Affenzahn | Word of the Week | DW | 28.12.2012
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Word of the Week


Are you as fast as a monkey?

Higher, faster, further.... Runners, Formula 1 drivers and cyclists all have something in common. They all have an Affenzahn, or "monkey tooth." Whether on foot, by car or by bicycle, a person with an Affenzahn is someone who is on the move - and fast.

Hectic movement has been described as affenartig or "monkey-like" since the Middle Ages, as monkey were considered to be quick-moving animals. The adjective affenartig was combined with the phrase "einen Zahn zulegen" (which literally translates as "add a tooth," but means to step it up a gear) to create Affenzahn.

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