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Word of the Week: Klinkenputzer
Word of the Week: KlinkenputzerImage: MN

Word of the Week

April 17, 2012

How clean are your doorknobs?


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