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Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Geheimratsecke

You're going bald, Mister! But if it makes you feel any better, the Germans have a good word for that.

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Men and women often fret about their looks as they get older. And it's no wonder with all the magazines, self-help books and websites telling us we should look younger. There are plenty of products and treatments to help us lose weight, hide our wrinkles and even get rid of the cellulite that inevitably takes over our legs.

But in the German language, there's a word that celebrates the dignity of growing older - at least for men. The word describes men's receding hairlines in a way that, to those who don't know the term, might be taken as a compliment rather than a sign that you're losing your hair. This magical word is Geheimratsecke.

Literally translating to "secret advice corner," Geheimratsecke describes the loss of hair around the temples. The term alludes to the honor and wisdom of the "Geheimrat," called Privy Council in English, a title given to the highest advisory officials of the monarch. Their jobs must have strained them so much that they developed receding hairlines above the temples, ultimately forming a bald corner - "Ecke" - and hence the name.

So before you go bald by fretting about your age - or about not having mastered the German language - learn this week's word.

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