Guten Rutsch! | Word of the Week | DW | 15.09.2011
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Word of the Week

Guten Rutsch!

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


Big parties, lofty resolutions and lots of fireworks - it must be time to ring in the new year! And that means there's one phrase everyone's sure to hear in Germany: "Guten Rutsch!" In English, the phrase would be "Happy New Year," but "Guten Rutsch" literally translates to "Good jump" or "Good slide." Linguists debate whether the use of "Rutsch" stems from Yiddish or from an archaic German word meaning "journey." But one thing is certain - everyone's hoping for a good jump into 2010.

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