 6:28
  • More like Worterfindungsfähigkeit! :-)
    – HalvarF
    Jan 6 at 9:53
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    Oder Wortschöpfungsleichtigkeit. Jan 7 at 0:33

It seems you are searching for a word to express "word richness" or "word expresiveness", i.e, Wortreichtum and Wortausdruckskraft.

  • "Wortschatz" kenne ich, aber "Wortreichtum" habe ich noch nicht gehört. Jan 8 at 1:00

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