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Word of the Week

Babo

You're the boss!

Who's the leader of the pack among your friends? Chances are, they're the Babo: that is, the boss, the ringleader, the head honcho.

But if you adopt this word, beware: Germans of a certain vintage may struggle to understand you. That's because Babo was named Germany's youth word of the year for 2013.

The word prize, in which the public and then a jury choose the word that best sums up current youth culture, is an initiative of the dictionary publisher Langenscheidt in cooperation with a youth forum and two youth-focused magazines.

It shines a light on the mindset and make-up of Germany's youth, who apparently have no problem adopting foreign-language words to suit their own needs.

Following 2012's youth word of the year, Yolo, which echoed the English acronym "You Only Live Once," Babo is inspired by the Turkish language, reflecting the many young people with Turkish heritage now growing up in Germany.

In total, about 3 million people of Turkish origin live in Germany.

Other words to make the top five this year are: fame (great, super, famous), gediegen (super, cool, easygoing), in your face, and the "Lion King"-inspired Hakuna matata, which simply means "no worries."

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