Bierernst | Word of the Week | DW | 14.05.2013
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Word of the Week


It's no secret that the Germans are really serious about beer.

All it takes is the most cursory of visits to Germany (a lay-over at a German airport would probably suffice) to realize Germans that take their beer seriously. A peek at the Reinheitsgebot governing what specific four ingredients should go into beer makes that cultural fact abundantly clear. Perhaps it's also why the adjective to describe something as extremely or deadly serious is bierernst - literally, "beer serious." The colloquialism can be traced back to 1900 and the assumption that, whereas wine makes drinkers happy and relaxed, beer tends to bring down a person's mood. Devoted drinkers of the golden nectar, though, are likely to (seriously) disagree!

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