WOW #2

katzenjammer

The Word Of the Week is;

Katzenjammer

Dictionary.Com’s word-of-the-day is often archaic, unusual or foreign – typical click-bait. I was, but yet I wasn’t, surprised to find this one.  It was in the middle of; crambo, laterigrade, rectitude, and igneous, not easy, or interesting, words to write about.

Definitions for katzenjammer

  1. uneasiness; anguish; distress.
  2. the discomfort and illness experienced as the after-effects of excessive drinking; hangover.
  3. uproar; clamor: His speech produced a public katzenjammer.

Origin of katzenjammer 1845 – 1855
Katzenjammer is a borrowing from German, in which the obvious, literal sense of the word (“wailing of cats”) does not apply and instead has the meaning “hangover.” The word entered English in the mid-19th century. The additional senses of katzenjammer date from the late 19th century.

When I was quite young, there was a newspaper comic strip entitled ‘The Katzenjammer Kids.’ Click to see the Wiki article about it.  After the Second World War, with still some resentment against Germans, it became ‘The Captain and the Kids.’

Perhaps it wasn’t clichéd for its time, but its formula of an inept adult male, often made fool of by two rowdy boys, was followed by ‘Our Boarding House’ as a comic strip, and on into radio, and later, TV shows.

This has reminded me of something else I used to read as a child, in the Saturday Evening Post. Occasionally, they would print short poems called Rhymes Mein Grosfader Made (Rhymes My Grandfather Made), composed in heavy Germanic accent, and making fun of Fairy Tales.

Be sure to stop by for the next WOW, to see if I select an English word.  😀

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8 thoughts on “WOW #2

  1. Jim Wheeler says:

    I remember the Katzenjammer Kids strip. It wasn’t a favorite of mine, but it does jog my memory of those times. I immediately thought of another which was a favorite, Bucky Bug. The author was something of a Rube Goldberg in that he depicted a community of bugs living in the detritus of people-stuff. Cans, spools, spoons, jars, packages, thread – all became part of Bugville.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      I can’t say that I don’t ‘remember’ Bucky Bug. The concept sounds so familiar that I might have seen some up here in the Great White North. Sounds like fun – good, clean, uncomplicated, innocent fun. 🙂

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  2. Dale says:

    It’s funny. I get a word a day from Wordsmith! Like minds… They do come up with some doozies. I had never heard of Katzenjammer… Kinda like it and may find myself using it!!

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  3. The Katzenjammer Kids are very familiar to me. They were my Grandmother’s favorite comic and they were mentioned all the time. I did not know there was a proper meaning to the word. Thanks for that, Archon!

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    • Archon's Den says:

      There’s a meaning for just about every word, even if the concept is outdated and forgotten. I never really thought about Katzenjammer until it popped up. Even if used occasionally in English, it’s still a German word that I’ve never heard used here in ‘Germantown.’
      I’ll showcase its English brother in the next WOW, in two weeks. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

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