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There's a specific word that I learned and forgot for an old nagging injury or injuries. Can anyone help me?

3 Answers 3

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"Zipperlein" might be the word you're looking for. It's used for old, nagging injuries and minor ailments, often in a bit of a mocking way.

Another, rather mocking way of refering to ailments and injuries is "Wewehchen" (translates along the line of "boo-boo").

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    Depending on the source, I get "Zipperlein" is "gout", "minor ailment" or "little problem", so I'm not sure that it fits with "nagging injury", which seems more serious. I was thinking something more like the TV show House. Per Wikipedia: "A portion of the show's plot centers on House's habitual use of Vicodin to manage pain stemming from leg infarction involving his quadriceps muscle some years earlier, an injury that forces him to walk with a cane." Perhaps the question needs clarification.
    – RDBury
    Dec 5, 2023 at 9:55
  • @RDBury Yes, Zipperlein is a diminuitive form, but it is often used to express a missmatch: either a serious hurt is played down as unimportant: "Im Alter hat man halt so seine Zipperlein" – Old age brings inevitably some ailments, but that is (should be) minor and unavoidable, or a small ailment is blown up: "Er klagt andauernd über seine Zipperlein" – He always laments his ailments, although there really isn't much to complain about.
    – ccprog
    Dec 5, 2023 at 11:36
  • @rdbury Zipperlein is definitively a diminuitive and is normally used for minor ailments. Especially in your House reference, I could however very well imagine him referring to his injury as "Zipperlein" (He's the kind of guy that would exactly use that expression)
    – tofro
    Dec 5, 2023 at 14:08
  • Yes! Zipperlein was what I was looking for!
    – 147pm
    Dec 6, 2023 at 17:12
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How about: ein "altes Leiden"?

or "ein chronisches Leiden"? The latter sounds a bit more medical.

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The word for "injury" is "Verletzung". You can, for example, just use "alte Verletzung".

Other words in that area (in addition to the ones in the other answers):

die Verwundung: basically the same as Verletzung but used only when there was a wound (and in figurative sense that I assume we're not talking about here)

die Blessur: "Alte Blessuren" would work quite well. This is becoming old-fashioned. It's mostly used in the idiom "Blessuren davongetragen haben".

das Trauma: You know that one from English. Plural is Traumata or Traumen.

die Versehrung: old-fashioned. After WW1 and WW2, veterans with war injuries were called "Kriegsversehrte".

der Phantomschmerz: pain that is felt to come from parts of the body that were amputated.

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