Halsstarrig | Word of the Week | DW | 04.04.2014
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Word of the Week


No one likes a pain in the neck.

Anyone who's had a crick in the neck knows it's not a pleasant experience. The pain comes on suddenly and then, before you know it, you can't even move your head even a few centimeters to the right or the left. "Halsstarrig" literally translates to "stiff necked" in English. But in the German language this adjective isn't used to describe the suffering individual - it's more likely to be the person causing the grief. The person who is the "pain in the neck" is "halsstarrig."

These people are stubborn and they won't consider other suggestions or opinions once their mind is made up. Forget about looking to the right or left - a "halsstarrig" individual won't budge, because they are always right - at least in their own minds. For example, you might hear a kid say to her mom or dad, "You are so halsstarrig, I can't talk to you about anything!"

A stiff neck, like an obstinate friend or family member, can be a pain to deal with. And when faced with either problem, often the best course of action is to keep calm and have a little patience.

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