Klinkenputzen literally means "to clean doorknobs" and is a slang term used by Germans to describe door-to-door selling. It can also be used pejoratively to label persistant salespeople who knock so frequently on doors, that the knobs stay shiny. But it is also an old-fashioned term used to describe gossipy housewives - and househusbands - who spend all their time polishing the doorknob in order to learn about all the comings and goings in the apartment block corridor!
Author: Helen Whittle
Editor: Kate Bowen