Gammelfleisch | Word of the Week | DW | 16.09.2011
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Word of the Week


Learn a funny, quirky German word each week with DW's Word of the Week feature. This week: Gammelfleisch.


Strap on your time machine and head back to Germany, 2005. The country's first female chancellor took office, but a very unappetizing scandal was also in the headlines. So-called Gammelfleisch was being sold in supermarkets. Fleisch means "meat," and gammeln means "to bum around" or "to spoil," so it's easy to guess what the scandal involved. Some grocery stores were reselling old meat after sticking a new label on it. The offenders did get caught, so fortunately that's all in the past. But Gammelfleisch is still with us in another way. Young people picked it up as a word to refer to the over 30 set. So if you hear whispers about Gammelfleisch at the store these days, just hope they're talking about the meat and not about you!

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